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5 random black metal albums to check out

If you people are into the genre, you’ll probably know about these bands/albums. If not, these may be interesting starting points, if not the most obvious choices. No particular order hyar. Note that these are not reviews, quickie or otherwise.

1. Darkthrone – Under a Funeral Moon (1993)

I did a quick write-up of this one a while back. For those too lazy to look, it’s basically the dissonant counterpart to the blackened epics of “A Blaze In The Northern Sky”, and the simplistic droning melodies of “Transylvanian Hunger”. Chosen mainly for said dissonance – sure, most black metal tends towards melody and a sort of minor key consonance, but it makes this all the more unique.

2. Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vestuta I  (1996)

This one, on the other hand, is basically the poster child for melodic black metal, with prominent basslines, a decent bit of counterpoint, and plenty of ambience. In addition, it’s probably more accessible than the average BM, what with a better production, some clean singing, and so forth. Not that it’s a bad thing – this, along with its predecessor Ultima Thulee  is one of my all time favorites in the genre.

3. Limbonic Art – In Abhorrence, Dementia (1997)

A lot of black metal bands shed some of their ambience to write more aggressive and/or epic material on their second album – cases in point being “Frost” by Enslaved, “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” by Emperor, and this one. It’s kind of cheesy, but it also has a lot of intricate riffing and play between the keyboards (this album is very much drenched in them) – sort of a “maximalist” approach to black metal as opposed to the minimalism that a band like Burzum would work with.

4. Celtic Frost – Morbid Tales (1984)

It would be an extremely poor idea to discount the existence of the first wave of black metal (mainly an aesthetic shared by a group of heavy/speed/thrash/and early death metal bands) – Celtic Frost was hugely influential in the ’80s. This is probably their most straightforward work – ripping “primitive” thrash metal with a healthy helping of doom (not only the metal, but the occult), and a hint of experimental work. Of course, if you want something filthier, predecessor band Hellhammer has you covered.


5. Beherit – Drawing Down The Moon (1993)

Rather different from the majority of their Norwegian friends in sound, if not in overall effect. Imagine what would happen if someone left Hellhammer/Celtic Frost’s discography on some planet where intelligent life was just beginning to aggregate in cultures. Come back a few thousand years later, and something would this would be the music used in religious worship. Filthy and raw for sure, but few bands would rival this one for their ritual/trance-like effects, especially after they released “Electric Doom Synthesis” in 1995 – full of entirely electronic music.


I might do something similar for other genres in the future.


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