Essential Black Metal...and suggestions...

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Essential Black Metal...and suggestions...

Postby RondofedoR » 16 May 2012, 14:55

I've only just become a fan of Black Metal, so I'm looking for a little help. What are some great 'starter' albums or just some classics that all Metal fans should have?

Also, seeing as how I enjoy bands like Anaal Nathrakh, Lifelover, and Cobalt, what other bands do you suggest?
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Re: Essential Black Metal...and suggestions...

Postby Memnarch » 24 May 2012, 18:10

God well it's such a huge Genre..... where to start..?

You NEED the classics supposing you haven't heard them already, such as

Darkthrone - A Blaze in the Northern Sky
Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanis

and then just branch out from there.

As far as more recent stuff goes check out these two

Peste Noire - La Snaie Des Siecles
Nokturnal Mortum - the Voice of Steel

they are both bonafide 10/10's with out a doubt. If you require anything more in depth gimme a shout

Lifelover, Anaal Nathrakh and CObalt are all fairly unique it's hard to draw any comparisons to them.
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Re: Essential Black Metal...and suggestions...

Postby RondofedoR » 26 May 2012, 11:57

Memnarch wrote:God well it's such a huge Genre..... where to start..?

You NEED the classics supposing you haven't heard them already, such as

Darkthrone - A Blaze in the Northern Sky
Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanis

and then just branch out from there.

As far as more recent stuff goes check out these two

Peste Noire - La Snaie Des Siecles
Nokturnal Mortum - the Voice of Steel

they are both bonafide 10/10's with out a doubt. If you require anything more in depth gimme a shout

Lifelover, Anaal Nathrakh and CObalt are all fairly unique it's hard to draw any comparisons to them.


I've yet to listen to any of the five albums you mentioned, Chris, but that will change. Oh, that will change. This is exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks a lot, man. Please add any others you think I'd enjoy or that would at least make me more knowledgeable with the genre.

Anybody else have some more suggestions/recs?
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Re: Essential Black Metal...and suggestions...

Postby Bear » 30 May 2012, 14:34

I'll expand further on where Memnoch started. I feel that just taking one from each of those bands is actually just too superficial considering the role each of those bands played in the solidification of the sound of the genre (not that he implied differently).

When it comes to Mayhem, I definitely have folks start with "De Mysteriis...," then I have them look elsewhere for a while before returning to the more raw works of Mayhem. "Live in Leipzieg" is completely essential, but its going most likely take a more seasoned ear to be able to appreciate it properly. There is other Mayhem definitely worth checking out, but not so much in the "primer" stage. I will note that "Ordo Ad Chao" is one of the most fucked up releases to repeatedly grace my ears.

Emperor. Every album pretty much signified a new stage for Emperor eventually transcending Black Metal with just a complete mesh of Extreme Metal influence. "Anthems..." is most often regarded as the pinnacle of their work, but I'm not in that camp. I'm not in the somewhat smaller, but little by no means, group that says "In the Nightside Eclipse" is the pinnacle either. Both albums are absolutely essential in my mind, and are absolutely pinnacles of their styles. However, I can't help but be massively in love with the "Emperor" EP. I just think that the versions of the songs on that EP, which is also on an essential/legendary split with Enslaved, are the best recordings. However, that and especially "Wrath of the Tyrant" are ones I had to eventually come back to with a more seasoned ear in order to truly grasp their greatness. Later Emperor is good, "IX Equilibrium" was my first, but again I find they have little do in the scope of a Black Metal primer.

With Darkthrone, again we have various eras. From Stockholm-style Death, to the minimalistic Celtic Frost worship that made them legendary, back and forth from Death & Black and then to Crust this band has been all over the place. I'm just going to say for Black Metal primer purposes "A Blaze in the Northern Sky," "Under a Funeral Moon," and "Transilvanian Hunger" are essential.

Enslaved is another early True Black Metal band that eventually transcended the genre. Obviously from the beginning they were taking a more Folk oriented approach. I would have to highly recommend "Vikingligr Veldi" for a primer, and then expand to Eld. "Hordanes Land" from the split with Emperor is some of my favorite material from the band, but again its one that may take a little more of a seasoned ear to appreciate. From there you pretty much enter their Progressive Extreme Metal era. I think the pinnacle of their post 1998 work is "Mardraum: Beyond the Within." I appreciate everything this band has done, even the very much loathed Progressive Rock oriented "Vertebrae."

It always amuses me that Burzum is somewhat of a taboo band, and even a controversial decision to include in essential Black Metal conversation. I think that is ludicrous. "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" and "Filosofem" are essential, and if you don't think so I think you're cracked ;-).

Only one album, but absolutely essential and pretty far out there is Ved Buens Ende's "Written in Waters." Early Black Metal experimentation that absolutely worked.

A lot of people like to call Judas Iscariot a Darkthrone cover band, but I've always found that JI took that style to places that Darkthrone did not. Of course, there is also the fact that Andrew Harris was doing Judas Iscariot at the same time Darkthrone was releasing their earliest seminal Black Metal albums. JI took a back seat to Sarophagus for years, and didn't really see full lengths hitting the streets until the genre had solidified its base sound. That being said "Heaven in Flames" and "To Embrace Corpses Bleeding" are two albums that have gotten more spins out of me in the last 10 years than just about any other album (another would be Clandestine Blaze's "Fist of the Northern Destroyer). The latter of the two is most likely hands down my most spun album ever.

I'm kind of curious which Anaal Nathrakh you are referring to since they've been playing a style of Black/Death for the last half decade. Their early aggressive Black Metal stuff is decent, but I do enjoy the route they took.
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Re: Essential Black Metal...and suggestions...

Postby Memnarch » 30 May 2012, 16:11

Bear wrote: Memnoch


Who? :twisted:

Nice in depth reply there, I couldn;t have been bothered with typing out a whole lot :lol:
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Re: Essential Black Metal...and suggestions...

Postby RondofedoR » 01 Jun 2012, 12:26

Bear, thanks a ton for all of that info. It's greatly appreciated and I'll certainly adhere to your suggestions. Not sure what type of degrees you have, but with all your musical/metal knowledge, I suspect that you'd be able to easily take the reigns of a metal history class.

I've only just begun to listen to Anaal Nathrakh...I've listened to "Passion" and "In the Constellation of the Black Widow," and I enjoyed them both. It's percussive madness.
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Re: Essential Black Metal...and suggestions...

Postby ryan213 » 13 Jul 2012, 19:05

You guys forgot to mention Satyricon...any of their first three albums, although I prefer "Nemesis Divina."

Early Burzum is great as well.

I agree with Judas Iscariot - usually thought of as a Darkthrone knock-off only because Darkthrone became popular first.
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Re: Essential Black Metal...and suggestions...

Postby TheStormIRide » 21 Jul 2012, 10:12

I know everyone is trying to give some early lessons in Black Metal here, but I find a few of my "essentials" are missing.

Of course the releases previously mentioned are all great, but here's my top Black Metal albums. Just to throw my two cents in. I know a lot of NSBM takes a hell of a lot of flack, but there are some really good releases there (Absurd to name one). Black Metal has had some many different "waves" and genre offshoots that it's hard to properly track. It makes it even more difficult with the OVERSATURATION of the field in recent years. With, what I deem, the "basement band blow out" it seems like there are more Black Metal bands than you can shake an upside down cross at. Anyways, enough rambling, as threatened, my list of essential Black Metal releases. (Mind you, I'm only giving one release per band).

20. Satanic Warmaster - Strength and Honor
19. Leviathan - The Tenth Sublevel of Suicide
18. Moonblood - Blut Und Krieg
17. Dark Funeral - Secrets of the Black Arts
16. Negura Bunget - Zirindu-Sa
15. Drudkh - Autumn Aurora
14. Nargaroth - Herbstleyd
13. Deathspell Omega - Sii Monumentum Requires Circumspice
12. Countess - Revenge of the Horned One, Part I
11. Graveland - Thousand Swords
10. Mutiilation - Remains of a Ruined, Dead, Cursed Soul
9. Bathory - Bathory
8. Gorgoroth - Pentagram
7. Behemoth - Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic)
6. Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
5. Satyricon - Dark Medieval Times
4. Darkthrone - Under a Funeral Moon
3. Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
2. Ulver - Nattens Madrigal
1. Burzum - Hvis Lyset Tar Oss

Definitely some bad ass releases to look into. Some are not for the faint of heart (Satanic Warmaster, Moonblood). Some of these releases are where Black Metal's most notorious legends were founded... some are newcomers building up on a foundation set by the first wave. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!
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Re: Essential Black Metal...and suggestions...

Postby TheStormIRide » 28 Jul 2012, 15:52

My, my TheStormIRide, that is one hell of a list. Oh, why thank you, TheStormIRide, you have great taste. It sure is great having lots of people to discuss this with...

Oh sorry, I'm just wondering where everyone is at!?!?! Someone please amuse me. I'm stuck at home after having surgery and I'm bored!
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