Warning: This post will be discussing Satanic/Occult themes that one may find offensive depending on religious/spiritual views. This post does not necessarily reflect the philosophical views of the author and should not be discerned as such.
P.S. This post is so perfect for Friday the 13th, no?
Today we are discussing Black Metal and specifically, the first wave of it. In the next series, we will discuss the second wave that primarily came out of Scandinavia. I will also be briefly covering the four influential bands of the first wave and hold quite dear. So let's jump in!
The first wave of Black Metal owes a lot to NWOBHM. They had the Trad Metal sound with the addition of Satanic or horror themed lyrics. Hence making these bands more "evil." The first wave was also inspired by the "Shock Rock" of Alice Cooper, presenting itself more as performance art.
(I love Alice. I highly recommend seeing him in concert, always a great show. And in case you didn't know, Alice is actually a born again Christian. His music has always been performance art and his newer stuff has been more moral parables. Just sayin'.)
Hailing from the generally benign country of Switzerland, is a particularly legendary band, Celtic Frost.
My picks for Helhammer/Celtic Frost:
To Mega Therion
Into The Pandemonium
(They are the classics but they are classic for a reason.)
Next up is a band that is directly responsible for what was to come from Scandinavia.
Bathory formed in 1983 in Sweden by Thomas Forsberg, better known as Quorthon, with Fredrik Melander on bass and Jonas Akerlund on drums. (Akerlund has since gone on to be a successful music video director. Seriously. This is a list of his work. Crazy.)
Bathory was a really interesting project. Quorthon decided to quit playing live in 1985 and ultimately became more of a one man band albeit with hired help for the recordings.
The band released what are considered to be really classic Black Metal recordings and then began the so-called "Viking" metal style. It was the imagery and stories of Norse mythology and folklore that really interested Quorthon. It was rich and complex compared to the same old Devil trappings but still allowed for anger towards the Christian Church. (Given the whole stamping out and co-opting of the Pagan traditions of Scandinavia during the 8th through 12th centuries. Just sayin'.)
Both the early black metal and Viking metal proved to be outrageously influential, especially in Norway. It is very clear when one listens to early Mayhem just where the influence comes from.
Bathory disbanded following the death of Quorthon in 2004.
My picks for Bathory:
Pretty much everything. The evolution is simply breathtaking and I was a big fan of the Viking material.
This brings us to the manicure portion. I chose a simple and almost crude design since Black Metal's beginnings were quite humble. Of course, I added a little flair. That's just how I like it.
I'll be talking about those Nail Prisms soon. I found an incredible bit of treasure that I must share.
Now, this is a bit of a controversial subject. I love the music, I really do. I have a fairly macabre sense of humour so the Satanic imagery is funny to me. That's because I am an atheist with Ethical Humanist leanings so the concept of a devil is not only illogical to me but a bit silly. However, I am aware that many of you may disagree and I certainly respect that. Which is why I chose to post a disclaimer at the top of the page.
That will end this chapter for now. Next up will be a discussion of the second wave of Black Metal.
Thank you for coming by and I hope you will have a wonderful weekend!