In a way, it’s quite difficult to associate black metal with the music that falls under it. More than any other sub-genre of heavy metal music, black metal has been defined and redefined many times. Even satanism used in this genre has been interpreted in ways that are different as well as contradictory. These days, it is more or less assumed that black metal can mean anything.
Some of the fans see it as a kind of music that’s very liberating. Over the years, this sub-genre of heavy metal music has grown into many different things. Right from the darkness of the band Mayhem to Darkthrone’s primitiveness, black metal wears many hats. If you wish to get a taste of black metal music, these are the songs you must listen to:
1. Black Metal
This is the song that truly defined black metal in the year 1982. It was also the title of the album. During the rising wave of heavy metal bands, this song distinguished the band Venom from the rest. It was noisier, faster, and harder. This band was louder than Motorhead and had more speed when compared to Priest.
It had more shocking imagery than Black Sabbath. They had already made a considerable impact with their debut album Welcome to Hell, which was released in 1981. With their second album Black Metal, they made it clear that they were among the best.
This song was a part of the debut studio album of Bathory, a Swedish metal band. The album was also titled Bathory. Released in 1984, this album was considered as one of the contenders for the first record of black metal. The music critic Rob Ferrier was of the opinion that the music of Bathory had a unique charm.
The raw power of Sacrifice just couldn’t be ignored. Some critics like Eduardo Rivadavia believed that the songs of Bathory were way ahead of their time. All the tracks of the album were written by Quorthon, whose real name was Thomas Borje Forsberg. He was a Swedish singer, songwriter, and record producer.
3. Into The Crypts of Rays
Celtic Frost is probably among the greatest heavy metal bands the world has ever seen. They arose in the early 1980s from the rural parts of Switzerland. Martin Ain and Tom G Warrior whose partnership was called Hellhammer had split to form Celtic Frost. Although they were quite influential as Hellhammer, they split because of a greater vision.
The opening track Into The Crypts of Rays from their debut EP Morbid Tales was simply thrilling. It had more confident songwriting and echoed darkness and morbidity in a better way. The track also proved that it was something new and far greater.
The arrival of the band Mayhem is considered a historical event in black metal by many. It is certainly the first band to begin the second wave in this genre. They were the band that truly saw black metal as a genre in itself. The bands before them like Venom, Celtic Frost, and Bathory were, of course, great in their works.
However, Mayhem put together death metal, satanic metal, death metal, and thrash metal to create something exceptional. The title track of their EP Deathcrush stands testimony to this fact. This mini-album had a limited print run, but appeared in the top 20 albums listed by Kerrang! magazine.