A chill runs down your spine, the room grows cold, an incoherent, cacophonous rumble blasts out of the speakers. What is this god-awful sound? Is it supposed to be music? More accurately, is it supposed to be good music? What you’re probably hearing is Black Metal. Traditionally characterized by poor production value, fast tremolo-picked guitar riffs, blast-beat drumming, and shriek/wraith vocals, Black Metal has continued to confuse, anger, and engross music lovers around the world.
Death Häus hosts Foxx Jackson and DJ TV decided to delve into the frozen guts of Black Metal and offer some differing opinions regarding what exactly makes some metal “black.”
Foxx Jackson, a known metal purist and genre snob asserts “Black Metal is solely characterized by the style set down by its founders. The production needs to be shoddy, the riffs need to fast and frigid, and the vocals must be so harsh they’re basically incoherent. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but Black Metal needs to at least loosely follow these stylistic prerequisites. The styles some of these classic bands and newer 3rd wave bands are exploring aren’t Black Metal anymore, rather it’s some sort of progressive metal… perhaps evening verging on Blackened Thrash or Death at times. Black Metal is style that has been clearly defined, bands are certainly able and even encouraged to explore new sounds, but a style can’t be changed. While these aren’t bad bands, I really enjoy bands like Dimmu Borgir and Behemoth, they simply aren’t Black Metal.”
Foxx presents the following examples of Black Metal:
Darkthrone- In the Shadow of the Horns
Mayhem- Freezing Moon
Bathory- Enter the Eternal Fire
Emperor- The Burning Shadows of Silence
DJ TV, an expert on metal and numerous other genres, generously offers his opinions “Black Metal is characterized by its tremolo riffs, screeching vocals, and blast beat drumming. They also tend to favor the higher frequency range and have the strange urge to wear face paint. However, that isn’t be all end all, Black Metal can be a lot of things. Deafheaven, among others, have the classic Black Metal tone, but instead trying to sound scary they provide a warmer sound; like having a blanket thrown over you instead of ripped off on a cold night. Bands like Darkthrone and Mayhem offer the traditional Black Metal sound, but groups like Dimmu Borgir are what Black Metal could be like if the genre cared about its production value. Black Metal shouldn’t be some stagnant style of music. Like other genres, it should be allowed to naturally progress and change over time, otherwise, it will get stale.”
DJ TV gives these examples of Black Metal:
Dimmu Borgir- The Serpentine Offering
Watain- Darkness and Death
Deafheaven- Dream House
Check out Death Häus’ Black Metal playlist for more soul-wrenching music
You can catch Death Häus Friday nights at 6:00 pm on KFHS Radio.
With Tiger Media Network, I’m Chris Jacobs.