A sub-genre of Metal. And derived from Speed and Thrash Metal. The term 'Black Metal' was coined by the Speed Metal band, Venom.
It is inspired by bands such as Venom and Mercyful Fate. And the first Black Metal band is debated to be either Bathory or Celtic Frost. Although these were unrefined and were not the original true Black Metal bands. The first real Black Metal was started in Norway by bands such as Mayhem, Emperor, Darkthrone, and Satyricon. Later many other sub-genres of Black Metal were created.
Black Metal is usually definied by Vocals that are high in tone and pitch and are usually refered to as the 'Black Metal Screech', very different from the Guttural sound of the 'Death Metal Growl'. Lyrics mostly have Anti-Christian, Misantropic, Satanic, Luciferian, and Pagan basis. Drum beats described as 'blast beats'. But are different from Death Metal blast beats because there is more focus on the Snare drum instead of the Toms. The guitars are usually very repeatative and the riffs are usually only four to five chords. The basslines are similar to the guitar riffs but usually have a more punk quality to them. And the quality of the recordings is usually very bad.
Black Metal was started in defiance of the Death Metal scene, instead of having great, clean production, Black Metal had low and piercing quality. Instead of having complicated riffs and beats, BM had a more simplistic approach. And BM strived to be more controversial in lyrical themes.
There are several sub-genres to the Black Metal genre. And are as follows:
Black Metal: The originators usually coming from Norway.
Melodic Black Metal: Black Metal with the use of keyboards, synths, and more Melodic guitar riffs. Also Clean vocals have become a big part of the genre. Lyrics are usually more Anti-Christian, and Misantrophy based.
National Socialist Black Metal: The difference is only in lyrical themes, which usually deal with NS ideals, racism, paganism, pride of heritage or nation, and hate.
Viking Black Metal: Deals with viking, barbarian, and Norsk tales and religion. Also, Nature is a very reoccuring lyrical theme.
Folk: The Melodic version of the Viking sub-genre, usually using Keyboards or Organs. The lyrical themes usually have basis around folklore and fairy tales.
Symphonic: BM that has symphony elements added to it. Theme albums usually play a big part in this genre.
Avant-Garde: With a focus on instrumentals and the use of various other instruments, mainly keyboards, this genre defines bands that go in an experimental and artistic direction.
Black Death: A sub-genre of Black Metal that has various Death Metal influences and stylings to it. Usually of which is a combination of Death Metal music and specifically drumming, while maintaining Black Metal vocals and lyrical themes.
Black Metal: Mayhem, Darkthrone, and Immortal
Melodic Black Metal: Old Man's Child, Dimmu Borgir, and Naglfar
NSBM: Waffen SS, Sunwheel, and Drudkh
Viking: Enslaved, Graveland, and (New)Bathory
Folk: Finntroll, Vintersorg, and Borknagar
Symphonic: (New)Emperor, (New)Dimmu Borgir, Nokturnal Mortem
Avant-Garde: Celtic Frost, Burzum
Black Death: Behemoth, Zyklon, and Belphegor
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