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Posts Tagged ‘Black metal’

I’ll just come right out and say it to set the tone of this post: Quorthon is arguably the single most influential person in extreme metal. I could name at least two genres and countless bands that would not be the same – let alone even exist – had he not decided to get drunk and record Bathory’s self-titled debut in 1984. Taking thrash, speed metal, classic heavy metal, and even NWOBHM and pasting it with imagery so vivid as that of Mercyful Fate and Venom circa the early-1980’s and lyrical themes from years even before that, then mashing it all up in a mix of static, fuzz, and reverb he had essentially invented black metal. Sure, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, and the oft-venerated Venom were around or had been recording in the same era (Celtic Frost’s Morbid Tales was recorded around the time Bathory was released and Hellhammer had been playing some very thrashy first-wave black metal since 1983, eventually to disband and become Celtic Frost), but the spirit of what black metal was to become was most definitely in the sound that Bathory developed. The genre is essentially a mangled spin-off of thrash – especially in its early days – but Bathory helped to bring it to places that would really change the game for this fledgling sound, and long after Quorthon had moved onto bigger and better things his creation flourished, for better or worse.

Rather than get into an argument over the details of the…

If there are two things I can credit Sputnik Music for, expanding my love of esoteric and ugly metal and raising my overall level of hipster douchebaggery stand high at the top. So here now I present to you a glorious amalgamation of the two:

Dimmu Borgir released “Gateways (Edit)” from their upcoming album, Abrahadabra, last Tuesday through iTunes (and probably other digital retailers). On a whim, I decided to buy the track to see if I should be looking forward to the whole CD or not – it didn’t really help. It doesn’t help because “Gateways” is different enough from their previous releases that it’s hard to tell if it is a one-off or if it is representative of the whole album.

For one, there are two different sections that contain female vocals and neither of them turns out to be cheesy.  The first section with female vocals is shouted in an almost punk-like manner, and the second section is more of a choir effect (think Therion not Cradle of Filth). Both sections were surprising because it’s a new direction for the band, and also because it actually worked. Another thing about the song is that it is much slower and more melodic than what is typical of a Dimmu Borgir track. I’m not trying to say that it’s pop or anything, but it’s definitely much more accessible. Those that actually care about the band have probably read that the album features another full orchestra, but unlike Death Cult Armageddon, “Gateways” isn’t overpowered by it. The song is more of an equal partnership between the riffs and the orchestral parts.

So, this song didn’t really help at all. If the whole album pushes the band’s sound like this song did then things might…

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