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07.22.16 50 Favorite Black Metal Albums07.14.16 My First Half of '16
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50 Favorite Black Metal Albums

Top 10 with descriptions.
1Drudkh
Autumn Aurora


To me this is the standard for atmospheric BM production. Not only that but the whole mood and aesthetic of the band encapsulates the feel of being surrounded by trees on a brisk autumn day which judging from the album title and art was the main objective. Roman Saenko sounds as good as ever on here. Some people will say they prefer Blood In Our Wells, and maybe that is the band fully forming their sound and style but to me the production and overall feel of this album is unparalleled in the genre.
2Coldworld
Melancholie


I've been aware of this album for years and never gave it the light of day (no pun intended) because of the whole black gaze or post black metal tag that some people were giving it. When I finally decided to check it out last year I was blown away by an atmospheric wall so dense yet airy like a blistering winter wind. With the release of Autumn, I can't help but be a little disappointed that he didn't continue to trademark just how beautifully he created that dense atmosphere. The songs are perfect length in that they don't drag yet still long enough to bring you closer into his world of death and dispair. His voice is painful in a very convincing and inspired manner and the song writing is to the point and effective. Also, in the track listing is maybe the best ambient track I've heard from a BM outfit.
3Ulver
Bergtatt - Et eeventyr i 5 capitler


This album has climbed to number 3 pretty slowly but consistently. At first I didn't understand the high praise but I stayed patient and was rewarded. Ulver manages to fuse angst and brutality driven moments into their highly atmospheric and beautiful acoustic passages seamlessly. The album takes you on a long journey (seemingly, with a short 34 minute duration) starting with one of my favorite metal songs of all time, I Troldskog Faren Vild. After this track we are lulled into a trance before being assaulted by the aforementioned angst and brutality. That is the essence of the whole album and is done effortlessly and assertively.
4Emperor
In the Nightside Eclipse


This is another album that took a little longer than expected to gain importance for me. I always liked and appreciated it but one day this album really clicked with me. Emperor to me does black metal like no one else does black metal (at least at the time). Ihsahn seems to reach a higher register than most yet he still manages to maintain a painful rasp and anguish in his inflection. The atmosphere on this album is incredibly sinister and dense akin to being trapped in an unknown dungeon mid cold winter. Imagine hearing this album reverberated in the distance feeling helpless and freezing. I'm going off on a tangent but yeah, this album is incredible.
5Moonsorrow
Verisakeet


I remember years ago when I thought the viking metal genre was led by bands like Amon Amarth and Ensiferum. It was for that reason that I dismissed the genre after some time. Then I listened to Moonsorrow. I realized that like a lot of other genres I was misled on a path of mediocrity. Moonsorrow is the best folk/viking metal band bar none. Verisakeet is them firing on all cylinders. When listening to this album I imagine the march into a field of battle; A scenario that other bands within the genre work so hard to project into the minds of the listener. Moonsorrow seems to create this with ease.
6Burzum
Filosofem


Despite what you might think from the choices on this list, I'm actually not huge into Burzum. This album however is high on my list for a reason. I can talk about it's credentials and impact on the genre but I won't bore you with the obvious. Let's face it; Dunkelheit is one of the greatest songs of all time. I can't imagine the genre without it. Following that lead the rest of the album takes you into Burzum's dungeon of solitude and hopeless desperation. The production is thin with a nice crunch which may not sound all that interesting but creates an instantly memorable atmosphere that works wonders with the compositions. Despite a lot of criticism for Burzum's vocals he delivers one of my favorite black metal vocal performances throughout. Weird, I know.
7Windir
1184


If you want to throw Windir into the viking metal catagory, I suppose you could. And they would be as important as Moonsorrow, if not more. The melodic guitar playing that climbs through every track is just as effective as that synth sound that they utilized throughout their discog. You would think that this formula would start to get stale and monotonous but no. They keep you wanting more and more and with Valfar wailing his distinctive goosebump inducing screams over top it becomes one of the most addicting metal bands of all time. 1184 to me is them at their peak as far as addictive material goes. I find myself coming back to this album when I need some harsh ear candy.
8Morker
Hostmakter


This sleeper could have been even higher if not for a boring closer. I listened to the shit out of this when I first heard it. It has everything you could ever want from a melodic black metal album. It is a bit reminescent of 1184, which is maybe why it is so high on my list. The production on this album is very warm and inviting like the albums art. Then you hear the intense gravel of the vocals and you realize you were invited into a dark sinister forest. The album has great riffs in just about every passage and the sound of the drums (especially the cymbals) is so god damn pleasurable.
9Thy Catafalque
Roka Hasa Radio


This album has such a cathedral sound to it which I love. The compositions are all over the place, constantly experimenting with industrial, classical and even operatic-like passages. You could probably lump them into the avant-garde genre but the black metal presence is still pretty bold. If you want something off kilter in the genre this is a gem. My only complaint is that it's a bit long but the uniqueness of the album more than makes up for it.
10Farsot
IIII


Some purists may find the production a bit too pristine but the denseness and sinister qualities remain. This band does a great job adding dynamic to their songs. There is a good deal of sludge buried behind the clean melodic guitars and every musician on this thing is on top of their game. The album takes on what seems to be an overall pyschological theme. This album crushes you with brutality but is always slowing up to give you a breath. Fantastic album.
11Paysage d'Hiver
Paysage d'Hiver
12Drudkh
Microcosmos
13Csejthe
Transcendance
14Eissturm
The Oak
15Dissection
Storm of the Light's Bane
16Blut Aus Nord
Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue With The Stars
17Enslaved
Vikingligr Veldi
18Drautran
Throne of the Depths
19Summoning
Stronghold
20Regarde Les Hommes Tomber
Exile
21Darkthrone
Under a Funeral Moon
22Obsidian Gate
The Nightspectral Voyage
23Thantifaxath
Sacred White Noise
24Elderwind
The Magic of Nature
25Oranssi Pazuzu
Valonielu
26Bathory
Blood Fire Death
27Negura Bunget
OM
28Evilfeast
Mysteries of the Nocturnal Forest
29Enslaved
Ruun
30Burzum
Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
31Drawn
A New World?
32Forteresse
Métal Noir Québécois
33Vinterland
Welcome My Last Chapter
34The Great Old Ones
Tekeli-Li
35Grimoire
À La Lumière des Cendres
36Lunar Aurora
Andacht
37Walknut
Graveforests And Their Shadows
38Limbonic Art
In Abhorrence Dementia
39Winterfylleth
The Threnody of Triumph
40Nocte Obducta
Nektar - Teil 2: Seen, Flüsse, Tagebücher
41Wolves in the Throne Room
Two Hunters
42Folkvang
Atmospheric Black
43Thorns
Thorns
44Dammerfarben
Im Abendrot
45Spectral Lore
III
46Darkthrone
A Blaze in the Northern Sky
47Setherial
Nord
48Immortal
At the Heart of Winter
49Zuriaake
Afterimage of Autumn
50Spite Extreme Wing
Non dvcor, dvco
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