|A wolfish horde of Black Metal|
Aand another black metal list. Some people have been asking for recs, this may or may not help, Idk whatever.
Either way, it's gonna be fall soon so it's time for dark and moody shit.
Descriptions to come later.
I hate to be pretentious but I also hate to be redundant so I'm just gonna be straight-forward like this album: genre-defining.
Recommended Track: Transilvanian Hunger
Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
Once, there was a glorious time when Varg wasn't just an imprisoned loon who made mediocre music - no he was an imprisoned loon who actually made good music and not JUST the human caricature he is now.
Recommended Track. Det som en gang var
See 2. Except that his has the track Dunkelheit which fits perfectly for walking around in your city at night and scaring all the normal people with your m/ demeanor.
Recommended Track: Dunkelheit
Under the Sign of the Black Mark
Gritty, filthy and straight-forward with a nice tad of atmosphere thrown in and some really nice riffz.
Recommended Track: Enter The Eternal Fire
Blood Fire Death
Probably my personal favorite Bathory release. It fleshes out the base songwriting from Under the Sign and excels it.
Recommended Track: A Fine Day To Die
Dark Medieval Times
About 8 years ago when I got into Black Metal, this was one of the first records I listened to. Turns out, that was not a terrible decision. For an album released in the 90s it has a very nice production and the way the folk elements are implemented here that are neither overly cheesy nor clashing with the rest of the sound make it one of the best early attempts at implementing those influences.
Continuing with similar themes on this LP Satyricon have crafted another somewhat early BM LP with various influences, best exemplified on the track Mother North.
Recommended Track: Mother North
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Another "classic" or "genre-defining" LP with its heavily thrash-esque riff-based sound.
Recommended Track: Freezing Moon
In the Nightside Eclipse
Another personal favorite, one of the more melodic/atmospheric 2nd wave records.
Recommended Track: I Am The Black Wizards
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Fleshing out their melodic edge on this LP with a less gritty production, still with Ihsahn's trademark riffs.
Recommended Track: With Strength I Burn
I probably belong to one of the few people who prefer this album over Bergtatt. Gritty, riff-heavy black metal.
Recommended Track: V
Seen Through the Veils of Darkness
An often overlooked band when it comes to the 90s and Norway, Gehenna has put out some very solid more melodic black metal. This album even features Garm on vocals on the third track (Vinterriket). This album features Emperor-esque riffs - maybe another reason I like it apart from also being one of the first Black Metal bands I have been introduced to.
Recommended Track: A Myth
Gehenna take a turn from their more melodic Emperor-esque Black Metal to a more aggressive, somewhat more polished style on this LP - sometimes hailed as one of their best. Melodic moments are still spersed throughout the album.
Recommended Track: Seed of Man's Destruction
Swedish Black Metal with a pagan edge, possibly also one of the first in its league. Unfortunately another one I've rarely seen mentioned. I don't even remember myself how I stumbled upon this LP, I think some Swedish dude actually recommended it to me.
Recommended Track: Mörkrets Tid
Vampires of Black Imperial Blood
If you want to have the LLN experience within one LP, this is it. Mostly because there aren't a lot of LLN LPs but it's good there is at least this one. Personally, I prefer Vlad Tepes/Belketre but I didn't feel like sticking a bunch of demos in here. As with all LLN material, this is pretty gritty lo-fi stuff (that may or may not have somewhat inspired all this Black Twilight shenanigans).
Recommended Track: Transylvania
A Blaze in the Northern Sky
And another one by Darkthrone, because Darkthrone was pretty consistent with their BM with their early albums (and still remains consistent with whatever you want to dub what they play at this point). Not entirely as gritty as Transilvanian Hunger but lingers somewhere between the realm of modern production and lo-fi. As always with Darkthrone, a good portion of memorable riffz.
Recommended Track: The Pagan Winter
Under a Funeral Moon
And another Darkthrone album on here. I don't like this one as much as Transilvanian Hunger or A Blaze but it's still a pretty damn solid 2nd wave BM LP.
Recommended Track: Title Track
Only 33 minutes in length, this is a nice exercise in Black Metal by some of Norway's funniest clowns. All jokes about their corpse paint and posing aside (which remains amusing to this day), Immortal had some pretty solid songwriting going from the get-go.
Recommended Track: Sun No Longer Rises
At the Heart of Winter
Unlike Pure Holocaust this has a very clean production and some trvekvlt blekk mettulz0rs would probably turn their nose up at this for being too clean and whatever but it's also one of the most consistent Immortal releases to date with some of their best riffs.
Recommended Track: At The Heart Of winter
The Third Storm of Cythraul
Another short one at 37 minutes, with their thrash infused sound and conceptual topics. I think this part of the trilogy of their Celtic installments. Thrashy vocals, tight drums, melodic passages and fast riffs are what makes this a good example of what Absu can do.
Recommended Track: Swords And Leather
Continuing their thrashy and "gon be riffz, gon be fast" tradition of earlier LPs this I believe was the last installment of their celtic installments. And it delivers with some of the tightest drumming in Absu's career.
Recommended Track: From Ancient Times
Blut & Krieg
Now we come to my best known personal repertoire, the German scene. This is by some regarded as one of the classics of 90s German BM. With occasional melodic moments with things that I believe are horns, a gritty production and solid riffs.
Recommended Track: Shadows
Black Metal infused with some industrial and more melodic elements? Why not. Nagelfar is also a classic staple in German Black Metal. I personally prefer Hünengrab im Herbst and Virus West but this is still a very solid concept album divided up into 5 chapters.
Recommended Track: Kapitel Drei: der Herbst, Endzeit
Hunengrab im herbst
Their debut LP, not yet infused with the industrial influences but still a more melodic/atmospheric approach to Black Metal with some pagan influences (mostly lyrical) and a somewhat clean production.
Recommended Track: Seelenland
Their last LP - continuing the general direction of Srontgorrth but fleshing it out more. This time around with the cleanest production to date and a song that is by many considered to be their best: Meuterei.
It should be noted that Nagelfar generally tend towards longer songs, so their albums are not for the impatient.
Recommended Track: Meuterei
|26||The Ruins Of Beverast|
Blood Vaults - The Blazing Gospels of Heinrich...
From the deepest depths of the abyss, out of the ruins of Nagelfar rises Alexander von Meilenwald to continue his Black Metal career with his solo project. It's hard to pin down what exact style Meilenwald plays as he incorporates a lot of different elements. But unlike that may imply, the results are far from haphazard. This one of LPs with cleaneare production and the better of the two with more solidified songwriting than the one before.
Recommended Track: A Failed Exorcism
|27||The Ruins of Beverast|
Rain Upon The Impure
His second LP that laid the foundation for his style now. All songs apart from the interludes go beyond the 10 minute mark so patience for things to unfold is a must when listening to this. In comparison to Blood Vaults, this LP also his trademark lo-fi production that works incredibly well with his style.
Recommended Track: Soil of the Incestuous
Another Wod-Van record. Gritty pagan Black Metal and extreme song lengths again. This is pretty much the opposite of the modern "fun metal" that people like to make fun of when they hear "pagan". It actually feels somewhat depressing.
Recommended Track: Schwertes Schärfe Beichtgesang
Auf alten Wegen...
And another Wod-Van record. Slightly lo-fi riff heavy Black Metal with an aesthetic that is slightly similar to that of Verdunkeln in some regards (which may be due to shared members)
Recommended Track: Requies Fili
|30|| ||Nocte Obducta|
Lethe - Gottverreckte Finsternis
Nocte Obducta during their gritty, filthy but already atmospheric black metal phase. For those who find that their Nektar LPs are too clean or for those who may dislike Dornenreich.
Recommended Track: Honig der Finsternis
Galgendämmerung - Von Nebel, Blut und Totgeburten
Continuing with another one of their more gritty albums.
Recommended Track: Closer track
Nektar: Teil 1 - Zwölf Monde, Eine Hand voll Träum
Probably their two most acclaimed LPs, this and the second part of this - I personally recommend you give both a shot. I will admit that I'm slightly biased regarding NO since I've known them for years and seen one of their last concerts.
The vocals on here have changed from the usual Black Metal screeches to some deeper growl-esque vocals and higher screaming (sung by two vocalists often in an answer-response fashion). For some people, this may already be too far out to call it Black Metal. I don't really care.
Recommended Track: Frühling: Des Schwarzenb Flieders Wiegenland and for part II: Und Pan Spielte Die Flöte
Another one of the classic staples of German BM. This band started out doing more lo-fi atmospheric stuff and did a bunch of stuff with Wintherr from Paysage D'hiver.
Recommended Track: Schwarze Rosen
Elixir of Sorrow
Not entirely as gritty as their earlier albums but still on the edge regarding production. The use of synths/ambient may turn some people off but I like it.
Recommended Track: Kerkerseele
Their last LP before the split-up and did Hoagscht or whatever it's called in 2012. I still view this as their last LP because I prefer it. Not as gritty anymore and unfortunately with use of a drum computer (although it doesn't sound terribly clunky) it has extremely strong tracks and standout songwriting.
Recommended Track: Findling
This is pretty much the more "earthly" version of Darkspace with a much more lo-fi production and lots of winter themes.
Recommended Track: Einsamkeit
See 36. I would comment more thoroughly but it's been a while since I've listened, use of strings here is very nice.
Recommended Track: Welt aus Eis
This is possibly his most "darkspace-esque" album, at times feeling similarly frantic and chaotic. It also features a slightly cleaner production than earlier releases but it still qualifies as lo-fi. Wintherr may actually be doing some of the best in the German scene.
Recommended Track: Ewig leuchten die Sterne
Dark Space I
Darkspace only got one slot here for space purposes (pun not intended). All of their material is similarly solid from my perspective. Darkspace usually also features somewhat muddy production that helps give the sound it's spacey edge. The production on the last Darkspace LP got a bit cleaner although they still retain their spacey and frantic style.
Recommended Tracks: None, they usually don't have standouts.
Welcome My Last Chapter
Possibly some of the best melodic black metal ever recorded. Another "classic staple" in that regard with incredibly tight songwriting and good riffs. This was also an early contact with BM for me. Lots of memorable moments here.
Recommended Track: Wings of Sorrow
Ending the Circle of Life
I actually didn't want to include EPs/Demos originally but then I just said "fuck it" there's too much good stuff in that regard. This is a split between Lyrinx (UK) and Austere (AUS), unfortunately it had to take up two spaces because they're seperate entries in the database here.
Both are pretty solid DSBM with a nice atmosphere. Do not listen if you're depressived, may want to get shitfaced, slit your wrists and dive into a dragon's lair.
Das Maerchen vom Schnee
And another winter-themed German BM album, what an incredible surprise. This is a 6 part concept album about some kind of tale. This also veers on the more atmospheric/depressive side. It also features one of the members from Aaskereia.
The Iron Hand Of Blackest Terror
Solo project by one of the members of Absurd - a mostly terrible German NSBM band. Listen to this instead, it doesn't feature any of the NS bullshit and it's much better semi lo-fi black metal about satan and hatred and more satan.
Recommended Track: In A Room In Hell
Dictius Te Necare
This features probably some of the sickest howls ever recored on a metal album. Another classic staple of the German scene. This band is also sometimes hailed as a founder of "Dark Metal". This album is already quite similar to quite a few DSBM albums that were released later.
Recommended Track: Tagebuch einer Totgeburt
German DSBM with lots of howls. Definitely nothing for people who are not DSBM fans. Odd fact: Asmodaios, one of the band members died from a head injury falling down a flight of stairs.
Only the Wind Remembers
Einblick In Den Qualenfall
And we've got another Wod-Van album. This is a very odd black metal band with lots of reverb on their guitars. It almost sounds like their lead guitar has been played in some gigantic underwater cathedral. It's an interesting sound although some may find that offputting together with their often mid-paced tempo.
Recommended Track: Im Zwiespalt
Weder Licht noch Schatten
Continuing on their general path from Einblick in den Qualenfall, this time even with some more tempo on some songs and 20 minutes less on the playtime.
Recommended Track: Die Letzte Legion
Si Monvmentvm Reqvires Circvmspice
And now we get at a more "modern/technical" BM band for lack of a better term that have generally been pretty consistent in the last decade featuring quite "technical" riffs While I like this album, I still think it's a tad too long.
Recommended Track: Hétoïmasia
Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum
Coming to Fas, similar to Si although what was to come in terms of their style was more closely approached on this LP with furious, thundering riffs and blasting drums - generally cranking the speed handle up to 11. I definitely prefer this over Si with a shorter playtime and less moments where I think "meh, I could skip this".
Recommended Track: Bread of Bitterness
Coming to one of my personal favorites so far, featuring some of their cleanest production (and less earache-inducing than Drought - which was still an excellent EP) this LP is an onslaught of riffs and drums.
Recommended Track: Malconfort
Continuing with more Frenchmen. These Frenchmen are in the tradition of folk infused Black Metal which can often go horrible but this record actually manages to fuse them together in a non-cheesy way. Features semi-clean production, cleans and folksy instrumentals and BM vox. Also: Damn good drumming for such a record.
Recommended Track: L'antre Noir
|53|| ||Aes Dana|
Similar to Belenos, except for the fact that they more heavily make use of the folk instruments and influences although they still retain their BM edge. Both veer into the direction of incorporating Celtic influences (kinda makes sense given France's history).
Together with Belenos one of the best bands in that field.
Recommended Track: Mannanan Mac Lir
Atmospheric Black Metal from Poland/Lithuana, if you're looking for an alternative to all the "Cascadian BM" and "blackgaze" and whatnot shenanigans, look no further than this. It's an atmospheric riff-fest with clean production and very interesting songwriting.
Recommended Track: II/III
Mit Raben Und Wolfen
Pagan Black Metal from Karlsruhe (a city I actually used to live very close to) - people in this band are super chill dudes making some non-generic Pagan BM with some actually not too shabby clean vox, good riffz and generally a more sad demeanor than most pagan bands. "Des Waldes frost'ger Hauch" is actually about some dude that apparently killed his lover or some shenanigans like that.
Recommended Track: Aaskereia
Dort, wo das alte Bose ruht
Continuing with their approach from Mit Raben und Wölfen and their pagan/woods/darkness theme and some more gritty BM riffs Aaskereia have put out another pretty good LP. As with Mit Raben und Wölfen, you should not try this if you don't like howls since that is vocal style often utilized by these guys. Bonus: You can actually hear the bass on this album.
Recommended Track: Pestttritt zu Hel
The Dreaming I
Pummelling USBM with some good riffz and a pretty bleak atmosphere. This LP definitely also has a tendency towards longer tracks with two of them over 10 minute and clocking in at around 9. Pretty clean production on this one.
Recommended Track: The Dreaming Eye
Lunn's 2nd best album to date from my perspective and one of the few USBM bands that also manage to capture my attention for longer than just a split-second. His style is not yet as versatile and refined as it is on Roads to the North but apparently that trip to Norway did some good to his songwriting (and brewing) skills. Production is a bit more muddy, pretty good drumming by Austin.
Recommended Track: The Death of Baldr and the Coming War
Roads to the North
By far his most mature album to date. After Kentucky (which was a huge letdown and haphazard as hell) Austin returns with fresh energy on this one and much more cohesive songwriting, fusing quite a few styles that shouldn't really work (and still don't for some people, e.g. the Bluegrass influences).
Recommended Track: Where Mountains Pierce The Sky
Hard to believe that one of the members of the terrible "Falloch" could put together two albums on his own like this one and Roots (with the help of a few other people). Modern black metal infused with folk elements that aren't overly cheesy or terribly executed. On this LP with the added bonus of Austin from Panopticon on drums. Features pretty clean production, a variety of instrumentals, clean and harsh vox.
Recommended Track: The Awakening
Not entirely as good as its predecessor, Aura but still an incredibly solid Folk Black Metal album with heaps of atmosphere and memorable moments. As with its predecessor, the song lenghts often don't stay under 10 minutes so nothing for impatient people.
Recommended Track: A Highland Lament
Coming back to my repertoire of German Black Metal again, I used to listen to this band a lot when I was a super misanthropic m/ kvlt teenager. This is also more in the realm of cleanly produced black metal that lies somewhere between DSBM and your general "overly lengthy atmospheric" black metal stuff.
Recommended Track: Blutstern (do not listen if you're depressed or tripping, you may be overcome to also "open your veins").
Doing an almost even 360 with this one, Todtgelichter are starting down their German equivalent of Cascadian BM route. Which wasn't that terrible to begin with (at least not on this LP, everything went terrible on Apnoe). This may not please generally dislike Black Metal this clean. Plus there's occasionally some female vocals on this.
Recommended Track: Café of Lost Dreams
Enter The Moonlight Gate
Solid Swedish melodic black metal from the 90s with some of the sweetest acoustic interludes/songs on a 90s metal album (Forlorn in Silence). This also carries some of the marks of Emperor with its fast paced, slightly muddy melodic approach to Black Metal. There's some nice utilization of acoustic guitars on this LP.
Recommended Track: Realm of A Thousand Burning Souls
Tales from Eternal Dusk
Solid German melodic black metal before they went all super clean and similar to Lord Belial, also some nice utilization of acoustics here and there.
Recommended Track: Crimson Tears
Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
Demon Burger before they became all disney and shit.
Recommended Track: In Deaths Embrace
...And The Lamps Expire
A sweet little EP of some atmospheric American black metal.
Recommended Track: Amid the Tumult And Clamor
Shaped By Aeolian Winds
Only listened to this 1 1/2 times but it's already pretty good stuff. A few longer songs, a few shorter songs. Nicely utilized instrumentation.
Recommended Track: Captured Within The Annulus
And here we are with more German BM. Anoter cleanly produced one, even with some piano and shenanigans like that. This is also a concept album about emotions or some crap like that.
Recommended Track: Thematik:Trauer
Norwegian Pagan Black Metal that doesn't need to many words, or shouldn't need too many words.
Recommended Track: Arntor, ein windir
Recommended Track: Todeswalzer
Recommended Track: Blodssvik
Nicht um zu sterben
Dornenreich before they became super poetic and no, this is technically not German BM. It's Austrian. Not super clean yet and nicely used synths and acoustics.
Recommended Track: Durch die Schluchten der Kälte
Bitter ist's dem Tod zu dienen
Dornenreich getting their pomp on and by pomp and I do not mean their hair. It's all about poetic shit. This time around also with clean vocals and more heavily used melodic instrumentals like acoustics and strings. Another one with very long songs so again nothing for impatient people. The vocals may also be something that requires getting used to.
Recommended Track: Wundenküssen
Il Etait une Foret...
A lame Enflammee, lame Constellee
Baldr Ok Iss
Trollskau, Skromt og Kolabrenning
A Thorn, A Blight
Throne of Depths
A Dead Poem
Aspera Hiems Symfonia
La Masquerade Infernale
Fields of Devastation
Salute to the Iron Emperors
Blood In Our Wells