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10.08.18 Distorting the acoustic in metal(+progr

Distorting the acoustic in metal(+progrock extras)

The implementation of acoustic and classical guitar within heavy metal is fascinating. It can really change the dynamics and atmosphere of songs and at times whole albums. Here's a list (in no particular order) of metal album in no particular order, favorites from mine, which at times contains a high proportion of acoustic to electric and other times the ratio is pretty low but still impactful (I also added some extra prog rock at the end). Feel free to recommend what I missed!
1Allelic
The Smoke of Atavistic Fires


Shameless plug here for the 1st LP of my project coming out on Oct. 12th via The Green Man Label. Many of those following records have influenced me in a way or another as you will hear in the album. The album is streaming at HeavyBlogIsHeavy right now: http://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/2018/10/08/exclusive-premiere-bask-beneath-allelics-the-smoke-of-atavistic-fires/
2Bathory
Twilight of the Gods


My favorite Bathory period. Quorthon's blend of acoustic guitar and heavy riffs creates a mythical atmosphere throughout the whole album. A classic of classic
3Agalloch
The Mantle


Obvious choice and also my favorite album of all time. Only the music itself can do justice as why this album perfectly embodies this list.
4Moonsorrow
Verisäkeet


Such a consistent band with dense layering of instrumentation. No gimmick folk metal laced with pure emotion.
5Rapture
Futile


Such an underrated band. The acoustic pops out here and there and is really mixed low when layered during the heavy parts but brings the whole part up when it's used.
6Alcest
Souvenirs D'Un Autre Monde


When Neige created a modern classic. With the inclusion of "direct input" classical guitar or something like that, the songs get this dream-like feel throughout the record.
7Ulver
Bergtatt - Et eeventyr i 5 capitler


The record that inspired many albums on this list, I don't think I need to say more.
8Voivod
The Wake


Very subtle use of acoustic but it is still used throughout the record to great effectiveness. Never has Voivod used it so much on any record before and it sounds great.
9Insomnium
Since the Day It All Came Down


Their ultra reverby acoustic guitar sound is awesome and they implement it so well within their music
10Falls of Rauros
Hail Wind and Hewn Oak


Another nature-driven bm from Maine, with acoustic found in both interludes/softer moments and buried under the heavy riffs.
11Winterfylleth
The Divination Of Antiquity


Acoustic is used sparsely here, but just listen to Whisper of the Elements or A Careworn Heart
12Dissection
The Somberlain


Interludes give breath and an earthiness to an album full of icy riffs and blasts.
13October Falls
The Womb of Primordial Nature


The first metal LP since October Falls' neofolk beginnings carried the folk elements of Marras within a very melodic and melancholic take on black metal.
14Vintersorg
Odemarkens Son


One of the most underrated band in the folk/bm sphere. Check out the riffs on Svaltvinter and Offerbacken or the emotive soloing on Pa Landet.
15Swallow the Sun
Songs From The North I, II & III


Amazing band. LP#1 has the crushing riffs interlaced with gorgeous acoustic playing. LP#2 has some really beautiful moments with amazing melodies on the acoustic.
16Mournful Congregation
The Monad of Creation


MC always has a strong acoustic presence within their albums with at least 1 song almost entirely acoustic. When the Weeping Dawn Beheld its Mortal Thirst is a true funeral doom acoustic dirge with insanely emotive playing.
17Sons of Crom
The Black Tower


Taking cues from Hammerheart/TOTG-era Bathory but also second wave BM, Sons of Crom brings the electro-acoustic epic riffs hard. Lesser-known band that needs more attention
18Falkenbach
Tiurida


Folk metal warriors Falkenbach use the acoustic in great form on Tiurida. Just listen to Where His Ravens Fly.
19Gris
À L'Âme Enflammée, L'Âme Constellée...


A very unique band from Quebec. The implementation of many other instrument aside from traditional drums/e-guitars/bass setup in metal is extremely well done. The songwriting and originality within such an emotional journey is what makes this record amazing.
20SIG:AR:TYR
Northen


Kind of like a mix of Viking-era Bathory and the stomping riffs of Primordial with incredible acoustic playing. This is a perfect example of how to incorporate acoustic guitar within the a metal template with incredible results in emotional power.
21Saor
Guardians


Andy Marshall is one of the best composer of modern times, period.
22Opeth
Still Life


So many Opeth album could have been chosen, but this is my favorite of them all with some of the best acoustic playing Mikael has ever laid on tape. To the opening riffs of The Moor and it's final break before the blasting end, to the Camel-inspired Benighted or the majestic closing of the death metal power ballad Face of Melinda, this record is the epitome of acoustic infused prog-death metal.
23Vinterland
Welcome My Last Chapter


Classic Swedish meloblack record from the 90's with Swano production and ice cold riffs often conjured with layers of acoustic greatness.
24Satyricon
Dark Medieval Times


A classic 2nd wave BM example with a strong emphasis on acoustic either in the softer moments or layered with the timeless blizzard sounding high-gain/treble/reverb distorted guitar tone.
25Obscura
Omnivium


Might seem like an odd choice, but listen to Septuagint, Prismal Dawn or Celestial Spheres too see how the effective the acoustic intro/breaks within the extremely wild and progressive DM style is.
26Primordial
A Journey's End


True Irish Metal, a unique conconction of so many genres yet that sounds only like Primordial. Early Primordial is filled with insane acoustic moments within grandiose heavy electric riffing and seem to be somewhat overlooked to post The Gathering Wilderness albums (which also contains great acoustic parts). The more Primordial, the better!
27Oak Pantheon
From a Whisper


Taking cues from the great Agalloch, these guys really pulled off the acoustic marriage of atmospheric black/folk the right way with cuts like We Will Tear Down the Gods, The Ground Beneath You and Roots of Man.
28Nechochwen
Heart of Akamon


Brilliant compositions where Native American folk collides with melodic black metal. Musicianship and atmosphere prevails.
29Macabre Omen
Gods Of War - At War


A slightly overlooked BM band from the Greece scene that owes as much to Viking-era Bathory, 2nd wave BM and their Greek peers in Varathron and Rotting Christ. Check out the t/t with perfectly balance of calrity and rawness which enhances the acoustic/electric pairing.
30Kauan
Sorni Nai


A true mystical journey, a cold tale told by music.
31Amorphis
Silent Waters


Amorphis' use of acoustic guitar is sometimes buried underneath the heavy riffs or at the forefront of the mix. They are one of the few bands I can think of that often utilize 12-string acoustic guitars (a trait that was omnipresent in the 70's prog bands - see at the end of the list -) and is again another element from their arsenal that make their music so original and unmatched.
32Katatonia
Sanctitude


Although I omitted the inclusion of "unplugged" albums, this live reinterpretation of their songs in an acoustic setting is amazing. Check out the live video as well on YouTube.
33Wolfheart
Winterborn


Wolfheart's acoustic playing pays homage to the land of the thousand lakes. The acoustic, interlaced or segragated with heavy doomish 7-string (which is quite uncanny for melodeath) riffs and tremolo runs, makes Wolfheart earn their place on this list.
34Enslaved
Eld


Even though I really enjoy post-Below The Lights Enslaved, their early period is truly amazing. The opening track to Eld "793(Slaget Om Lindisfarne) is on of the epitome moments of mixing acoustic and electric guitar within metal.
35Drudkh
Blood In Our Wells


One of the greatest and most influential black/folk bands. The pairing of devastating 2nd wave BM electric guitar tone and the "direct input" acoustic guitar with folky and heroic melodies is amazing.
36Aquilus
Griseus


An incredible composed piece that I don't jam often enough, but I remember the use of Classical instruments and acoustic guitar is amazing.
37In Flames
The Jester Race


The 1-2 punch of Moonshield and The Jester's Dance is incredible, such an incredible opening to a classic record.
38Borknagar
The Olden Domain


Folky and progressive black metal with Garm on vocals with lots of acoustic. Again, perfect balance of rawness and clarity in the mixing/mastering allows for an effective blending of acoustic and electric tones.
39Thrawsunblat
Metachthonia


True New-Brunswickian Black Metal. A really unique blend of melodic bm and East Coast Canada folk with plenty of acoustic moments. Check out their upcoming albun Great Brunswick Forest coming Oct. 19th.
40Ne Obliviscaris
Portal of I


NeO are incredibly skilled musicians, but most importantly great songwriters. Their use of acoustic guitar (but also violin obviously) is extremely well done and effective to build the peaks and valleys characteristic of their progressive and engaging songwriting.
41Varathron
Patriarchs of Evil


Patriarchs of Evil is Varathron at their best, a modern classic in Hellenic BM. There's plenty of acoustic interlaced with the thundering yet highly melodic riffs of this album.
42Witherfall
Nocturnes and Requiems


Combine Symphony X virtuosity (without the self-indulgence) with King Diamond's theatrics and atmosphere and you get these guys. A lot of their acoustic moments has that kind of Neoclassical flair to them and it's amazing.
43Thy Serpent
Forests of Witchery


Another album that I haven't listened to enough (and I think by many others on this site) from the early BM scene. Hailing from Finland, these guys know how to conjure the spirit of folky/melodic black metal with their serious usage of acoustic guitar.
44Dark Tranquillity
Skydancer


Underrated album here. Where DT's sound was much closer to their brethren in the swedish meloblack scene with the ice-cold atmosphere by way of tremolo heavy riffs and majestic acoustic guitar pairings with tracks like A Bolt of Blazing Gold, Shadow Duet and Alone.
45Panopticon
Kentucky


Panopticon's album always have this raw and honest emotion passed through the many layers of instrumentation and devastating vocals. The day bluegrass met black metal had to happen.
46Hoth
Oathbreaker


Windir-y guitar pyrotechnics meets Opethian acoustic passages in 6/8 within very strong storytelling and songwriting capabilities.
47Neurosis
Souls at Zero


When the Neurosis became the heaviest band on the planet, without the need for 200 bpm blastbeats, screeching about satan or whatever and changed the metal scene forever. Just listen to t/t, Flight or Sterile Vision to hear why they belong to this list.
48Wolves In The Throne Room
Thrice Woven


The acoustic is used sparsely here throughout the album, but in a very effective way showcasing the dynamic songwriting chops of WitTR. From blasting avalanches of drums and trems to the soothing singing of a wood made guitar.
49Novembre
The Blue


Progressive metal with a gothic atmosphere and plenty of juxtaposed acoustic and electric riffs. Such incredible guitarists with a very unique sound.
50Riverside
Wasteland


This one has been on heavy rotation since it's release. Riverside again provides us with incredibly emotive and touching prog rock, with plenty of acoustic rhythms and leads.
51Dan Swano
Moontower


Alright, this is much more synthy than acousticy, but it still proving Dan is such a talented musician that can implement a wide range of instruments and styles to create something that is truly is own.
52Wilderun
Sleep at the Edge of the Earth


This one has been a slow grower, but there's lots of acoustic guitar and mandolin that are implemented in a really amazing way.
53Orphaned Land
The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR


Again, I have not jammed this enough, but I remember the conjuction of acoustic and distorted, proggy electric riffs passed through an Eastern music filter was extremely engaging and unique.
54Paysage d'Hiver
Winterkaelte


I am no Paysage D'Hiver expert, but I really enjoy his more bound to earth counterpart project to Darkspace. Check out the opening and closing tracks for the reverb-laden acoustic interlaced with the harshest of BM
55Empyrium
Songs of Moors and Misty Fields


I definitely haven't jammed Empyrium enough, but I still know that the infusion of acoustic within doomy melancholic riffing is definitely worthy of a top spot in this list.
56Wayfarer
Children of the Iron Age


Post-metal with a blackened heart. Acoustic is sparsely used in the quieter moments here and sometimes heavily burried under the thundering riffs.
57The Flight of Sleipnir
Skadi


A unique band that many are sleeping on, me included since I definitely need to jam the rest of their discog.
58Darkestrah
Epos
59Mastodon
Crack the Skye


One of the best progressive records ever made and the implementation of acoustic guitar heightens this mystical and majestic feeling of the album.
60Vallendusk
Fortress of Primal Grace


Vallendusk's use of major key/modes to create uplifting and epic BM is breathtaking. There are clear progressive leanings displayed on Fortress of Primal Grace (no noodles though!) in the some of time signatures and song structures so it definitely keeps things eclectic yet interesting which gives this record a high replay value. It seems these guys draw from a bottomless well of insanely good riffs and leads
61Harmonium
Les cinq saisons


Making an exception because there's no electric guitar here, but it's in my opinion there greatest progressive folk record with the utmost emotive and colorful acoustic guitar playing
62Genesis
Selling England by the Pound


Steve Hackett is a master of a musician both on acoustic (6 or 12-strings) and electric guitar with such technical yet with so much feel. It's worth mentionning Hackett's first 2 solo albums for the sake of this list.
63Jethro Tull
Aqualung


This needs no explanation regarding its relevance on this list.
64King Crimson
In the Court of the Crimson King


The heaviest record from the 60's (and heaviest band of the 70's). Master Fripp teaching a masterclass in songwriting while experimenting aplenty.
65Pink Floyd
Animals


Ahh David Gilmour has so many great acoustic cuts, be it the 12-strings on Wish You Were Here or the acoustic meets the crazy synths of Wright on Welcome to The Machine, but Dogs from Animals with its iconic strummed guitar part and batshit synths and leads all over the 17 minutes length.
66Rush
A Farewell to Kings


From the opening of t/t to the 12-string on Closer to the Heart and Cinderella Man, Rush clearly took advantage of the acoustic to create a classic album filled with dynamic songwriting.
67Ifing
Against This Weald


Recommended by Elynna and DungeonBoy
68Isis
Celestial


Recommended by Relinquished and Avagantamos
69Estatic Fear
A Sombre Dance


Recommended by ComeToDaddy
70Daylight Dies
Dismantling Devotion


Recommended by advancedwarfighter
71Alda
Tahoma


Recommended by advancedwarfighter
72Fauna
Avifauna


Recommended by advancedwarfighter
73Wedrujacy Wiatr
O Turniach, Jeziorach I Nocnych Szlakach


Recommended by advancedwarfighter
74Focal Point
Suffering of the Masses


Recommended by elliootsmeuth
75Realm
Endless War


Recommended by Casavir
76Spectral Lore
III


Recommended by THANAT0PSIS
77Behemoth
I Loved You at Your Darkest


Late addition by me
78Dornenreich
Bitter ist's dem Tod zu dienen


Late addition by me
79Metallica
Ride the Lightning


Rec by Egarran and manosg
80Emperor
IX Equilibrium


Rec by Trifolium
81Cradle of Filth
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay


Rec by Trifolium
82Green Carnation
Light of Day, Day of Darkness


Rec by Trifolium and ComeToDaddy
83Immortal
Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism


Rec by Alastor
84Hades Almighty
Alone Walkyng


Rec by Alastor
85Lament
Through The Reflection


Rec by Emim
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