Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, blast beat drumming, raw recording and unconventional song structures.
During the 1980s, several thrash metal bands formed a prototype for black metal. This so-called "first wave" included bands such as Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. A "second wave" arose in the early 1990s, spearheaded by Norwegian bands such as Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal and Emperor. The early Norwegian black metal scene developed the style of their forebears into a distinct genre. Norwegian-inspired black metal scenes emerged throughout Europe and North America, although some other scenes developed their own styles with no connection to the Norwegian one.
Initially a synonym for "Satanic metal", black metal has often been met with hostility from mainstream culture, mainly due to the misanthropic and anti-Christian views of many artists. Moreover, several of the genre's pioneers have been linked with church burnings and murder. Some artists have also been linked to neo-Nazism, although most black metal fans and most prominent black metal artists shun Nazism and oppose its influence on the black metal subculture. Much like punk, the black metal community generally condemns the seeking of mainstream success or attention, preferring the genre to remain underground.
Famous quotes containing the words black and/or metal:
“In night when colours all to black are cast,
Distinction lost, or gone down with the light;
The eyea watch to inward senses placed,
Not seeing, yet still having power of sight
Gives vain alarums to the inward sense”
—Fulke Greville (15541628)
“And, indeed, is there not something holy about a great kitchen?... The scoured gleam of row upon row of metal vessels dangling from hooks or reposing on their shelves till needed with the air of so many chalices waiting for the celebration of the sacrament of food. And the range like an altar, yes, before which my mother bowed in perpetual homage, a fringe of sweat upon her upper lip and the fire glowing in her cheeks.”
—Angela Carter (19401992)