Black Metal

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Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Most secular black metal bands have satanic and violent lyrics, though some bands do not take use these themes and tend to focus on fantasy subjects instead. Christian Black Metal Bands do not have satanic lyrics, however.[1] Black metal was first developed by many different bands from across Europe, but was first popularized by the media attention surrounding several Norwegian bands and the various murders and arsons their members were involved in in the early 90's. Since then black metal has gained an underground following with fans and bands appearing all over the world. While less common now, the violence and mayhem that marked the early black metal scene persists to this day, with violence, killings, and vandalism inspired by black metal bands occurring sporadically but not infrequently across the globe.


The first wave of black metal was started in early 1980s. Bands like Venom, Bathory (named after an alleged serial murderer Countess Erzsebet Bathory) Mercyful Fate and Celtic Frost were developing a heavier and more extreme style of heavy metal.[2] Bands were strongly fascinated by the occult,[3] and bands were exercising black magic on the stage.[4] For example, Mercyful Fate's King Diamond belongs to the Church of Satan as well as many other black metal musicians. Black metal genre was named by Venom album named Black Metal,[4] and nowadays Venom and Bathory have maybe the greatest respect in black metal scene by modern black metal bands.[3]

Second wave of black metal was born mainly in Norway, by bands such as Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone and Emperor.[2] Those band styles were even more extreme than first wave and commonly the term "black metal" refers just to the second wave. The crimes associated with black metal were mostly part of the second wave rather than the first wave. Nowadays bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth have made black metal almost part of the mainstream.[5] However, many old school black metallers claim that modern sounding black metal by symphonic and melodic bands (like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth) aren't "true" black metal.[6] Despite not being considered "extreme" enough by some, those bands are still very dangerous and satanic.

Sub genres

Blackened Death Metal

An even more violent style of black metal, which also combines the vividly graphic depictions of killing that characterize the lyrics of the genre known as death metal with the music of black metal. The style targets Christians, and openly tells its followers to go out, torture, and kill the entire Christian population, as a means of earning favor with Satan.

National Socialist Black Metal

National socialist black metal (commonly abbreviated as NSBM), is a style of black metal that replaces the normal Satanic themes with lyrics glorifying Nazism, anti-semitism, Aryan heritage, white nationalism and the occult nature of the Third Reich. NSBM bands, while often criticising Satanic black metal bands for not focusing on racial issues, retain the anti-Christian sentiments of normal black metal bands.

Pagan Black Metal

Many black metal bands adopt idealogical tenets of Paganism as a way of opposing Christianity. Pagan symbols, such as rune script, sunwheels, Celtic crosses, and Thor's hammers frequently adorn pagan black metal bands covers and themes from pre-Christian European mythology permeate their lyrics.

Christian Black Metal

Christian black metal (often known as "unblack metal") is a highly controversial style of black metal that contains lyrics which attack Satanic ideology, glorify Christianity and are opposed to sin. Musically they are similar to secular and Satanic black metal bands. Because of the seeming contradictions between the music and message, Christian black metal is not widely accepted by mainstream Christianity or the black metal scene at large.

List of Black Metal Bands

  • Abruptum
  • Antaeus
  • Arkhon Infaustus
  • Barathrum
  • Bathory
  • Beherit
  • Bethlehem
  • Blut Aus Nord
  • Burzum
  • Celtic Frost
  • Darkthrone
  • Dissection
  • Dolorian
  • Emperor
  • Enslaved
  • Enthroned
  • Forgotten Tomb
  • Gorgoroth
  • Graveland
  • Graveworm
  • Hellhammer
  • Immortal
  • Impaled Nazarene
  • Katatonia
  • Leviathan
  • Lucifugum
  • Marduk
  • Mayhem
  • Mercyful Fate
  • Naglfar
  • Nargaroth
  • Necrophobic
  • Negură Bunget
  • Nokturnal Mortum
  • Nortt
  • Old Man's Child
  • Sarcófago
  • Satanic Warmaster
  • Sear Bliss
  • Spektr
  • Striborg
  • Summoning
  • Trollech
  • Velvet Cacoon
  • Watain
  • Venom
  • Wolves in the Throne Room
  • Xasthur

List of Christian Black Metal Bands

  • Admonish
  • Antestor
  • Crimson Moonlight
  • Drottnar
  • Extol (early)
  • Fearscape
  • Frosthardr
  • Frost Like Ashes
  • Holy Blood
  • Horde
  • Kekal
  • Lengsel
  • Sanctifica
  • Slechtvalk
  • Vaakevandring


  2. 2.0 2.1 Dunn, Sam: Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. 2005.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kahn-Harris, Keith: Extreme metal: Music and culture on the edge. Oxford: Berg, 2007. ISBN 1-84520-399-2.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Shash Media & Rockwrold TV: Murder Murder Music – A History Of Black Metal
  5. Dimmu Borgir Decibel Magazine
  6. Haikara, Karl: So you'd like to... Get into true Norwegian Black Metal