As winter slowly dies away and summer rears its ugly head, there is still one thing that can encase you in a cold embrace. I’m talking about the genre of black metal of course. Hypothermia from Sweden has only that sole intent in its mind and with it’s upcoming full length ‘Svartkonst’, the band aims to leave a lasting melancholic impression on the listeners. Masterminded by Kim Carlsson of Lifelover and Kall fame, this project has been churning out solid black metal records from the start of the millennium and it’s when they started experimenting with post-rock aesthetics that the music attained a sort of grim beauty to it.
This band has a palette that is unmistakably a smorgasbord of flavors and variables that brings out great depth and solid power within their music. Gormathon with their latest album ‘Following the Beast’ is a jammed mix of elements from a various number of bands that could be noticed while cycling through their songs. It’s as if the bands Tyr, Amon Amarth, Judas Priest, Suidakra and Holy Grail played multiple sections one by one and at varying intervals and sometimes even melding with the mix to create an authentic and original sound that echoes through like thunder in a storm, slow paced and powerful music pushed forth out in the open.
‘Reality Cleaver’ by Swedish black metal band Nefandus, is a record that presents black metal in a slower and more melodic light as opposed to the usual fast and abrasive kind. The third album from this quintet, the focus here lies on the songwriting and the sinister melodies rather than just trying to sound as evil as possible. It’s not to say that there is a lack of darkness in the music, as that is what truly characterizes a black metal album.
I grew up in a Norwegian small-town, and I can remember as a kid, black metal was something we heard about in the news in relation to church burnings, murder and people worshiping Satan. The music seemed scary and almost forbidden to listen to, and as a ten year old that was quite intriguing. I would stare at album covers at the local record store, debating whether I dared to ask to have a listen.
Musically speaking, doom metal and black metal are miles apart. One is a genre that relies on a bass heavy tone and slow droning pace. While the other is often treble high, rapid and rabid. Despite their differences musically, ideologically they are not that far apart. Both the genres deal with dark subject matters. Both are known to envelope the listener in a sombre and gloomy atmosphere. So now, we’ll take a look at a couple of songs from both the genres, from bands that thin the line of difference between the genres under consideration.