09 February 2016

005 - The Playlist of Chapter 2

It has been AEONS since I've logged in to my NLBMe blog to contribute. I was surprised it was viewed more than 1300 times since its creation; I had deemed it improbable. I really thought nobody gives a shit - and perhaps they don't - but these views certainly were not all mine!

Anyway, I will continue where I broke off, and that's a short overview of what chapter 2 will offer - I am still, by the way, not finished fine tuning the document. This one deals with the sacred "First Wave of Black Metal". It deals with the nostalgic 1980s in which hair was curly, high, and wide, pants were ball clenching tight and metal vocalists often sounded like screaming girls. But it was also the era that introduced real corpse paint, bullet belts, an abundance of spiked leather, and a more than an average amount of Satan! Finally, metal had connected with the only true source it needs to acknowledge.

This chapter cannot start anywhere else than with the mighty Venom, whose first two albums Welcome to Hell and Black Metal have shaped the music I have dedicated years of my life to: black metal.

Naturally, the playlist progresses through the standard prime movers of the black metal scene of its days, the falsetto driven Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Sodom, Destruction, Kreator, and - as far as shaping a scene goes - the far more important Hellhammer and Bathory. Surely these bands were not the only ones contributing to the amorphous umbrella genre that was black metal - still synonymous with Satanic metal. Heavy and/or thrash metal bands like Future Tense, Second Hell, Skull Crusher (to name three Dutch ones) pass the light, but a band like Mötley Crüe as well. If it weren't for the mentioned pioneers of black metal, Satanic metal could have evolved from this glammy line (notice the black pentagram on the black cover; it is classy!).

The growing tape trading circuit and growing amount of people that were interested in releasing extreme music gave us a taste of the more extreme niches in far away places. Black metal planted its seeds in South America, where primitive bands like Sepultura and Sarcófago unleashed an avalanche of bands that crushed the fully drained heavy metal genre, the thrash hardcore crossover metal trend, and the boring hard rock that was terrible noise to the average Joe on the streets. Sarcófago packed more blasphemy, graves and bullet, belts imaginable and combined that with a primitive wall of sound that came straight from their black hearts!

Naturally, the 1980s offered more than metal as 'devil music', but those bands and/or albums are a rare breed. The inclusion is therefore limited and drawn from 'inspirations' of bands that appeared in the late 1980s. It's coming down to experimental artists like Zero Kama and Diamanda Galas to fill those shoes. And eventually, the metal part of the chapter builds up to the birth of what would become one of the defining bands of the genre - the Norwegian Mayhem.

But before this black metal could be borne, another thing had to emerge from the extreme metal scene, death metal. And that's where chapter 3 - and another blog entry - comes in!