No, it’s not a new type of Teflon, or cast Iron; it’s not even “new”. Surprisingly, it a 30-year-old genre of Rock music that breaks the barriers of what is expected even from the “Heavy Metal Scene” of the late 1980’s. Parents prayed their children listened to “Big Hair” Rock Bands like Poison and Winger or even the Gods of Rock: Kiss and Metallica rather than the dysfunctional, musical cult defining, melding contrasting musical vibrations into a thrashed-out metal genre all of its own. Listed below are the Top 10 Facts about Black Metal music, some not so surprising, and some… down right shockingly sticky!!!
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10. Registration Papers Please…
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To qualify as a Black Metal band, the facts are pretty well known by enthusiasts: one must go partially insane and torture a black leather sectional to create your wardrobe, apply makeup so horrific that real corpses are offended, and the music itself is a theatrical form of heavy metal, including screamo, fast-one-chord guitar picking, satanic lyric singing, pentagram wearing, angst filled musicians focused on the ideals of depression and suicide.
9. It all Started with a Snake Bite
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Almost forty years ago, either a forgotten fact or an unknown fact about Black Metal is its beginnings. A real snake wasn’t present, but a snake’s poison was creating a stir. It’s not a coincidence that music representing the King of the Underworld started with a band named for snake poison. It was the band Venom who coined the term with their second album labeled Black Metal and started the trend as early as 1982.
8. Shock Treatment
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Many bands do not like to perform live concerts, but for those who do, they like to attempt to gain a reaction from their audience. These Black Metal Bands pull stunts and dark theatrics such as: wearing a pentagram or an upside down cross; their faces are heavily painted with corpse like make-up. For sheer shock value, the more dramatic artists will use horror movie props and theatrical blood in their performances simply for the shock value.
7. A Symphony of Rock???
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I will never forget the first time I heard Metallica’s One with Metallica and the San Francisco Symphonic Orchestra; it took the song to a whole new level with the dulcet tones of the violins, and horns mixed with the electric guitar and drums. James Hetfield, lead singer, already displays the symbolic, angry, morose feelings with the lyrics. However, when the song is played with the orchestra, the song builds one’s emotions even further. The music is rushed frantically; stings are flying into a heated frenzy, drums are slamming, guitars are screeching, Hetfield screams the final verses, displaying the storyteller’s emotions. The power is released through the music until both artist and listener are spent.
I can imagine that Black Metal offers the listener a similar experience when adding symphonic overtones, what are normally portrayed as angelic sounds, atop the demonic lashings of the Black Metal chords. It is a perfect example of how opposites attract and create a work of art. It truly is a Black Metal Shocking Fact that these two opposing sounds work so well together.
6. Wait… Music can Teach Something? Shocking!
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True musicians frequently are artistic geniuses because they often place metaphors, similes and allegories within their lyrics. Every genre of music has that genius whose lyrics touch their audience symbolically by making a connection to another song, a biblical verse, a time in history, a piece of art… something.
Black Metal is no different. While many artists in this genre are overly obsessed with Satanic ideology, even anti-religious themes all together, other Black Metal bands went different routes. A sometimes unknown and shocking fact is that there are highly educated and evolved Black Metal bands that wrote about such subject matter as: folklore, J.R.R. Tolkein’s books, pop culture, and expressed very strong political beliefs in their lyrics.
5. Violence associated with Black Metal? No Way….
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With the overall design of Black Metal, one really shouldn’t be surprised or shocked that some form of violence should occur; however, some of the events that happened are dancing on macabre. Some of the more shocking Black Metal deaths made world wise news, others were searched a little further on the internet; I’m certain with a little more digging one would find even more shocking stories.
- In the early 1990’s throughout Norway, churches were being burnt by musicians from band Mayhem and Emperor.
- Dead, lead sing of Mayhem, commits suicide by shooting himself.
- Bandmate Euronymous takes pictures of Dead’s body and makes jewelry from his skull.
- Retaliation occurs when another bandmember and aid from a different Black Metal group member murder Euronymous by stabbing him over 23 times. Talk about Black Metal!!
- The National Socialist movement within musicians of Black Metal had them performing hate crimes of murder. Mobus (17), of Absurd, with 2 others killed an adolescent younger than them.
- At least 2 recorded murders of gay men in Norway occurred at the hands of Black Metal group members.
- A 41-year-old man is tortured for several hours while at Gorgoroth’s, lead singer, Gaahl’s home.
- A crazed fan killed bassist and vocalist Samong Traisattha of Surrender of Divinity.
4. Once you go Unblack…
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In the music world, it would just make too much since to have White Metal. In my mind, White Metal implies the opposite of Black Metal in some scenario. Nope! A fact about Black Metal that’s just a fact: Artists who perform Black Metal, but choose not to make it dark and demonic, who rather make music with Christian over tones and themes have chosen to call the genre Unblack Metal. Why? I’m at a loss in this decision. Just the facts, mam!
3. The Random Hot Girl with Talent???
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What do you add to high pitched guitar riffing, tri-tones, feverish high-pitched screams, rapid tempos, bizarre lyrics, instrumentals and subject matter, and occasionally a symphonic orchestra as backup? Why a sporadic operatic female soprano harmoniously balancing against the Black Metal War Cry of course! The one thing listeners can count on is Black Metal music pushes the envelope on what is conventional, and occasionally it sounds spectacular. Another example of a shocking Black Metal fact comes to light!
2. Personal Theory: Tim Burton is a Closet Black Metal Head
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I am not a huge fan of Tim Burton. Don’t hate me; I think all his work is too similar, nothing he does is original; it all looks the same, and I have figured out what all of his movies have been copying: Black Metal.
Let’s Compare Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands with Black Metal
- Became popular in late 1980’s √
- Obsessed with color black √
- Obsessed with death √
- Wears corpse paint √
- Uses Symbolism √
- Has random, similar hot girl √
1. Still Going Strong
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If you thought this was a genre of the past, and your children were safe, you were wrong. Black Metal is as strong as ever. Artists are hitting Billboard’s Music Charts and thousands of fans flock to multiple day music fests featuring the leaders in today’s leaders of this powerful music genre.
Every music genre has its beginning points, its own style and subset of rules and guidelines most artists of the genre follow. Each genre has some interesting facts, it’s shocking facts, and it’s little known or unknown facts; some of you may remember or might be shocked to know that at one point churches across the globe tried to ban Elvis Presley from performing his hip movements on live television, he was too scandalous; he was also the King.
Before and after reading facts about an artist or a genre of music listen to some of the music, read some of the lyrics, and form an opinion for yourselves. Don’t be lemmings. There will always be a non-conformist, envelope pushing radical, trying to make a difference through their music, and that’s ok too. If we raise our children to think for themselves and to be leaders not followers, then they, too will be o.k. Just, don’t let them listen to rap.