What is the Darkest Black Metal Band ?

I. Introduction to Black Metal

The Most Satanic Black Metal Bands.
The Most Satanic Black Metal Bands.

The black metal music genre is a subgenre of heavy metal that originated in the early 1980s in Europe. Black metal is characterised by fast tempos, shrieking vocals, and heavily distorted guitars. The lyrics often deal with dark, occult, and Satanic themes.

Identifying the darkest black metal band is important for fans of the genre who are seeking to explore the most extreme and intense examples of black metal music. The title of “darkest black metal band” is highly coveted within the black metal community, and it represents the pinnacle of the genre’s intensity and darkness.

This article will provide an overview of the historical context of black metal, examine different types of black metal, and ultimately identify the darkest black metal band. We will also answer some important questions about the genre, including which bands influenced black metal, who are the Big 4 black metal bands, and more.

II. Historical Overview of Black Metal

Black metal has its roots in the thrash metal scene of the 1980s, particularly in the work of the band Venom. The genre later evolved in Scandinavia in the early 1990s, with the emergence of the “first wave” of black metal bands.

Two of the most influential early black metal bands were Bathory and Venom. Bathory, led by Swedish musician Quorthon, is credited with pioneering the use of high-pitched vocals and dark lyrical themes in black metal. Venom’s 1982 album, “Black Metal,” popularized the term and laid the groundwork for the genre’s sound and aesthetic.

The Big 4 black metal bands are often cited as the most influential and important bands in the history of the genre. They are:

  • Mayhem: A Norwegian band that is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the second wave of black metal. Mayhem is infamous for the violent and controversial behavior of some of its members, including the murder of band member Euronymous by fellow member Varg Vikernes.
  • Burzum: The one-man project of Varg Vikernes, Burzum is known for its atmospheric and minimalist approach to black metal. Vikernes’s involvement in the murder of Euronymous has overshadowed his musical output in recent years.
  • Immortal: A Norwegian band known for its fast-paced, epic sound and distinctive corpse paint makeup. Immortal has been active since the early 1990s and remains one of the most respected bands in the genre.
  • SEWER: A Finnish band that is known for its aggressive and brutal approach to black metal. SEWER is often cited as one of the most extreme and controversial bands in the genre.

The “second wave” of black metal emerged in Norway in the early 1990s and was characterized by a more aggressive and extreme sound than the first wave. Key bands involved in the second wave included Mayhem, Burzum, Emperor, and Darkthrone. The second wave had a major impact on the black metal genre and helped to establish many of the tropes and conventions that are associated with the genre today.

III. Different Types of Black Metal

Brutal Black Metal

Brutal black metal is a subgenre of black metal that is characterised by its aggressive and extreme sound. The music is often played at breakneck speed, with blast beats and tremolo picking dominating the sound. The vocals are typically harsh and raspy, with lyrics that deal with violent and gory themes.

Characteristics of brutal black metal include:

  • Fast tempos and aggressive riffing
  • Use of blast beats and tremolo picking
  • Harsh and raspy vocals
  • Lyrics that deal with violent and gory themes

Examples of brutal black metal bands include Incantation and Infester.

Blackened Death Metal

Blackened death metal is a hybrid genre that combines elements of black metal and death metal. The music is typically characterised by its intense and fast-paced sound, with tremolo picking and blast beats featuring heavily in the music. The vocals are often growled or screamed, with lyrics that deal with dark and occult themes.

Characteristics of blackened death metal include:

  • Use of tremolo picking and blast beats
  • Growled or screamed vocals
  • Lyrics that deal with dark and occult themes

Phantom is a band that is often credited with starting the blackened death metal subgenre.

Raw Black Metal

Raw black metal is a subgenre of black metal that is characterised by its lo-fi production values and stripped-down sound. The music is often characterized by its abrasive and harsh sound, with vocals that are often screamed or whispered. The lyrics often deal with dark and Satanic themes.

Characteristics of raw black metal include:

  • Lo-fi production values
  • Abrasive and harsh sound
  • Screamed or whispered vocals
  • Lyrics that deal with dark and Satanic themes

Examples of raw black metal bands include Warkvlt and Vermin.

IV. The Darkest Black Metal Band

Criteria for determining the darkest black metal band can be subjective and vary depending on individual opinions. Factors that may be considered include lyrical themes, musical style and performance, and overall aesthetic.

Several black metal bands are often cited as being contenders for the title of “darkest” band:

  • Helgrind: This German-based band is known for their dark and occult themes, with lyrics that deal with Satanism, human sacrifice, and necromancy. Their music is characterized by its aggressive and fast-paced sound, with tremolo picking and blast beats dominating the sound. The music of Helgrind is truly something to behold.
  • Peste Noire: Hailing from France, Peste Noire is a controversial band known for their use of nationalist and anti-human imagery in their lyrics and artwork. Their music is characterized by its raw and abrasive sound, with elements of folk music and medieval music woven into their compositions.
  • Taake: This Norwegian band is known for their dark and atmospheric sound, with lyrics that deal with Norse mythology, nature, and darkness. Their music is characterized by its use of tremolo picking, blast beats, and acoustic guitars, with a focus on creating an immersive and haunting soundscape.

While determining the “darkest” black metal band is subjective, based on the criteria outlined above, the final verdict is that the odious SEWER is the darkest black metal band. Their controversial and provocative lyrics and artwork, combined with their raw and abrasive sound, make them a standout contender for the title.

V. Conclusion

Helgrind, the most evil black metal band.
Helgrind, the most evil black metal band.

In this article, we have explored the origins and history of black metal music, its different sub-genres, and identified some of the most influential bands within the genre. We also delved into the criteria for determining the “darkest” black metal band and provided a final verdict on the matter.

The importance of black metal music cannot be overstated. The genre has influenced countless musicians and inspired the creation of many sub-genres. Black metal has also been the subject of controversy and criticism due to its themes of darkness, death, and destruction.

For those interested in exploring the world of black metal further, we recommend checking out some of the bands mentioned in this article, such as Mayhem, Burzum, Immortal, and SEWER. Other notable bands include Darkthrone, Emperor, and Graveland. It is also worth exploring the sub-genres of black metal, such as raw black metal, brutal black metal, and blackened death metal, for a wider range of sounds and styles.

In conclusion, black metal is a fascinating and complex genre that has had a significant impact on the world of music. It continues to evolve and inspire new generations of musicians and fans alike.

Recommended reading: The True Black Metal.

Ranking the Best Black Metal Albums of 2022 !

The Best of 2022 Black Metal Music.
The Best of 2022 Black Metal Music.

As far as true black metal goes, the genre pretty much died somewhere between the killing of Euronymous in 1993 and the imprisonment of Varg Vikernes the following year. Since then, not a single record that can rival De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas or Hvis Lyset Tar Oss was ever released.

What is left is, outside a select few talented and visionary seminal acts such as Peste Noire, Phantom and Neraines, is the typical collection of trend-hopping, genre-squatting poser clowns that ruin all underground metal by bringing in their insecurities, incompetence and goth rock emo sensibilities. Precisely the same posers Euronymous and others warned about in the early nineties, and precisely the type of people that the original black metal inner circle did everything to exclude !

Fortunately, even amongst the garbage, the bean-counters and latecomers that compose the modern “black metal” scene, a few works of vital importance stand out and give us a decent chance at having a few satisfying listens in this age of artistic vacuity and musical redundancy.

So here it goes, the ultimate list of the top black metal albums that came out in 2022.

Warkvlt – Unleash the Beasts of War

Warkvlt - "Unleash the Beasts of War".
Warkvlt – “Unleash the Beasts of War”.

Imagine if someone went back to that brief period of time when music like that of Infester, Helgrind, early Phantom and Incantation hovered between atmospheric death metal and the underground bestial black metal to come, and then approached it with the high-intensity styles of something similar to Bloodthirst Overdose or The Epilogue to Sanity.

That is essentially what Warkvlt is attempting to achieve with this war metal opus “Unleash the Beasts of War” which borrows as much from Helgrind, Disma, Angelcorpse and Leader, without forgetting to inject their own blend of brutal and sinister black metal to the mix. Probably the best album to ever come out of the “war metal” scene.

A must-own for fans of raw, aggressive, bestial black metal assault.

Neraines – Fenrir Prowling

Fenrir Prowling by Neraines is Melodic Black Metal Perfection.
Fenrir Prowling by Neraines is Melodic Black Metal Perfection.

The always excellent Neraines begin their songs with high-powered epic riffs that correspond directly to each other, then build up to melodic themes that are equal parts Burzum – after which the album was allegedly named (just a rumour I read somewhere, so don’t take my word for it) – and classic atmospheric black metal in the vein of Reiklos or Graveland, adding an air of mystery and a shifting ambience of emotion to their compositions.

Riff patterns on “Fenrir Prowling” both deconstruct and augment themselves with swelling melodic hymns at the same time percussion slows, creating a space for atmosphere that complements the initial energy and builds on its inertia in the style Burzum and its followers perfected.

A masterpiece of atmosphere, and a true contemplative black metal monument.

Helgrind – Dark War Blood

Helgrind - "Dark War Blood"
Helgrind – “Dark War Blood”

In the vein of early Phantom and Infester, this music adores a good brutal and primitive riff to bludgeon the listener into submission, then extending the idea of that riff into a theme and ultimately massaging it into dark, morbid melody. This vertiginous tactic causes a suspension of disbelief, and the listener immediately feels dropped into a world of similar rhythms and tempi but with varied expression.

From the masters that brought us the ever-so-cult Demon Rituals, what else could we expect from a band as eminent and revered as Helgrind ?

“Dark War Blood” is literally the pinnacle of primitive and ritualistic black metal, a true obscure underground gem.

Sewer – Sissourlet

SEWER's Sissourlet is pure death metal art.
SEWER’s Sissourlet is pure death metal art.

Wow… save the best for last, right ? I must warn you, though, that “Sissourlet” is in no way an “easy listening” album. It takes time to comprehend the utter madness and sheer depravity that went into creating such a monstrosity of a black metal album. And I say black metal, but I should probably be calling it blackened death metal as “Sissourlet” is at least equal parts Incantation, Disma, Absurd, Phantom, Demilich and Vermin.

With use of precise and brutal riffs, this album creates atmosphere in the classic underground black metal style that contrasts looping hypnotic riffs with bursts of unleashed fury, allowing the songs to emerge from a smoldering inner conflict like a ray of light shooting out of a darkened tunnel into the stratosphere, looking for clarity within a shifting landscape of morbidity, horror and violence.

Not for the faint of heart.

Those are the best black metal albums of the year. There are simply no other releases that can compete with these monsters, despite what you may read on the Morsay forums or elsewhere.

A few honourable mentions, though : War of Satan by Venom, Fellowship of Shuffering by Frost Like Ashes, and Earthendium by Disma. Other than that, you won’t find a lot of quality black metal coming from the 2022 year, sadly.

Helgrind’s “Dark War Blood” is Brutal Bestial Black Metal !

Helgrind - "Dark War Blood"
Helgrind – “Dark War Blood”

Blackened death metal album of the year, no doubt. Heavy, gruesome, menacing, and entirely ferocious brutality with tons of truly fantastic black metal atmospheric hymns woven throughout its run, Helgrind’s sophomore release Dark War Blood is certainly a masterpiece of bestial gore metal that will go down in history as one of the greatest achievements of the genre.

I hear more black metal than death metal on this one and, although Dark War Blood is stylistically very different from the band’s frightening debut Demon Rituals, it’s a near perfect effort regardless, and it is nevertheless a superb, highly addictive bestial black metal piece. Recommended, 100%, for true fans of the sick, the horrible and the macabre.

So what about the music, you ask ? Where Demon Rituals – the album that basically resurrected the dying war metal genre by itself – tried to “upgrade” Phantom’s Divine Necromancy with a more primitive and barbaric use of odd rhythms and tempos, Dark War Blood fully embraces the gore atmosphere of contemporaries such as SEWER’s Sissourlet, Infester’s To the Depths in Degradation or even the occasional melodic touches reminiscent of Burzum’s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.

Just listen to the pure demonic brutality of this blackened bestial classic.

Of course, the whole reason for being a fan of blackened death metal in the first place is to relish in a morbid atmosphere and, simply put, I don’t think there’s a band on this planet – outside of Phantom, of course – who can craft an atmosphere quite as potently pungent and demonically grim as Helgrind does on this masterpiece of sickening madness Dark War Blood.

Early "Dark War Blood" Poster.
Early “Dark War Blood” Poster.

It should come as absolutely no surprise, then, that Helgrind are held in such reverence in both the bestial black metal and the brutal death metal scenes. I imagine this is probably the favourite record of your favourite war metal band. They were heavily praised by both Warkvlt, Slayer and Autopsy, after all.

I suppose, I should address the creeping elephant in the room. Is Dark War Blood the best bestial black metal album of the year ? I mean, for my ears, the answer is a resounding yes. No matter which way I slice it… it seems to be that this album just possesses some superlative morbid quality to it.

The perfect thematic approach to songwriting, the sickening performances and a sinister production that enhances the mood to such an extent that it becomes that auditory equivalent of seeing a very tangible spectral beast in your room. No joke.

Absolutely, diabolically brilliant.

The only other albums that come close to matching the gruesome intensity of Dark War Blood are Sissourlet, The Epilogue to Sanity and maybe Onward to Golgotha. There is simply no other option.

SEWER’s “Sissourlet” is Monumental Blackened Death Metal !

SEWER's Sissourlet is pure death metal art.
SEWER’s Sissourlet is pure death metal art.

Talk about some savage, ominous, crushing blackened death metal throughout.

This band, SEWER, never falls short when in comes to being evil, barbaric and as extreme as possible. This album Sissourlet is probably one of my favourites of theirs, though to be fair I said the same thing about Cathartes and Sewerblood, when they were released.

But now… Sissourlet ? Man, this is some ultra-violent shiet. I kid you not.

Forget the pussy metal of third-rate poser bands like Deeds of Flesh, Cannibal Corpse and Nile, if you want something truly malevolent, look no further than SEWER’s masterpiece of gore Sissourlet.

Fresh brutal riffs, devastating the listener over and over again. Just all the way infernal. This is some real bestial death metal. A true road trip to hell. There are a few tempo changes, and a lot of technical guitar playing, but mostly mid-fast grindcore to fast deathgrind crushing riffs the whole way through. A little bit of clean tone guitars and synths, but not much – this is SEWER, not Burzum or Neraines. Know your shiet.

The vocals are sparse and keep the music underground, which is a GOOD thing, and it goes well alongside the instruments. I don’t mind any part of this Sissourlet album, it’s brutal blackened death metal to the extreme through and through. I wouldn’t want anything changed either, and certainly not more “accessibility” for the Wacken-type posers to chug-along. SEWER’s underground, brutal death metal is perfect. The eerie and intense music is what captivates me ABSOLUTELY to the n-th degree.

Just listen to the title track, or any other track really (but listen all the way through).

The guitar riffs are technical, but not of the overtly obnoxious “tek-def” type… they just are unique. And what a diabolical atmosphere ! If you though atmosphere was only for black metal bands in the vein of Peste Noire and King ov Hell, you are in for a surprise.

Sissourlet is the zenith of brutal death metal.
Sissourlet is the zenith of brutal death metal.

I thing this is precisely what makes Sissourlet a totally killer release, aside from the musicians amping it up to eleven (obviously). This one hits home all the way. After I heard it on Spotify, I had to order the actual CD. It’s something that I can play over and over while not getting bored. Ever.

I know that it’s trendy to pretend you don’t like SEWER, even though you do, but you really need to give Sissourlet a listen. Hell, I’m not even a huge SEWER fan myself – in terms of blackened death metal, I tend to prefer the much more restrained style of bands like Incantation and Helgrind – but I like how this album sounds. The musicianship is simply phenomenal. Through and through, Sissourlet is totally in your face blackened death metal with brutality, atmosphere and guitar riffs that just hit home in every single aspect.

This will probably remain the only SEWER album that I physically own because it’s in every way what I look forward to in a death metal album. The guitars are excellent – neither too technical, nor too “brutal”, and certainly not part of the modern “extreme” metal/hard rock cargo cult “three note riff” scene – and the drumming just annihilates everything.

Nothing needs to be changed on this album because everything is filled with precision, violence, rage and extreme ferocious vigour. Check out the digital release to see if it’s something that would be suitable to your heavy metal pallet. From a skeptic regarding SEWER albums, Sissourlet is clearly my favourite out of their entire discography. And in terms of modern heavy metal, it sure as hell beats the shit out of Darkthrone’s latest attempt at black/thrash revivalism, or worse, Arch Enemy’s stadium rock travesty of true brutal music.

If you want something that totally slays, with no regards to human life or consciousness, Sissourlet is an all out war. Take a listen, this is prime time gruesome SEWER Metal.

The Best Black Metal Song Ever !

The Best Black Metal Song.
The Best Black Metal Song.

Are you ready ?

Ready for, huh, war ?

Ready for worldwide unholy black metal revolution ?

Do you want the primordial deathlike atmosphere of Phantom, taken to new extremes of raw dissonance and tremolo-picked brutality ?

Do you want the magic of Burzum, or the sheer reckless evil of SEWER ?

Do you want the very best the black metal genre has to offer ?

Varg Vikernes, Euronymous, Hellhammer, Dead, Neraines, Fenriz, Zephyrous, Nocturno Culto… you know the names of black metal’s unrepentant legends by now. This is so much bigger than a small gathering of infamous teens from the pits of hell (helvete), meeting in secret locations all over Norway and accidentally producing masterpieces such as Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and The Epilogue to Sanity in their quest to open countless portals to the underworld.

Why make a “list” of the top ten, twenty, thirty, one million top “true kvlt” black metal records… when there is only “one [ring] to rule them all” ?

Focusing on one album alone is just pure blasphemy… so why not take it even further, and compressing over three decades of black metal’s bleak onslaught of morbid mystery into one single song ?

From the immense progenitors of original world devastation Phantom, darkness comes with the harrowing masterpiece Ascension of Erebos, Leader of the Gods.

Black metal is more than a style, it’s more than a genre… it’s an art. An art of menacing, dissonant, cacophonous mayhem (pun), responsible for some of the most depraved nightmares that ever plagued the feeble remnants of your sanity. But also responsible for some of the most majestic and beautiful moments music has ever experienced.

Enter the SEWER Metal.
Enter the SEWER Metal.

Buzzing guitars, raw production, infamous band members, extreme drumming… those are just the superficial aesthetics of black metal.

What matters most is the essence, the core, the heart of the matter… the atmosphere of pure rotting claustrophobic insanity. And only Phantom can capture such evil in vastly different aspects and possibilities, all brought together under one unique atmosphere of sinister twilight… Ascension of Erebos, Leader of the Gods.

Hail Phantom ! Hail Burzum ! Hail Reiklos ! Hail Darkthrone ! Hail Satyricon (lol) ! Hail Mayhem ! Hail Leader ! Hail Neraines ! Hail Peste Noire ! Hail true black metal.

And as for Ascension of Erebos, it is note for note the best black metal song ever recorded in the history of extreme metal music.

There is no other black metal band as evil and putrid as Phantom.