Friday, February 3, 2012


February is BLACK METAL MONTH!!! As a heavy metal fan I enjoy many sub-genres of metal from Power Metal to Death Metal and Thrash to Hardcore. But no other genre of metal is as extreme and feared in the heavy metal world other than BLACK METAL! Known for their shrieking vocals, fast and heavy distorted guitar sounds, Black Metal is laced with occult and often Satanic themes. Much like early Black Sabbath, Black Metal's rise in popularity in the U.S. during the 1980's and their more extreme incarnations in Norway in the 1990's make Black Metal one of the most infamous and controversial sub-genres of metal. While many fans have their favorites and will argue until Hell freezes over who is truly black metal or just some poser in corpse-paint! This month CHERNOBOG'S BLOG celebrates Black Metal Month with a list of the Top 10 Black Metal Bands! So put on your black leather and spikes and slap on some corpse paint! Welcome to HELL...

#10 Enslaved - Considered to be a Progressive Black Metal band, Enslaved was formed in Sveio, Norway in 1991. The band incorporates both Viking metal (Vikingligr Veldi (1994) and progressive metal (Eld (1997) styling in their albums. Favorite Album: Below the Lights (2003)

#9 Darkthrone - Originally a death metal band formed in Kolbotn, Norway in 1987, Darkthrone embraced black metal in 1991. Darkthorne consists of only two band members; Ted 'Nocturno Culto' Skjellum and Gylve Fenris 'Fenriz' Nagell. The band stays out of the mainstream music scene but is an influential force in Norwegian black metal. Favorite Album: Transylvanian Hunger (1994)

#8 Gorgoroth - Based in Bergen, Norway, Gorgoroth took their name from a location in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings novels. Roger 'Infernus' Tiegs is the only remaining original member who formed the band in 1992 supposedly after making "a pact with the devil". Gorgoroth is probably the most overtly Satanic black metal band often using disturbing imagery in their music and stage performances. The most infamous of which is their 2004 show in Kraków, Poland which consisted of illegal religious offense (Polish law), nudity and cruelty to animals! Gorgoroth also refuses to publish their lyrics tablature and suppresses shows of fan-written covers. Favorite Album: Antichrist (1995)

#7 Behemoth - Formed in 1991 in Gdańsk, Poland; Behemoth was considered more of a traditional black metal band until the 1990's when they evolved using more occult and Thelemic overtones and changing their style into an even more obscure sub-genre called Blackened Death Metal. Recently lead vocalist Adam 'Nergal' Darski was diagnosed with leukemia. Favorite Album: Demigod (2005)

#6 Mayhem - Formed in 1984 in Oslo, Norway; Mayhem is considered to be one of the most infamous, notorious and controversial of all the Norwegian Black Metal bands. Along with their violent stage performances the band's history is latent with death, murder and destruction including the suicide of early vocalist Per 'Dead' Yngve Ohlin in 1991 and the murder of guitarist Øystein 'Euronymous' Aarseth by former band member Varg Vikernes (Burzum), in 1993. Of all their numerous band lineup changes, bassist Jørn 'Necrobutcher' Stubberud is the only remaining founding member. Favorite Album: De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (1994)

#5 Celtic Frost - From Zürich, Switzerland; Celtic Frost is one of the earliest European metal bands whos style changes range from black metal, death metal, thrash and goth metal. The band was active until they disbanded in 1993 but later reformed in 2001 until 2008 when the band officially "laid to rest" in 2008. Favorite Album: Morbid Tales (1984)

#4 Immortal -  Founded in Bergen, Norway in 1990 by current frontman/guitarist Abbath Doom Occulta, Immortal's distinctive face paint design has made them instantly recognizable in the Black Metal scene. Their original rhythm guitarist Jörn Tonsberg (Hades Almighty), was convicted of church burnings alongside Varg Vikernes (Burzum) in 1993. The band split in 2003 but soon reunited in 2005. Favorite Album: Battles In the North (1995)

#3 Dimmu Borgir - Formed in 1993 in Oslo, Norway; Dimmu Borgir is named after an Icelandic volcanic formation (Dimmuborgir). Although the band has had numerous lineup changes, Shagrath (vocals) and Silenoz (guitar) are the only remaining founding members. Known for their fast and heavy but symphonic style the band sites classical composers such as Antonín Dvořák and Richard Wagner as some of their major influences alongside heavy metal. Favorite Album: Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (2001)

Nergal (Behemoth), Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir), Danny Filth (Cradle of Filth)
#2 Mercyful Fate/King Diamond -  Formed in 1981 in Copenhagen, Denmark but after only two albums the band split up in 1985 as frontman Kim 'King Diamond' Peterson started a solo project, but then reunited with the band in 1992 until 2000 when the band went on hiatus as King again pursued his solo career. They remain an influential part of Black Metal history and has been cited by such bands as Metallica for their influence. Favorite Album: In the Shadows (1994)

#1 Venom -  Formed in 1979 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England in 1979, Venom was part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal during the late 1970's and early 80's and is credited as the originators of black metal with albums such as Welcome To Hell (1981) and Black Metal (1982). Favorite Album: Black Metal (1982)