The “aggressive” sound of black metal — the blazing tremolo runs, the blasting drums, the shrieking and rasping vocals, the often abrasive levels of distortion — is one of the genre’s hallmarks. But black metal doesn’t always sound angry. Even when the aggressive sound is present and accounted for, the music can also seem dolorous, haunting, hysterical, or mystical (among other sensations). Today’s collection includes many of those other emotional touch-points — as well as fury.
To begin, I’ve chosen two songs from Roaring Eye, the debut album by a one-person Italian project named Nubivagant. The album will draw attention because that one person is both Thorns and Omega, the drummer of Blut Aus Nord, Chaos Invocation, Enepsigos, Darvaza, Fides Inversa, and many other groups). Here, he performs all instruments, and he sings in a tenor voice. That’s right, these songs are exceptions to our rule, but well-earned ones because Omega really can sing.