(Andy Synn gazes into the abyss once more and finds four excellent albums gazing back!)
The debate about what is or isn’t “Black Metal” is probably one that’s never going to end.
And, honestly? That’s ok. Because as long as the debate is still going on it means that no-one has successfully codified and constrained the genre, leaving it free to continue to explore and expand its artistic boundaries.
Truth be told, I have less of an issue with bands being called “Black Metal” when they aren’t than I do with this weird idea some people (and bands) seem to have that slapping the label “Black Metal” on something somehow makes it good, or gives it some sort of veneer of credibility.
Let’s be honest, there are quite a few groups out there – some of them quite well-known – whose music would be just as good with or without the tenuous “Black Metal” tag which has been applied to them, but whose fans would riot and protest (online, anyway) if you tried to take it away from them, because they feel like they’d be losing something in the process.
Thankfully we don’t have to play any such semantic games with the four artists/albums I’ve selected for today’s article, as they are all clearly Black Metal, while also showcasing the vivid variety of both voice and vision which the genre embraces.