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Black Metal from Finland

Black Metal from Finland
September 25, 2009, 12:34:40 AM
Having enjoyed all of Berheit’s albums and the odd demo I downloaded a split they did with Archgoat (which is actually an EP from each band stuck together) and I thought that while Archgoat were not the most amazing thing to ever hit my ears this kind of music deserved further investigation. I have been wondering what other Finnish black metal bands are worth listening to? I have head the name Impaled Nazarene tossed around, what albums (if any) would be a worthwhile listen? Also I have learnt of the band Belial, do they have merit? Of course feel free to suggest other prominent or important bands of this style (perhaps even if they are not from Finland) or just Finnish black metal bands in general. I would prefer to listen to bands that more than three people have heard of and did not make their only release from a garage. Hopefully that will be a safeguard from a flood of completely obscure bands.

Re: Black Metal from Finland
September 25, 2009, 12:50:34 AM
My memory must be failing me, I'm sure there must be some other good Black Metal bands from Finland...I can only think of which bands to avoid at the moment (Horna, Behexen, Clandestine Blaze, Sargeist, Satanic Warmaster...).

As for Impaled Nazarene, the only album that has stuck with me is 'Ugra Karma'. Music to accompany the fourth reich.

Sentenced's classic, epic masterpiece 'North From Here' might also be worth mentioning here, but it's really a Death Metal album like 'The Red in the Sky is Ours' with more Heavy and Power Metal influence, and, I suppose, some aesthetic similarities to Black Metal.

Re: Black Metal from Finland
September 25, 2009, 02:00:14 AM
Tol Cormpt Norz Norz Norz is a great album. I like it far more than Ugra Karma. The opener shows this kind of insane grindy black metal at its best. The rest of the tracks are much of the same though, with perverse interludes of beastiality soundclips separating nearly every song.

Re: Black Metal from Finland
September 25, 2009, 02:05:33 AM
"Ugra Karma" is absolutely killer! I rarely hear it discussed here, but it's one of my all-time favourite Black Metal, despite its relative simplicity. One of the rare Metal albums that really ventures off into Eastern realms of mythology. I would also recommend "Tol Cormpt Norz Norz Norz", most of whose best songs ("Ave Satanas!", "Condemned to Hell", "Morbid Fate") can be heard on the fine "Decade of Decadence" compilation.

Re: Black Metal from Finland
September 25, 2009, 04:03:38 AM
Belial and Barathrum were both great - until they put out their full-lengths, wherein they apparently decided to "rock out," instead of letting the tendrils of a deeper reality manifest among the weaving of their notes. I try to avoid the kvlty "demos were better" response, but in these two instances, it's true.

Goatmoon is a newer black metal band from Finland that's refreshingly-not-bad. Ride for Revenge, similarly. Worth a listen, but that's as much praise as I can give it. Overall, Finland hasn't contributed much (in quantity - Beherit is an obvious master) to black metal, but a search for Finnish death metal should prove rewarding...

Re: Black Metal from Finland
September 25, 2009, 07:42:49 AM
Casual listeners might be unaware of the sheer amount and variety of black metal from Finland, because nowadays it happens to have the greatest ratio of bands or projects to population. This doesn't mean quality, but still there are many bands to hear out. I'll refrain from a longer study because I'm doing one on newer Finnish death metal (already lots of discussion on older Finnish death metal is provided), but will mention some of the key elements.

The absolute essentials to hear are of course Beherit, Belial and Impaled Nazarene, whose unique BM recipe was in the mix of grindcore, Sarcofago and lots of booze. Belial's mini-album "Wisdom of Darkness" was amazing, but the first full-length "Never Again" already will divide people, as it has great musical ideas but it lost atmosphere. Impaled Nazarene remained a quality band for at least five full-length albums and still remains maybe the only band who can play tongue-in-cheek crustcore influenced black metal without turning into a parodic mess. Check also early Barathrum if you like Necromantia and Countess; it's a doom metal -like groovy conjuration of warm evil. Early Unholy was more powerful, psychedelic doomdeath with black metal influences. I'm surprised how rarely their two first albums are mentioned.

Beherit and Archgoat (absolutely marginal in its time but nowadays falsely referred to as "classics") were major influences for the "war metal" revival in the late 90's which spawned a truckload of interchangeable bands, so if you want to hear more of that style you can always check whatever they are talking about at the Nuclear War Now forum right now. For Finnish examples of "war metal", see Annihilatus, Uncreation's Dawn (now Uncelestial) and White Wolves Kommando (a band probably not heard by more than three people). When the Norway mania took hold in '93-'94 it didn't stick well with the Finnish nature, somehow. The norsecore bands from Finland and countless imitators of Darkthrone and Emperor were mostly clumsy. HessianObscura is thinking exactly of that kind of bands. The best of the bunch were Thromdarr (with ties to Skepticism), Vornat (rare but downloadable) and Wanderer (re-released a while ago), each one of whom preferred the softer implications of natural landscape, unfolding melodies and somewhat heavy metal lead guitars much before Wolves in the Throne Room etc. existed.

Despite Satanic Warmaster's often maligned reputation, their debut "Strength and Honour" (heavily influenced by Absurd) was actually a blast of fresh air to the norsecore stagnation and produced a minor explosion of garage black metal "kvlts", for good and bad - Goatmoon and Kadotus are two young and healthy examples of these bands who worship the "true" sound and image. For more experimental horizons, there's Charnel Winds, Dead Reptile Shrine, Ride For Revenge and others who, depending on your views, are either hipster fakes or a return to the original black metal which is about concept and ideology, not pre-formatted sound. I rate them highly and discussed a couple of them in detail here.

Re: Black Metal from Finland
September 29, 2009, 08:17:56 PM
Arsonist Lodge ?