Did you know that Norway’s leading export article is one of the most occult and gloomy music genres in the world? Many people claim that black metal was “invented” here because of the Norse mythology.
In the late 1980s, a range of Norwegian bands such as Mayhem, Thorns, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal, Satyricon, Emperor, Enslaved, Carpathian Forest and Gorgoroth arose and became world-leading in Black metal.
Black Metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, blast beat drumming, raw (lo-fi) recording and unconventional song structures.
- See also: Wine From Hell?
The early Norwegian black metal scene developed the style of their forebears into a distinct genre. This was partly thanks to a new kind of guitar playing developed by Snorre ‘Blackthorn’ Ruch of Stigma Diabolicum/Thorns and Øystein ‘Euronymous’ Aarseth of Mayhem. Fenriz of Darkthrone has credited them with this innovation in a number of interviews. He described it as being “derived from Bathory” and noted that “those kinds of riffs became the new order for a lot of bands in the ’90s”.
Norwegian black metal band Satyricon
Some members of these Norwegian bands would be responsible for a spate of crimes and controversy, including church burnings and murder. The scene was bitterly opposed to Christianity and organized religion as a whole. In interviews during the early 1990s, members of the scene presented themselves as misanthropic Devil worshippers who wanted to spread hatred, sorrow and evil. The truth was mainly that they wanted to be in opposition to society and to create (innocent) fear among the public.
Visually, the dark themes of their music was complemented with corpse paint, which became a way for many black metal artists to distinguish themselves from other metal bands of the era Norwegian-inspired black metal scenes emerged throughout Europe and North America.
There are only handful foreigners studying the Norwegian language. Many of them have discovered Norway trough metal music because several bands use Norwegian lyrics.
Text modified by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Photos from top: Wikipedia, NRK P3