Black Metal What is it? Black metal is a subgenre of heavy metal. It consists of fast tempos, blast beat drumming (basically, very fast drumming), unconventional song structure, some shrieked vocals, and highly distorted guitars that are played with tremolo picking (double picking). There were two waves of black metal bands. Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost were a part of the first wave. The 90's brought forth the second wave with bands like Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal and Emperor. A lot of people get a certain image of black metal, largely due to old school black metal. Black metal originated in the '80s. The lyrics were satanic, anti-Christian and a large number of BMs band wore the signature black and white make up. The times have changed a bit for black metal so I will run down some myths and truths about black metal so people can get a better understanding of the genre. The myth: Black metal is a bunch of people wearing corpsepaint, screaming/growling/screeching about Satan. All of their fans are gothic/weirdos and worship the devil. The truth: This is just another stereotype by people who don't actually know anything about the genre. Myth #1 - They all wear corpsepaint. Yes, many black metal bands do wear corpsepaint. It is basically the general 'look' of a black metal band and a signature of the genre. Fact is, not every black metal band throws on ridiculous scary clown make-up. Example #1 - Hate Forest Example #2 - Burzum Example #3 - Emperor Just three of the many BM bands that do not run to their local Halloween store and purchase black and white make-up. Pretty normal looking guys. No crazy look to them. Myth #2 - Black metal is all growls/screams/screeches. This may surprise you but, no, this is not what all black metal consists of. A wide selection of black metal is just music. Some are mostly music with very minimal vocals. Example #1 - Drudkh Example #2 - Astrofaes Example #3 - Burzum Myth #3 - They all sing about Satan. Besides the corpsepaint, this is probably one of the biggest assumptions about black metal. Fact is, not all black metal bands pen songs about Satan/Satanic themes. Example #1 - Drudkh Their lyrics are about Slavic mythology, seasons and poetry. Example #2 - Blood of Kingu Their lyrics are about Sumerian/Ancient Egyptian and Indo-European mythology and history. Example #3 - Astrofaes Their lyrics are about Slavonic pride and folklore. Though many bands focus on religious themes, not all of them are about Satan. Not every band worships the devil. Myth #4 - All of their fans are gothic/weirdos who worship the devil. Not to do any shameless self promotion but I think I look pretty normal for a black metal fan. I am sure there are other people here who like black metal and look like normal human beings. I don't believe in Satan, either. This is by no means meant to shove black metal down your throat and make you like it. This is just to educate you on black metal and seperate fact from fiction. A lot of people don't give the genre a chance because of the very assumptions brought forth in this thread. It scares people away when there is plenty of BM music that is extremely enjoyable and does not fit the stereotype of the genre. Hopefully, this will open some eyes and people will take a few moments to listen to some of it and appreciate it now for it isn't what they thought it would be. I understand that the harsher vocals aren't everyone's thing but bands like Burzum really do use more music than vocals so that would perhaps be a pretty good start for people who are interested in trying it out. You can even find a few gems on black metal albums that aren't even black metal songs. The song Smell of Rain by Drudkh was used to close out one of their albums.