Here we go mid-way into Black Metal History month and midway into our top 50 black metal albums of all time. Now we get into the thick of things. Continuing to draw from every corner of the genre and globe. If you are just jumping in now I am only using one album by each artist. Most of the time they are ranked by what I have listened to the most , in some cases if an album would not exist if not for another album, the album that came first is ranked higher, since it is obviously of more importance. So here we go before entering into the top 20, which won't come til this weekend.
30-Samael- "Ceremony of Opposites"
Released in 94 this one crosses the first wave of black metal over into the second. There is a lot of groove to this album that influenced bands like Behemoth later on. The guitar sound on this album is mean as fuck. For when this came out it was one of the darkest and most sinister things going.
29- Deathspell Omega- Paracletus
An amazing album by a band that has made some amazing albums. This one is darker , dissonant and more angular than the other in a way that finds everything clicking in place perfectly. This is one of those class of 2010 albums. The took what Blut Aus Nord had done for French metal and added Emperor's ear for technicality and then raised the bar once again for French metal.
28- Sigh- "Scenes From Hell"
2010 was also the year my daughter was born which might be an ill sign considering how this explosion of incredible black metal came about then. This album takes the progressive slant they had given their sound and turned it on it's head.Defying the idea that the best black metal has to come from Scandinavia, this Japanese band really slays it with the odd blend of gypsy tinged progressive black metal that shows no trace of their heritage.
27-Taake- "Noregs vaapen"
It's mindblowing to think all this came from Hoest. The very fact this is a black metal album with banjo on it earns it's place here. Norweigan black metal that gives you all the frost ridden anger you expect , but not being content with blast beats alone. Even Hoest's raspy croak sets itself apart from the pack. At end of the day it's the song writing that makes this an album I can still put on seven years later and it sounds just as vital.
26- Negura Bunget-Vîrstele pămîntului
And yet again 2010 proves to really be the number of the beast. This time from Romania as this folk tinged black metal band comes across as almost a Dead Can Dance of metal in the way they crafted this exotic masterpiece. Don't get me wrong "Om" is a great album as well, this one just finds every nuance touching the right place. They display an excellent use of clean vocals in a way that doesn't come across as a good cop / bad cop trick.
25- Carpathian Forest- "Defending the Throne of Evil"
This album blends death metal and black n roll into something ugly, perverse and powerfully catchy. The songs work smoothly as classic metal. The vocals are nasty and every thing is dark as hell. These guys were always consistent and I going back to listen to this album makes me wish they would put out a new one as this embodies all things black metal should be with blast beat far and few between.
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24--Altar of Plagues- Teeth Glory & Injury"
This 2013 album was sadly the Irish band's last. It blends pounding blackened math rock in the vein of Russian Circles with industrial. The dissonance and darkness to this album help to give it a black metal feel. There are a few blast beats sprinkled in but they typically keep you guessing in a way few other black metal bands were doing at the time. Oppressive in it's anguish, they crush on this one here their other albums droned.
23 Primordial- "the Gathering Wilderness"
This Irish band has always retained a strong sense of themselves on all of their albums, so this one weighs heavily on the fact that it has my favorite song by these guys "the Coffin Ships" on it. Nemtheanga's voice is particularly strong on this album, and proves actual singing can still work on a black metal album.
22- Deafheaven - "Roads to Judah"
The Van Halen of black metal, with "Sunbather" this band took the genre and made it easier for Americans to digest. Their 2011 album was actually black metal with whats sounds to be genuine anger and emotion to it. So much so that it is able to compensate for not having the kind of darkness black metal is known for. So for hipsters who wanted to get into black metal at this time it served as an easy entry point. Few stuck around as trends shifted, though if you go to a Deafheaven show it looks like you are at a Mumford and Sons concert.
21-Weakling- "Dead as Dreams"
Here is a clear cut has of an album that needed to be here, because if it wasn't for this album Deafheaven would not exist. These guys are more depressive than shoe-gazing they came out with this back in 2000. So all American black metal bands pretty much have to bow down to this one.