After another month of listening to almost exclusively black metal, it gives me time to contemplate what makes for the best black metal, I think environment is a hug factor when you think about the important themes, the isolation of misanthropy, the anger at religion the shunning of mainstream beliefs. The egregore of the creative energy plays into this. I have said it before and it bears repeating that being south of the equator makes it harder to capture the chilling feel black metal should have. The icy drone of it's atmosphere. This might not have been as big of factor in the first wave, but the second wave has a more Scandinavian current running through it. To test this theory I went through my Last FM library and charted out where the music came from. I had exact counts that would support the ranking, But since this is may blog and I decided to make life easier on myself and just put a sample size of the bands hailing from each country to give a better idea who the top 10 exporters of black metal are.
Two of the genres most influential bands came from here, but the Swiss are too light hearted to pump darkness out in bulk.
Celtic Frost, Schammasch, Samael, Paysage d'hiver,
This one is a place that always surprises me , but Rotting Christ paved the way.
Hail Spirit Noir, Rotting Christ, Dephosphorus, Raven cult, Dodsferd-
Being cold and poor with a drinking problem makes for good black metal.
Cultes Des Ghoules, graveland, Kriegsmachine, Behemoth, blaze of perdition.
Starkly Militant with the skeletons from WW2 in the closet this one makes sense.
Falkenbach , Cold world, Wedard, ruins of beverast, Empryrium, Lunar Aurora, helrunar
Almost half of these bands are coffee shop hipsters with a punk rock past, the other half are very sonic and compelling.
Agalloch, Nachtmystium, Deafheaven, Tombs, Liturgy, Woe, Wolves in the Throne Room, Mutilation Rites, Ashborer, Valdur, Bosse De Nage, Abigail Williams, Weakling, Absu
It makes sense they should be out America as they have a much darker past a greater depth of poetic history.
A Forest of Stars, Winterfylleth, Lychgate, Venom, Cradle of Filth, meads of asphodel, Forefather , Anaal Nathrakh, Fen, Voices, wodensthrone, Svalbard, Caina, Ackercoke , Bal-Sagoth,Code
Not as poor as Poland, but they have cold dark winters and alcoholism to share.
Oranssi Pazuzu, Totalselfhatred, Sargiest, Archgoat, Horna, Moonsorrow, Funeary bell, Goatmoon, Belial, Beherit,impaled nazerene,Satanic Warmaster-Thyrane , Trollheims Grott, Kval, Circle of Ouroboros 15
Aside from the raw black metal most of the bands seems to have a more experimental sense of artistry
Alcest, Deathspell Omega, Blut aus Nord, Ofermod, Svart Crown, Merrimack, the Great Old Ones, Lantlos, Glorior Belli, Aosoth, Peste Noir , Anorexia Nervosa- Antaeus , Ad Homineum, Year of No Light, Spektr,Vehemence
Despite being a warmer , more liberal and westernized country there is more of a depressive slant to the black metal coming from here than the number one slot.
Watain, Dissection, Shining, Arckanum, Kall, Ofermod, Life Lover, Craft, Marduk, Nashiem, Istapp,Thyrfing, Funeral Mist, Bathory, Manegarm, Dark Funeral, Naglfar-
Does this surprise anyone?
Emperor , Darkthrone, Mayhem, Dimmu Borgir, Burzum, Immortal, Enslaved , Carpathian Forest, Aeturnus, Taake, Kampfar, Vreid, Ulver, Satyricon, Arcturus, Gorgoroth, Godseed, 1349 , Dodsfall, Borknagar, Urgehal, iskald , mare, AUra Noir,Windir, Faustcoven, Keep of Kalessin, in the woods , Tsjuder, Thorns, Limbonic Art, Nidingr