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Ill-Starred Son
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:24 pm 
 

So I've always liked the Dead Kennedys but today I just re-listened to most of their discography while working out and I hadn't heard Bedtime for Democracy in years and when I got to the song "Cesspools in Eden" my mind was blown with how heavy it was and how much like black metal it sounded.

I mean there's no question in my mind that it's their heaviest song overall and you really could just call this one particular track blackened punk if you wanted to.

I mean especially listen to the chorus at 2:07 and tell me that doesn't sound like black metal.

The links between different types of punk and black metal, especially crust, have become more well understood in recent years, but I never expected to hear black metal in a Dead Kennedy's song, and for 1986, regardless of genre, this is just a heavy ass track.

Thoughts?

https://youtu.be/9ewDZd2Heac


Last edited by Ill-Starred Son on Sun Sep 25, 2022 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KrigareTjovane
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Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:06 am
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:32 pm 
 

Doesn't really sound like black metal to me, not even the chorus. It's marginally heavier than a lot of DK though so I'll give you that.

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Ill-Starred Son
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:47 pm 
 

KrigareTjovane wrote:
Doesn't really sound like black metal to me, not even the chorus. It's marginally heavier than a lot of DK though so I'll give you that.


I don't know how you don't hear black metal type riffing.

I mean I've listened to lots of black metal and there's that same sound in the guitar, at least some of the parts. If the vocals were done by Quorthon I bet everyone would say it was blackened punk.

The very first riff it starts off with could be straight off a blackened-crust/blackened punk band's album.


Last edited by Ill-Starred Son on Sun Sep 25, 2022 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Benedict Donald
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:11 pm 
 

Hmmm, yes. Those first ~23 seconds def sound like black metal. The rest of the song is horrifically bad, but I loathe punk so my view is biased. But, yes, the intro is BM, to my ears.

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FLIPPITYFLOOP
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:38 pm 
 

There's also the old joke that black metal is just surf rock with distortion.......which isn't ENTIRELY wrong, really.

When you think of the playing mechanics in the guitar riffing that's involved (barre chords with distortion, either strummed or played as a picking pattern with notes ringing out together, tremolo-picked melodies and some power chord movements), there are many genres of music that share those same mechanics in different degrees (and of course they would, they all use guitar). If you're a huge black metal fan and are very familiar with the riffing mechanics, it's not absurd to hear those same mechanics in other genres and have them remind you of black metal (I hear black metal in Tool's Undertow - quite a bit of it actually). But we don't consider those genres black metal. Why is that?

One could argue that we then need to differentiate between the genres by paying attention to the melodic and harmonic conventions they all present (what tonalities make black metal, black metal?). This was actually a debate a long while back on this forum regarding Deafheaven being black metal or not, and I think it really is a GREAT argument. That said, in my opinion it falls apart because of the fact that there are more bands nowadays that we still put under the BM tent, but still don't follow those strict conventions (a particular one being tritones). I think the common denominator being the execution of the ideas from the other instruments as well - bass, drums, vocals, etc. which too are vital for the black metal aesthetic. This is a debate I don't have much energy to get into, but I'll say that in my opinion, the "tent" needs to be widened.

All my music theory nerdism aside, I can see why you heard some black metal riffing in Dead Kennedys. I hear bits of it too. But I think saying that "if you replaced Jello Biafra with a black metal singer, it would be a black metal song" is quite a stretch. I may be in favour of Deafheaven being BM, but I'd draw the line LONG before this.

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FLIPPITYFLOOP
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:24 am 
 

FLIPPITYFLOOP wrote:
There's also the old joke that black metal is just surf rock with distortion.......which isn't ENTIRELY wrong, really.

When you think of the playing mechanics in the guitar riffing that's involved (barre chords with distortion, either strummed or played as a picking pattern with notes ringing out together, tremolo-picked melodies and some power chord movements), there are many genres of music that share those same mechanics in different degrees (and of course they would, they all use guitar). If you're a huge black metal fan and are very familiar with the riffing mechanics, it's not absurd to hear those same mechanics in other genres and have them remind you of black metal (I hear black metal in Tool's Undertow - quite a bit of it actually).


This just reminded me of when I was teaching a student "Where The Streets Have No Name" by U2 and was blown away by how much post-metal aesthetic is in Edge's guitar playing (it's..."pre-post-metal" :D ). Then I threw on distortion.... Deafheaven is just U2 with shit-tonnes of distortion :lol:

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Lord_Of_Diamonds
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 1:18 am 
 

FLIPPITYFLOOP wrote:
distortion.... Deafheaven is just U2 with shit-tonnes of distortion :lol:

I always thought early 2000s pop punk and screamo with lots more distortion and reverb when I thought of Deafheaven, but now that you mention it, U2 with distortion makes more sense.
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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:13 am 
 

Lord_Of_Diamonds wrote:
FLIPPITYFLOOP wrote:
distortion.... Deafheaven is just U2 with shit-tonnes of distortion :lol:

I always thought early 2000s pop punk and screamo with lots more distortion and reverb when I thought of Deafheaven, but now that you mention it, U2 with distortion makes more sense.

Nah, they are mostly Envy with blastbeats. I only hear U2 in some of their later stuff.

As for the subject of the thread... what I hear is hardcore punk. Early black metal is mostly hardcore punk with a heavier approach and a dark aesthetic. It makes sense that this reminds you of early black metal. I even hear some surf punk mannerisms. Doesn't sound like what black metal turned into once Snorre and Euronymous did their magic with the riffing style but I can see the resemblance.

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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 9:51 am 
 

Black metal has also evolved to more resemble the same sort of influences DK were playing with. IMO, this entire song in the OP sounds like Negative Plane other than the vocals and drums. Also sounds like Predatory Light, Inconcessus Lux Lucis, basically any of those lower-distortion surfy bands.
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MeavyHetal
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:07 am 
 

Black Metal has strong roots in punk so it's not too surprising, especially given that both genres tend to prioritize rougher production and a "less is more" approach when it comes to musicianship.
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Lagartija
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 11:07 am 
 

DKs were always qute dark, the whole 'horror film about police brutality' thing, and that is by far their heaviest and fastest album (most Spanish hardcore punk bands cover tracks off this one). The chorus riff you mentioned does sound a bit Celtic Frost-y, maybe even black and roll-era Satyricon or something like that. Let's not forget they influenced a lot of people in the scene, such as Quorthon and the guys in Mayhem...
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CreepingDeath16
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 11:32 am 
 

If you want a better example of a non-metal artist taking their sound to an extreme direction and ending up sounding like black metal, there's HAM from Iceland with their song Trúboðasleikjari from their 1988 EP Hold (the first song). The other songs on the EP don't sound like black metal, but they sound similar to the first song, so what gives?

The problems with this kind of discussions is that they seem to approach "black metal riffing" as if it is its entirely separate and distinct thing born in a vacuum, and as if things can be "black metal in hindsight". More accurately "black metal riffing" is a combination of compositional elements, playing style(s), production/sound and instrumental accompaniment (vocals and blastbeats most importantly), with its roots in heavy metal, punk and thrash/death metal (although black metal can be argued to have come before thrash and death; I'm mainly talking about second wave black metal which these discussions are always about anyway). The importance of lyrics and image and a sense of belonging to a particular scene is also heavy, like it is in punk for example.

The Dead Kennedys song is vaguely similar to black metal in composition (lots of minor chords) and sound, but that's hardly surprising considering punk's influence on black metal. The HAM song has the compositional elements, the tremolo-heavy playing style, the sound and the similar vocals, but it's still not a black metal song, it's a really raw and grimy post-punk song.
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MRmehman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:57 pm 
 

The intro was a little black metal but the rest of the song really isn't at all.
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LilTito
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 4:16 pm 
 

The chords in the beggining sound pretty black metal-y, yes, but it's not like black metal invented minor and chromatic progressions. BM musicians were very influenced by punk after all

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doomicus
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 4:19 pm 
 

Reminds me a lot more of Dick Dale worship than anything else.
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Ill-Starred Son
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:17 pm 
 

Well, at least MOST of you hear what I'm talking about other than KrigareTjovane, even if you don't take it as far as I did, and I was admittedly being a bit hyperbolic. I just got excited when I heard the song and was surprised how heavy it was, which I'm sure many can relate to. I mean I love the Dead Kennedys regardless of the fact that they are certainly a hardcore punk band, and I like quite a bit of punk that has zero relationship with metal.

But to say that NONE of it even REMOTELY sounds like black metal is just absurd to my ears, but I will admit I went full on geek saying that it would actually be a black metal song if the vocals were black metal. It really sounds more like blackened-surf-punk, and many have noted there are similarities between surf rock and black metal in terms of riffing (I'll post some funny videos.)

As most have agreed, there are links between hardcore and crust punk and black metal, so it makes sense in terms of origins that there would be some similarities.

I would say IF it had a black metal vocalist it could be something you might call "blackened-punk", a bit like bands like Raspberry Bulbs or something like that.

Here's a funny surf-version of Mayhem's Funeral Moon to illustrate the similarities between some black metal and stuff like Dick Dale: https://youtu.be/p4Rk1xe9j1Y

And here's a whole album of it which I haven't heard much of, but I think the connections between surf rock, black metal and this particular DK song should be evident to most: https://youtu.be/1SyqQYNH1BU


Last edited by Ill-Starred Son on Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Ill-Starred Son
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:23 pm 
 

CreepingDeath16 wrote:
If you want a better example of a non-metal artist taking their sound to an extreme direction and ending up sounding like black metal, there's HAM from Iceland with their song Trúboðasleikjari from their 1988 EP Hold (the first song). The other songs on the EP don't sound like black metal, but they sound similar to the first song, so what gives?

The problems with this kind of discussions is that they seem to approach "black metal riffing" as if it is its entirely separate and distinct thing born in a vacuum, and as if things can be "black metal in hindsight". More accurately "black metal riffing" is a combination of compositional elements, playing style(s), production/sound and instrumental accompaniment (vocals and blastbeats most importantly), with its roots in heavy metal, punk and thrash/death metal (although black metal can be argued to have come before thrash and death; I'm mainly talking about second wave black metal which these discussions are always about anyway). The importance of lyrics and image and a sense of belonging to a particular scene is also heavy, like it is in punk for example.

The Dead Kennedys song is vaguely similar to black metal in composition (lots of minor chords) and sound, but that's hardly surprising considering punk's influence on black metal. The HAM song has the compositional elements, the tremolo-heavy playing style, the sound and the similar vocals, but it's still not a black metal song, it's a really raw and grimy post-punk song.


Yeah, I know what you mean, and I wasn't really meaning to say it was a black metal song (again, I geeked out a bit saying it would be one if the vocals were different) but I'm still serious that a significant portion of the guitar riffs in the song do sound like they could be part of a blackened-punk song or could even sound like certain less heavy black metal bands.

Of course black metal is about more than just the guitar, and I'm also talking more FIRST WAVE black metal, not what black metal became later, and I'm not talking about black metal as if it were in a vacuum. That's exactly why I mentioned the origins of black metal being linked to punk and how we've realized that so much more over the years.

I mean Dark Throne fully acknowledged it on albums like F.O.A.D., and I definitely hear some similarities between that and this if you were to make this heavier and give it a black metal vocalsist, as well as some similarities with blackened crust and blackened punk bands.

Like, if you were trying to have a blackened-punk band, and it had a vocalist who sounded like Quorthon, and the lyrics were satanic, and you had these riffs in one of the songs, I don't think people would bat an eyelash if you called it "blackened-punk", but calling it straight up black metal would be going too far.

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HeavenDuff
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 11:18 pm 
 

Intro riff, and the chorus part you highlighted in the OP have strong black metal elements. Like others pointed out, black metal took a lot of influence from punk, so it's not all that suprising. Nice find though :)

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robotiq
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 10:50 am 
 

Interesting.

Obviously black metal is influenced by hardcore and punk, always has been.

But.... I think the similarities people are pointing out here in relation to this song are more specific than that, and relate to the similarity in riffing style at the beginning of the song, and what was later known as the typical 'Snorre/Euronymous' riffing style from the Norwegian second wave.

There is definitely a chill in the way these chords are played. It is the same technique. Playing across two or more strings in the middle of the neck to form some sort of weird chord(s).
You can hear Voivod doing it on records like "Killing Technology", and it also appears in death metal too (see "The Trauma" by Pestilence), before the Norwegians got their hands on it.

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narsilianshard
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 4:08 pm 
 

East Bay Ray is without a doubt the most interesting guitarist in all of punk. His style and tone is like nothing else in the genre so I guess it's not surprising he accidentally hit a black metal sound with that intro riff.
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ZenoMarx
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 4:49 pm 
 

Dick Dale and David Gilmour. They're all over his playing.

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Acrobat
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 5:01 pm 
 

I’ve been a Dead Kennedys fan for twenty years and ‘Bedtime for Democracy’ is their one album that I consider to be weak (again, it might be worth a revisit). Well-spotted on the eerie coincidence of that opening riff, but the semi-tonal shifting and weird bent notes are quite common in, say, surf rock and Alice Cooper (two of the DK’s most prominent influences), so it’s not at all surprising that the song ends up being somewhat black metally. Similarly, with a different distortion, a different reverb and a screeching vocalist you can imagine ‘Soup is Good Food’ as a great Burzum song.
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funeralravens
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 8:26 pm 
 

If you think that song sounds like black metal, I'm about to blow your mind. Check this shit out:

This is freaking second wave black/gothic metal from 1985! And from none other that Napalm Death.

CreepingDeath16 wrote:
If you want a better example of a non-metal artist taking their sound to an extreme direction and ending up sounding like black metal, there's HAM from Iceland with their song Trúboðasleikjari from their 1988 EP Hold (the first song). The other songs on the EP don't sound like black metal, but they sound similar to the first song, so what gives?

Wow, what the hell. If I randomly heard this song, I would 100% say it's black metal.

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Ill-Starred Son
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 9:04 pm 
 

funeralravens wrote:
If you think that song sounds like black metal, I'm about to blow your mind. Check this shit out:

This is freaking second wave black/gothic metal from 1985! And from none other that Napalm Death.

CreepingDeath16 wrote:
If you want a better example of a non-metal artist taking their sound to an extreme direction and ending up sounding like black metal, there's HAM from Iceland with their song Trúboðasleikjari from their 1988 EP Hold (the first song). The other songs on the EP don't sound like black metal, but they sound similar to the first song, so what gives?

Wow, what the hell. If I randomly heard this song, I would 100% say it's black metal.


Dude, you DID just blow my freakin mind!!

I've always been a huge Napalm Death and grindcore fan and fan of blackened grind, but I'd never heard that track before and that IS straight up black metal!

I see it's off their Hatred Surge demo which is why I've never heard it. I've been trying to get ahold of their early demos that came out before Scum for years but they are nearly impossible to find.

Also, what type of music do HAM usually play, and what band did Snorre play for?

Was it Ulver?

I looked him up in the artist search and that's the only key black metal band with that name that I noticed, but I don't know Ulver well, and then when I looked at the lineup for their early albums I didn't see his name on their which I thought was odd.

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funeralravens
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 9:13 pm 
 

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
Dude, you DID just blow my freakin mind!!

I've always been a huge Napalm Death and grindcore fan and fan of blackened grind, but I'd never heard that track before and that IS straight up black metal!

I see it's off their Hatred Surge demo which is why I've never heard it. I've been trying to get ahold of their early demos that came out before Scum for years but they are nearly impossible to find.

Also, what type of music do HAM usually play, and what band did Snorre play for?

I looked him up in the artist search, and it didn't look to me like he played in any of the key black metal bands.

I haven't heard of Ham before CreepingDeath16's post, but I believe they play gothic rock. In general, some heavier gothic rock/post-punk indeed does sound like second wave black metal. The Napalm Death song that I linked is a mix of crust punk and post-punk, I believe, that's why it also sounds like black metal.

Snorre is Snorre Ruch, who co-pioneered (together with Euronymous) the melodic black metal tremolo-picked riff that made second wave black metal stand out. He played in Mayhem and his own band Thorns. I consider Thorns' demo Grymyrk to be the first undeniable 100% second wave of black metal album. Of course, Burzum and Darkthrone were also releasing their own music at the time, but it was not 100% second wave IMO.

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Ill-Starred Son
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 9:32 pm 
 

funeralravens wrote:
Ill-Starred Son wrote:
Dude, you DID just blow my freakin mind!!

I've always been a huge Napalm Death and grindcore fan and fan of blackened grind, but I'd never heard that track before and that IS straight up black metal!

I see it's off their Hatred Surge demo which is why I've never heard it. I've been trying to get ahold of their early demos that came out before Scum for years but they are nearly impossible to find.

Also, what type of music do HAM usually play, and what band did Snorre play for?

I looked him up in the artist search, and it didn't look to me like he played in any of the key black metal bands.

I haven't heard of Ham before CreepingDeath16's post, but I believe they play gothic rock. In general, some heavier gothic rock/post-punk indeed does sound like second wave black metal. The Napalm Death song that I linked is a mix of crust punk and post-punk, I believe, that's why it also sounds like black metal.

Snorre is Snorre Ruch, who co-pioneered (together with Euronymous) the melodic black metal tremolo-picked riff that made second wave black metal stand out. He played in Mayhem and his own band Thorns. I consider Thorns' demo Grymyrk to be the first undeniable 100% second wave of black metal album. Of course, Burzum and Darkthrone were also releasing their own music at the time, but it was not 100% second wave IMO.


Thanks.

You know, Thorns is somehow a band that always slipped under my radar, so I think I need to start listening to them. I knew they were influential but never knew they were considered by some to be just as influential as Mayhem.

But what Mayhem albums did he play on?

When I looked him up it said he played for them from 92-93 but when I looked up the lineup for Mayhem's material from that era I didn't see his name or "Blackthorn" which they said was his moniker.

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AxeCapitol
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 11:29 pm 
 

The intro, yes.

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CreepingDeath16
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 4:37 am 
 

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
funeralravens wrote:
If you think that song sounds like black metal, I'm about to blow your mind. Check this shit out:

This is freaking second wave black/gothic metal from 1985! And from none other that Napalm Death.


Dude, you DID just blow my freakin mind!!

I've always been a huge Napalm Death and grindcore fan and fan of blackened grind, but I'd never heard that track before and that IS straight up black metal!

I will argue that it's still essentially punk. With the right kind of production it sure sounds similar to black metal in hindsight, but in actuality it's black metal that sounds like hardcore/post-punk than the other way around. Listening to stuff like Part 1 it's obvious where that kind of dark, brooding punk comes from, and it's not far-fetched to presume that early second wave pioneers listened to Napalm Death demos.

funeralravens wrote:
Ill-Starred Son wrote:
Also, what type of music do HAM usually play?

I haven't heard of Ham before CreepingDeath16's post, but I believe they play gothic rock.

They're a pretty unique band to my ears, really heavy post-punk with a healthy dose of metal in there nowadays. They're still around, and their 2017 album Söngvar um helvíti mannanna is fucking great.
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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 5:24 am 
 

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
funeralravens wrote:
Ill-Starred Son wrote:
Dude, you DID just blow my freakin mind!!

I've always been a huge Napalm Death and grindcore fan and fan of blackened grind, but I'd never heard that track before and that IS straight up black metal!

I see it's off their Hatred Surge demo which is why I've never heard it. I've been trying to get ahold of their early demos that came out before Scum for years but they are nearly impossible to find.

Also, what type of music do HAM usually play, and what band did Snorre play for?

I looked him up in the artist search, and it didn't look to me like he played in any of the key black metal bands.

I haven't heard of Ham before CreepingDeath16's post, but I believe they play gothic rock. In general, some heavier gothic rock/post-punk indeed does sound like second wave black metal. The Napalm Death song that I linked is a mix of crust punk and post-punk, I believe, that's why it also sounds like black metal.

Snorre is Snorre Ruch, who co-pioneered (together with Euronymous) the melodic black metal tremolo-picked riff that made second wave black metal stand out. He played in Mayhem and his own band Thorns. I consider Thorns' demo Grymyrk to be the first undeniable 100% second wave of black metal album. Of course, Burzum and Darkthrone were also releasing their own music at the time, but it was not 100% second wave IMO.


Thanks.

You know, Thorns is somehow a band that always slipped under my radar, so I think I need to start listening to them. I knew they were influential but never knew they were considered by some to be just as influential as Mayhem.

But what Mayhem albums did he play on?

When I looked him up it said he played for them from 92-93 but when I looked up the lineup for Mayhem's material from that era I didn't see his name or "Blackthorn" which they said was his moniker.

He helped write several of the songs in De mysteriis dom Sathanas. He and Euronymous also materialized the characteristic tremolo pick riffing in black metal. Now, I don't think Thorns as a band are nowhere near as influential as Mayhem but Snorre certainly was.

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funeralravens
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 5:42 am 
 

CreepingDeath16 wrote:
I will argue that it's still essentially punk. With the right kind of production it sure sounds similar to black metal in hindsight, but in actuality it's black metal that sounds like hardcore/post-punk than the other way around. Listening to stuff like Part 1 it's obvious where that kind of dark, brooding punk comes from, and it's not far-fetched to presume that early second wave pioneers listened to Napalm Death demos.

No question about that. It's the same deal as all the other "proto-black metal songs": the song has the black metal aesthetics and sound quality, may have similar vocals to black metal, but it lacks the actual black metal (and metal altogether) riffs. It just happened to sound somewhat similar to what black metal ended up sounding, and could probably share some influences.

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Runko
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:38 pm
Posts: 430
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 6:54 am 
 

funeralravens wrote:
If you think that song sounds like black metal, I'm about to blow your mind. Check this shit out:

This is freaking second wave black/gothic metal from 1985! And from none other that Napalm Death.


Cool song, but it sounds more like Swans and Killing Joke than anything else. Plenty of Amebix as well.

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Dav85
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:39 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 7:52 am 
 

I would say it’s more of a case of black metal having roots in punk too, be it intentional or because of “parallel evolution”.

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