The Great Black Metal Debate

Is  old-school, uncompromising black metal better or worse than the modern styles of progressive, atmospheric, melodic or symphonic black metal? Or are they equally good in their different ways?

This topic sparks more frequent discussions, debates or fights than most metal topics. Some fans are so biased towards either the old or the new approach that they steadfastly refuse to listen to the other approach.

I won’t take sides. I will make one technical observation which has nothing to with the music itself – modern black metal does generally seem to benefit from better engineering and production.

This video was posted on YouTube a few years ago. It’s still very relevant and interesting. So… what do you think?



Posted on May 4, 2014, in Ramblings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Interesting topic. Personally, I’m a much bigger fan of modern black metal as the genre in its pure form is a bit to raw for my taste. There are the few original bands I can get into fully (Emperor, Bathory) but for the most part the relentlessness of bands like Gorgoroth or sloppiness of stuff like Mayhem just don’t do it for me.

    Now that the genre has had time to breath like a good wine subtle flavors of what can be accomplished with the style are really popping their heads out. Retained in a lot of modern BM is the mysticism that draws me to the genre and the relentless Satan-buggery has taken a back seat to more ‘outworldly’ or nature themes. The modern stuff also has a much better grasp on the hypnotizing aspect that really initially drew me into the style.

    Of course, I’m dead tired of all the 3rd rate Emperor rip offs out there, but when bands like Agalloch, Deafheaven, Krallice, Wolves in the Throne Room, Liturgy (yes, Liturgy, call me a hipster if you must), Moonsorrow, Cormorant, Alcest, and The Great Old Ones come along, consider me a sucker for the modern style taking things in new and undiscovered directions.

  2. ChristopherMammal

    As presenter of the topic i didn’t take sides. As a commentator I share your opinion. I prefer more melodic forms of most music.

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