Monday Metal Madness – Battle of the Black (American Branch Pt. I)

Looks like Within Temptation eked out Delain by one vote last week in the Dutch Symphonic Metal poll.  Congrats to them!!!

This week and my turn on alternating Mondays lets take a look at the modern Black Metal scene.  I will be pitting 2 bands from the same region together (namely the United State or Scandinavia) and it will ultimately lead up to the final battle of who is king of the modern Black Metal scene.  Note: all the bands I choose won’t be absolutely pure and kvlt, but will certainly fall into the Black Metal category (sorry elitists), and I will be choosing songs from the bands most recent albums to keep everything modern.  And if you are a fan of a specific Black Metal band let me know down in the comments (or on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media form you prefer) and I will include them in future battles.

Over the past handful of years Black Metal bands from the United States have been making waves and, in my opinion, giving the genre a very much-needed boost of new life.  This week the battle will take place in the dark woods of Western America between Oregon’s Agalloch and Washington’s Wolves in the Throne Room.

With a heavy North American Folk music influence Agalloch have proven to be one of the best and most original Black Metal bands to come from the State in recent years.  While there is a large amount of Black Metals famous dissonance and chaos, these guys have put some control behind it and added a good amount of melody to the music.  There is also a huge focus on texture and atmosphere which can be heard in the song I selected for their battle, “Black Lake Niðstång” off of Marrow of the Spirit.

Wolves in the Throne Room, like their contemporary in this battle, also have folk music inspirations in their music as well as a heavy focus on atmosphere.  But unlike their former they revel in the chaos and dissonance much more but churn out some beautiful music just the same.  They have recently enjoyed great success with their latest album, Celestial Lineage, cracking the Billboard charts which in turn led to the whiny elitists calling them ‘hipster metal’ and ‘sell-outs’, but I concur and say that their music is deep, inspired, and they did anything far from selling out. Enjoy “Thuja Magus Imperium”.

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About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on 2012-03-12, in Monday Metal Madness and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Ridiculously hard choice for me as I love both bands…

    In terms of BM bands I recommend:

    Drudkh (pagan black)
    Enslaved (prog-black, not heard the new stuff)
    Rotting Christ (melodic black, again don’t know new stuff)

    You probably know them already, but it’s worth mentioning anyway ;)

    • Was a hard choice for me also, but voted for Agalloch in the end. There’s something about that band that connects with me stronger.
      The reason I paired them together was that they both have heavy nature themes in their music and thought it would be an evenly matched fair fight.

      Enslaved is one of the combatants for the next battle (I’ll keep you waiting for the challenger). Their latest stuff is great, their most recent album, Axioma Ethica Odini, was a masterpiece, and their recent E.P. The Sleeping Gods was a great Black Psycadelic peice (which you can get for free from Honda Scion, lol, here http://www.scionav.com/blog/2011/05/10/scion-av-metal-presents-enslaved-the-sleeping-gods-ep/ )
      I’ve heard of Drudkh but until just about 5 min ago I never listened to them. Awesome stuff so far! Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. This was a hard vote. Both bands have a very similar atmosphere about them, like you mentioned. I went with Agalloch in the end. This is one of those fights that would go until the last round. Good choice in songs for this week’s battle.

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