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Rites of Death

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For your listening pleasure, here’s Aryan Werewolf’s “Death to Christian Black Metal”.

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( played 15 times )

                         

Disparity, “Manipulation”
Falling on Deaf Ears: Australian Metal Compilation no. 41996

Disparity played a mixture of unblack and death metal.  Their only known recordings were on this Rowe Records compilation in 1996.

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nocturnal-iridescence:

36 Posts Christian Black Metal, day 17: "Doomed to Burn" by Verdelger

Some of the angriest unblack metal out there. For fans of Beeroth and Emperador.

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A word on unblack metal

hera-salander:

(also known as “What do they do? Build churches?”)

Unblack metal is a genre that is stylistically black metal, but instead promote Christianity in their lyric and imagery. Artists involved in this genre are controversial, mainly because black metal started as anti-Christian. It’s also suggested tat Christianity contradicts black metal’s nature and the individualistic/misanthropic ideals of many bands. The term “holy unblack metal” may have originated from the band Horde’s 1994 album Hellig Usvart as a play on Darkthrone’s slogan “unholy black metal,” used on both A Blaze in the Northern Sky andUnder a Funeral Moon.

In other words, underneath the music and the corpse paint lies proclamations for Jesus Christ. After all, considering all the subgenres in black metal, one would think that unblack metal would be embraced. After all, black metal isn’t restricted to just one image. According to Syhirious of Diamoth,

Imagine that a man bought an outfit that can only be used in a single occasion; the occasion happened and the outfit ‘can’t be used again.’ Imagine a fire occurs, and his entire house with his belongings was burned in that fire, except him and his outfit that was used. What would do the fool? The fool would say: ‘I’d rather be naked than use this outfit that was used,’ but what would do the wise? The wise would say: ‘the dress had a purpose and it was used, now I will re-signify his function.’ The wheel can be always a wheel, and the person who invented the wheel certainly has it’s copyrights in prehistoric times, but you can take that element and turn it into something new with a new function, the same thing happens with the music.”

Well, unfortunately, that is not the case. Unblack metal is still seen as something completely ridiculous in the eyes of most black metallers. However, the number of black metal bands carrying the typical (read: original) black metal sound are dwindling and there is a reason for it. The genre is changing, suddenly becoming an umbrella term for its various subgenres. According to Eric Honer of Thorns of Malediction,

“In order [for black metal] to evolve, it must separate to some extent. Though there were a lot of great albums of black metal in the 1980’s and 1990’s, it is not the only time good black metal was made, however. Elitist assholes who say true black/extreme metal died in the 1990’s remind me of a middle aged dude who glories in his high school football days. Those were the beginnings and the bands of today need to grow from that foundation more, rather than try to re-hash old shit.”

However, this does not mean that black metal is accepting unblack metal soon. According to Matthew Kelly of Dehumination,

“I think the idea of ‘unblack metal’ is preposterous and we should kill it with fire. Christian death metal was ridiculous enough (remember Mortification?) - the same people who wanted Slayer lyrics censored in the late 80s decided it’d be a good idea to go the Deicide route and try to shock people into listening to or appreciating them just to get their message of proselytization out or earn an imagined place in heaven when they died. The idea that black metal can be anything other than misanthropic and somehow ‘save’ people… it’s just ludicrous to me. At its core black metal doesn’t give a fuck about anyone else.”

Of course, everyone has the right to listen to what they please and, whether or not you agree with it, unblack metal exists in the metal world and it’s here to stay. Everything in the music world has a religious counterpart and you have all, at some point, listened to a couple of verses before changing the station. This means that black metal is evolving. To sum things up, Skraven of Nierty put it best:

"… if it’s gonna be pro-Jesus, fine[;] make me fear his wrath to the point where I shit my pants or make me want to hang myself for him. Don’t be passive about it. This is the cold intent black metal is founded on[;] you either got it or you don’t got it."

In the end, what does this mean for unblack metal? Well, for one, it’s music that is being heard around the world. It can be dark and heavy, even though it talks about Jesus. There is a fanbase that is voraciously consuming everything in this scene. We cannot stop the genre from flourishing, but this shows us how far black metal has come since its inception— and it will only keep evolving.

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Rare photo of Apostasy, taken some time between 1994 and 1998.
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Rare photo of Apostasy, taken some time between 1994 and 1998.

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( played 29 times )

            

Quest For Serenity, “Perils of the Deep”
Amidst The Tempest, 2013

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Skald, “Siaren”
2014 (forthcoming)

Easily the most exciting thing in unblack metal:  Sweden’s Skald.

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( played 9 times )

                   

La Chambre Ardente, “La Vendange Des Réprouvés”
Le Premier Triptyque De L’Apocalypse, 2008

Le Chambre Ardente describes their music as “Baroque and Puritan Black Metal”.

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I received La Chambre Ardente's Le Premier Triptyque De L’Apocalypse in the mail today, and I was struck by the marketing strategies the record label employed to advertise it.  Unless you’re easily put off by profanity (and if you listen to black metal music, you shouldn’t be), your immediate reaction might be to laugh as I did:  howlingly.

This is the typical response to the very concept of unblack metal.  The documentary “Murder Music” illustratively captures the bewilderment and frustration over the idea among some of modern black metal’s prominent figures.  Here we see the same thing, but turned on its head in an important way - the sense of bewilderment and frustration is reincorporated as part of the general black metal aesthetic of transgression.  In the same way that the average listener might be appalled and confused when listening to extreme metal for the first time, so might the dedicated black metal fan be when listening to this “Christian Brutal Black Metal” album.  The desire is something ever more extreme, ever more painfully paradoxical, and what could be more tense and unstable than Christianity, as Erik of Watain puts it, “using the devil” to spread its message?  What else could one think but what the fuck is THIS??

These promoters recognize the paradox right at the heart of unblack metal and, I believe, have unwittingly shown why it is right at home in the ethos of extreme music.

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Recently managed to find this rare demo tape from the Bulgarian unblack metal band Order of Splendour entitled “The Royal Seat”.  It was released recorded and mixed in 1998, the same year that Antestor’s landmark album “Return of the Black Death” was released on Cacophonous.
I’m hoping to digitize and share the music soon. 
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Recently managed to find this rare demo tape from the Bulgarian unblack metal band Order of Splendour entitled “The Royal Seat”.  It was released recorded and mixed in 1998, the same year that Antestor’s landmark album “Return of the Black Death” was released on Cacophonous.

I’m hoping to digitize and share the music soon. 

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