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Black Metal History

Blastbeat From The Past – A Black Metal History Lesson: 1985 – 1989

We kicked this series off last year with an initial installment tracing the origins of black metal up through 1984. Picking up in 1985 we're still very much in "proto"-black metal mode for the most part. We're getting there, though.

We kicked this series off last year with an initial installment tracing the origins of black metal up through 1984. Picking up in 1985 we're still very much in "proto"-black metal mode for the most part. We're getting there, though.

We kicked this series off last year with an initial installment tracing the origins of black metal up through 1984. Picking up in 1985 we're still very much in "proto"-black metal mode for the most part… yeah, sorry, not to sound like a backmasked record but Venom didn't "invent" black metal any more than Onslaught or Possessed invented death metal (see also: trump card).

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We're getting there, though. We've already seen Bathory make the most credible stab yet, and not to put too fine of a spoiler alert on it but it will continue to be the man they called Quorthon that continues to be the primary focusing force on the genre until Mayhem come along and apply a concrete, identifiable image – one that turns out to be all too easily reproduceable – that sets black metal apart as a lifestyle as well as a distinct genre of music.

In fact, with the rising popularity of thrash in the mid-80's the evolution of black metal would hit somewhat of a speed bump, as clean, technical playing began to carry greater currency than the raw, sloppy playing that characterized early attempts at Peak Heavy (even punk and hardcore seemed to be growing out of the "intentional demo" sound by this time). Venom was out, Metallica and Slayer were in.

Which is not to say that the mid-80's were without their blackened contenders…

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