Archive for the dead Category

If there is an afterlife…

Posted in black metal, black metal history, dead, mayhem, memorial, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 10, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

…I can’t wait to spin old Venom records and have a beer with Dead. Twenty-five years is a long fucking time, and I never knew you, but I still think about you a lot.

Rest in peace.


I got this image from Blogspot, and props to whoever cleaned it up enough that you can see that beginnings of that gigantic smile. 



Hey Dead

Posted in black metal, black metal history, dead, mayhem, memorial, norway, sweden with tags , , , , , , , on April 9, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

I didn’t forget you. I just got crazy busy and didn’t make a post in time. I’m sorry.

Keeping my reflections private this year, at least for now. Maybe I’ll spill later. Probably I will. But right now I can’t.

Suffice it to say that I haven’t forgotten you.

Hope your rest is peaceful.


Happy Birthday, Dead!

Posted in black metal, black metal history, dead, mayhem, true norwegian black metal, videos with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Happy (would be, and slightly belated by about an hour and a half) 45th to Pelle Ohlin, one of black metal’s godfathers. In honor of this day, I’m linking to the following video, which you will probably recognize as the famous Mayhem rehearsal footage video, in glorious HD! This magically appeared on the internet, as far as I know, in the last couple of days. It is lovely.

LOOK AT THAT SMILE. LOOK AT IT. His smile makes me smile.

Happy Birthday, Dead. You had a lovely smile. May you rest in peace always.


Happy Black Friday!

Posted in black metal, dead, marduk, mayhem, norway, sweden, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , , on November 23, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

Well, it’s Black Friday, and seeing as how I am a hermit and a misanthrope who doesn’t like to be around large masses of people at the best of times, I will be spending it mostly in solitude (my mom is visiting, so I’m not completely alone). Things are starting to wind down school-wise, and next semester is already starting to look pretty bright. I get to take one less class than I thought I would have to, so I’ll have some down time. Expect this thing, then to start seeing more updates within the next few weeks. Sunday’s a quick turnaround this week (like I said, I’ve had company), but I will do a post for next week sometime.

For now, however, I will spam you with some good ol’ fashioned second wave black metal, because it’s Black Friday, and there’s snow on the ground in the Twin Cities.


[My choice for my Facebook Black Friday post. Mayhem is obvious, “Carnage” less so]

[Jamie’s pick. You can’t go wrong with Darkthrone]

[Because everybody loves a bloody Mortuus rolling around in the dirt]

[Jamie informed me that there is a video for this song. Crazy! (No, I don’t know why it was on Vh1)]

[There we go. My favorite old school Immortal song, in honor of the snow on the ground]

Hagalaz’ Favorite Black Metal Vocalists

Posted in black metal, dead, funeral mist, marduk, mayhem, norway, sweden, true norwegian black metal, underground, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

A while back, Vince Neilstein from MetalSucks wrote a post saying that metal vocalists had outlived their usefulness. Most of them are crap, he said, and pondered the idea that the reason why we keep them around is because they fill a kind of void, that human beings just take comfort in hearing a human voice. He also advocated for more instrumental metal. [Here is the original post, as well as a couple of commentaries.]

Well, I’m sure you all know how I initially reacted to this. “GASP! But what about X, Y, and Z?! No! Vocals are as much an instrument as the guitar is!” The function of the metal vocalist is too important to just shrug off. I mean, we really do need some kind of human connection, and many of the vocalists out there endeavor to do artistic things with their vocals.  Of course, that is not always the case; I am forced to admit that Mr. Neilstein is right on the account that there are some extraordinarily terrible vocalists out there. However, since his post, I have been ruminating on some of the better ones, the ones on whose behalf I objected to Neilstein’s premise with such vehemence.

So let’s do it. Here are some of my all-time favorite black metal vocalists (in no particular order, except for Dead, who I tend to stick at the front of most things).

Dead (Morbid, Mayhem)

Some people say that Dead is famous simply because he killed himself and not because he had any actual talent. Those people are philistines and should be disregarded. Dead is a bloody brilliant vocalist. Although I would argue that his best vocal work is with Morbid rather than with Mayhem, I also think that I would feel less certain about that if we had more studio work with Dead while he was in Mayhem. Dead’s vocals with Morbid are more of a raspy death rattle than the shrieks that he incorporates in his Mayhem work. Both, however, are creepy as all get out, and his knowledge of when to apply which vocals and how was impressive. Dead also has the added bonus of not being a very good singer, which makes his “la la la”s on songs like Disgusting Semla extremely endearing.

[La la la la la!]

[Have some Carnage. You don’t need to hear Freezing Moon again]

Arioch/Mortuus (Funeral Mist, Marduk, Triumphator)

In the same vein as Dead, Arioch (or Mortuus, or whatever he is going by now) has a very unique vocal style. He claims that he considers his voice as an instrument. Jamie says that Arioch is the Whitney Houston of black metal, and I reckon he’s pretty much right. Not only can the man belt out some of the ugliest screams and groans I’ve ever heard, but he does so on pitch. There’s a certain note (yes, note) that he hits in “Anti-Flesh Nimbus” that makes me convinced that he is also a very good singer. The fact that he has managed to do these kinds of vocals for as long as he has (he’s been pretty active since about 1996) without damaging his throat is impressive. One of the most versatile vocalists I have ever heard, his voice ranges from majestic adulations to frenzied screams. In my personal opinion, the best vocal cords/lungs in black metal.

[Resisting the urge to post “Holy Poison” because I want you to hear the crazy screaming]

[Been listening to this song a lot lately. And people say Marduk are a one trick pony. Pssshaw, I say]

Dagon (Inquisition)

I really like Dagon’s vocals because he approaches the entire concept of black metal vocals from a whole other angle than most of his contemporaries.  Dagon claims that he found the traditional shrieks of black metal to be increasingly cliched, and wanted to approach the music from a different perspective. Thus, Dagon’s weird, croaky, and inhuman chants were born. If Inquisition’s goal is to ask us to meditate on the cosmos and the metaphysical, Dagon’s bizarre, yet somehow soothing, chanting provides the perfect commentary.

[I absolutely cannot wait for this to happen live]

Kim Carlsson (Lifelover/Hypothermia/Kyla/Life Is Pain/Kim has been in so many bands he has an “Etc.” by his name on Encyclopedia Metallum)

A very over the top showman, it is tempting to want to dismiss Kim Carlsson because of his seeming enthusiasm to bleed all over everyone and everything as well as his vocals, because to be honest, he doesn’t have that good of a voice. This is precisely why I love his vocals, however. The guy makes do with what he has, and his vocals, while they may not be all that pretty, have a veritable ton of feeling behind them. Kim Carlsson’s shrieks are positively (negatively?) agonized, and are all the better for their lack of finesse. That raw edge is just what the doctor ordered if you are feeling that your blood needs curdling.

[Never really could get into Lifelover, but I still dig the vocals]

[Now that I can get behind]

ICS Vortex (Arcturus, Borknagar, Lamented Souls, solo work, ex-Dimmu Borgir)

ICS Vortex has, quite simply, one of the most awesome voices I have ever heard. His range is simply amazing, covering every inch of ground between harsh growls and vibrato-laden falsetto. A very versatile vocalist, he has sung for bands of every ilk, including doom metal, black metal, and avant garde. Very few singers can claim Vortex’s virtuosity, and songs like Arcturus’ “The Chaos Path” are indicative of his skill (I’m pretty sure they wrote that song just for him, or he wrote it, or something. I am convinced that there is not another vocalist in the world who could do justice to it in the way Vortex does). Also, Vortex seems like just about the nicest guy on the entire planet, with a goofy stage presence and a friendly smile. He is really good about interacting with his fans (he once left me a comment on MySpace back in the day, just, it would appear, to be nice and make a fan’s day). A personality to match his pipes.

[The best Dimmu Borgir song. No, don’t argue. I’m right]

Attila Csihar (Tormentor, Mayhem, and more bands than I could possibly ever name)

In terms of Mayhem’s vocalists, there seems to be endless debate as to who is the best. Attila, for some reason, often seems to get short shrift in this battle. I’ve never really understood why. He’s got a powerful voice, and he can actually sing as well (which is more than can be said for our poor friend Dead). His chanting on “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” is one of my favorite parts of that entire album; it’s instant chills. Also, Attila has a really fun stage persona; when I saw Mayhem about a year ago, he sang to a skull that he brought on stage with him and wore a cape. Besides his work with Mayhem, his band Tormentor (from his native Hungary) was groundbreaking in the early black metal underground. In interviews that I have seen with him, Attila seems like one of the kindest and most thoughtful guys in the black metal scene, making him someone I’d love to sit and have a beer with.

E (Watain)

Erik Danielsson (or E) of Watain should win the award for biggest lungs on the smallest vocalist. His vocals are powerful and his stage presence is mighty, and even though Watain is not the Erik Danielsson show, his charisma on stage makes it hard to tear your eyes from him. Multi-talented, he also plays the bass on all of Watain’s albums (though they hire a bassist to tour with them so that he can focus on doing what he does). I particularly love the way he incorporates his vocals into Watain’s songs; someone on the interwebs once described E’s vocals as “slithering” in and out of the music, and I think that perhaps that is the best way to describe it. E has a way of knowing exactly how to incorporate the lyrics into the song, and that combined with the sheer emotion he exudes makes him a formidable force.

[The first verse of this one is a good example of the “slithering” I mentioned]

Garm (Ulver, Arcturus, Borknagar)

Garm is another of those talented vocalists who has as lovely a singing voice as he has a scream. I love watching videos of Arcturus live and seeing Vortex sing the songs that Garm recorded with the band, because it becomes very clear in such instances what very different vocalists they are, though they have been in many of the same bands. Garm’s voice is a lot lower than Vortex’s, for instance, and he is much more comfortable with screaming and growling. Ulver’s early black metal albums are some of the most influential in the genre, also, and their later work, while often wildly experimental, is never not good.

[One of my all time favorite songs]

Abbath (Immortal, I)

Abbath may have the most instantly recognizable voice in black metal. His grim and frostbitten croak was what originally lured me into the subgenre. Like Dagon from Inquisition, Abbath’s vocals are more of a croak than the shrieks that tend to define the genre, and even when he sings passages (like in “All Shall Fall”), his voice is raw and more raspy than clear. Abbath has often been said to sound like Popeye, and this mixture of seriousness with good-natured humor is one of the main reasons perhaps for Immortal’s continuous success.

Gaahl (Trelldom, God Seed, Gorgoroth)

Gaahl and King ov Hell’s less than amicable split with Gorgoroth left a lot of fans feeling hurt and confused and understandably resentful, but regardless of how you feel about the Gorgoroth incident, you have to admit that Gaahl does some great vocals. His voice sounds almost violent (is the only way I can think of to describe it), and certainly inhuman. With just the right amount of shriek, Gaahl is able to keep in line with the traditional vocals while still maintaining a unique sound. The result is something really quite nightmarish. His band Trelldom is also quite good, and unfortunately often overlooked. Sorry kids, Gaahl is my favorite Gorgoroth vocalist, yes, even more than Pest, whose voice I can only stand when the recording doesn’t sound like it was done on a tape recorder in someone’s bathroom.

[I didn’t tag this as NSFW, so you can watch the video on your own time]


In short, I think metal vocalists are still relevant. At length… everything I just typed. So what do you all think? Do you think that vocalists are important to the genre of metal? Who are some of your favorite black metal vocalists?

Stay tuned, I’ll be covering Melechesh before I go to see them on Friday (oh my gosh. So excited. What a show, and Melechesh and Inquisition are the OPENERS).

Stay kvlt.


Gratuitous Birthday Playlist Post

Posted in black metal, blackened death metal, dead, funeral mist, marduk, mayhem, musings, poland, sweden, the netherlands, true norwegian black metal, underground with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

Weeeeelll, ladies and gentlemen, it’s my birthday. Which means that instead of an actual post, you shall get a gratuitous, “hey everyone this is what I like” post. So shortly following will be a playlist I strung together for my birthday.

First of all, though, I wanted to express my excitement over my birthday present. I was actually at WalMart (I normally avoid WalMart like the plague; I forgot that they sometimes have stuff) getting some universal remote controls when I stumbled upon this little gem. I had a gift card from forever ago which I’ve never used, because I don’t ever go to WalMart, and my mom paid for part of it for my birthday gift.

It’s a 5 in 1 music player, which is pretty much exactly what I needed. I wanted something I could play my CDs on that had bigger sound than a boom box (this has stereo sound), a tape player, and a turntable. And this has all of that! And a line in for an mp3 player. Awesome. It makes just enough noise for my small apartment, and it’s got good sound for the price. I’m really excited about it, because now I can start buying records. I have often longed to hear Emperor on vinyl; now maybe I can.

I also managed to track down a Funeral Mist shirt. It’s much too big for me to wear, but I plan on making art of it anyhow (although I am keeping an eye out for one in my size as well for the reason of actually being able to wear a Funeral Mist shirt).

So now, for the playlist! (It goes to 11, as all things metal should, and also because 11 is the biblical number for chaos and  “symbolizes the potential to push the limitations of the human experience into the stratosphere of the highest spiritual perception; the link between the mortal and the immortal; between man and spirit; between darkness and light; ignorance and enlightenment.” (

1. The Devil’s Blood- Voodoo Dust

The Devil’s Blood is one of my favorite bands right now. I recently saw them on the Decibel Tour and ye gods were they amazing. The Mouth of Satan (as she goes by) has an amazing voice.

2. Deathspell Omega- The Shrine of Mad Laughter

I just recently acquired my first DSO album, and it’s not this one. They are part of the same trilogy of albums, however, based on god, Satan, and man’s relationship to both. DSO is black metal taken to its (il?)logical conclusion, kind of like Abruptum. A structured cacophany. Fraaance.

3. Mayhem- Freezing Moon

This one is always on rotation, always. Mayhem knocked me off my feet the first time I heard them, and they, along with Funeral Mist, are probably by favorite metal band ever. This particular version my friend claims is the “best seven minutes in recorded black metal history.”

4. Agalloch- Faustian Echoes

Brand spanking new from Agalloch! Hot off the press! I get to see these guys in a couple of weeks and I’m stoked about it. I’m really digging this song right now, too, because I actually study Renaissance drama, and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus is my favorite play.

“Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed
In one self place, for where we are is hell,
And where hell is must we ever be.
And, to conclude, when all the world dissolves,
And every creature shall be purified,
All places shall be hell that is not heaven.”

5. Marduk- World of Blades

I think everyone who reads this knows how I feel about Marduk, and if you want, you can read how I feel about their new album, too (in previous posts).  My favorite album of the year so far. This track is one of my favorites (dat bass). (Also, stupid YouTube commentors are stupid.)

6. In Solitude- To Her Darkness

The first time I heard In Solitude I appreciated it because I appreciate metal, but I thought it really wasn’t my style. Since seeing them live I’ve become quite a fan. They are fantastic musicians for their age, and they are very nice as well. This is my favorite off their latest, and it is also their new video!

7. Morbid- From the Dark

Back in February I said something about how it was a good day for Morbid’s “Disgusting Semla,” and got the remark “when do you ever think it’s NOT a good day for Dead?” Which is a good point. I like his voice with Morbid even better than with Mayhem.

8. Immortal- Where Dark and Light Don’t Differ

Immortal is great. They were the first band I really got into in terms of heavy black metal, probably because they are so thrashy. I have always loved them and their approach to black metal, and this album is my favorite.

9. Azarath- Throne of Skulls

Azarath is one that I have just recently learned of. They do that blackened death metal thing that Poland is so good at, and Inferno from Behemoth is also their drummer. He is one of my favorite drummers, and I am very fortunate to have seen him live.

10. Funeral Mist- Anti-Flesh Nimbus

I have lost track of how many times I have heard this song, and it never, ever, ever gets old to me. It’s hideous and beautiful, terrifying and inspiring. In other words, everything I love about Funeral Mist in one nice little package.

11. Watain- The Waters of Ain

This song is for endings. I’d say it’s in my top three of favorite songs ever. It is Watain’s magnum opus, and it even features Selim from The Devil’s Blood. Even when they start touring for a new album cycle, I hope they still end with this one. I can’t believe I *almost* saw Watain two nights in a row! (Damned visa problems).

Well, that’s it. That’s the gratuitous birthday playlist of things I am currently obsessed with (or eleven of them, at any rate). Hopefully you will get some enjoyment out of some of my personal favorites.

I shall be back with reviews soon. Next up, the new Naglfar.

Until then,


For Dead…

Posted in black metal history, dead, mayhem, memorial, musings, sweden with tags , , , , on April 9, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

21 years ago today, black metal lost one of its greatest vocalists. A brilliant vocalist, lyricist, performer, and artist, he took his own life at only 22 years old.

[I have no idea where I got these pictures, but they’ve been floating around for years and have been on my computer for ages. If I need to credit someone, please let me know.]

One of these days perhaps I’ll find the words to write coherently about the way this boy’s story has haunted me, but I haven’t found them yet. So I’ll just listen to some Morbid and old school Mayhem in his honor, and leave it at that.

[“Dead” (Per Yngve Ohlin), January 16, 1969-April 8, 1991]

You are missed, Pelle. I sincerely hope that you found the peace you were searching for, and that your rest is a quiet one.

**EDIT** I did want to point out that the actual date is April 8, not April 9. I wrote and posted this when it was still April 8 my time, so perhaps I should change my clock…