In 2015, after just having finished reading David Stubb’s “Fear of Music”, a book that deals with 20th-21st century avant garde music, I wasn’t surprised to see extreme metal left out. Possibly because of it’s underground roots, and for straying too far away from the comfort zones of regular music listeners. As a metal head, I’ve always had to see my favorite music being marginalized or ignored, so I decided to set up a Death Metal Diary to analyze the evolution of really extreme and heavy music.
I will re-post some of it here, alongside a diary for rare music experiences within contemporary and classic music and opera.
However, this time, I have decided to call it the Extreme Metal Diary, since Death Metal would be too limited and we would miss out on a lot of great music!
My diary starts in 1981, the year I was born, but also the year Black Metal was born. English band Venom released their debut album “Welcome to Hell”. In the era of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, Venom seemed to take things further than their contemporaries – filthy production reminiscent of a dirtied down Motörhead, satanist themes, a vocal style that made way for what would become a trademark for Thrash Metal, double bass drum pedals and speed.
Bearing in mind that Slayer, Metallica and Anthrax all formed in 1981, you realize how early and influential this album must have been. Although it wasn’t a huge commercial success, it is now considered an absolute classic.
The song “Witching Hour” summarizes the album quite well:
Norwegian band Mayhem, one of the most influential bands during the Second Wave of Black Metal, released a cover of “Witching Hour” on their debut EP “Deathcrush”:
As did Kreator, one of the Big Four of Teutonic Thrash Metal, on the Venom-compilation “In the Name of Satan”, released in 1994:
And finally, the single that preceded the debut album, “In League With Satan”. Enjoy!: