Symphonic black metal

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Symphonic black metal is a subgenre of black metal that emerged in the mid to late 1990s, and incorporates symphonic and orchestral elements. [1]

Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, a shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, raw (lo-fi) recording, unconventional song structures, and an emphasis on atmosphere. Artists often appear in corpse paint and adopt pseudonyms.

Symphony extended musical composition

A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, most often written by composers for orchestra. Although the term has had many meanings from its origins in the ancient Greek era, by the late 18th century the word had taken on the meaning common today: a work usually consisting of multiple distinct sections or movements, often four, with the first movement in sonata form. Symphonies are almost always scored for an orchestra consisting of a string section, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments which altogether number about 30 to 100 musicians. Symphonies are notated in a musical score, which contains all the instrument parts. Orchestral musicians play from parts which contain just the notated music for their own instrument. Some symphonies also contain vocal parts.

Orchestra large instrumental ensemble

An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families, including bowed string instruments such as the violin, viola, cello, and double bass, brass instruments such as the horn, trumpet, trombone and tuba, woodwinds such as the flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, and percussion instruments such as the timpani, bass drum, triangle, snare drum, cymbals, and mallet percussion instruments each grouped in sections. Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes appear in a fifth keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and, for performances of some modern compositions, electronic instruments.

Contents

Characteristics

Symphonic black metal is a style of black metal that incorporates symphonic and orchestral elements. This may include the usage of music workstation keyboards to conjure up "pseudo-orchestral" landscapes with default presets (e.g. strings, choirs, piano, organs, and pads), or full orchestral arrangements containing woodwinds, brass, percussion, keyboards and strings. Bands may feature solo instruments such as violins in addition to virtual or live orchestral arrangements. Vocals can be "clean" or operatic in style, and song structures are more defined or are inspired by symphonies, albeit not adhering to forms found in Western music (e.g. sonata, rondo, theme and variations) and following a typical riff-based approach. Many of the characteristics of traditional black metal are retained, such as shrieked vocals, fast tempos, high treble gain and tremolo picked electric guitars. The approached theme can be also considered wider that the traditional black metal, indeed a lot groups of symphonic black metal adduce to deal with themes such as the vampirism (Theatre des vampire, Cradle of Filth), the occultism and the paranormal ( Carach Angren). The political theme is also more neglected as in the other black metal subgenres.

A music workstation is an electronic musical instrument providing the facilities of:

Woodwind instrument Family of musical wind instruments

Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments within the more general category of wind instruments. There are two main types of woodwind instruments: flutes and reed instruments. What differentiates these instruments from other wind instruments is the way in which they produce their sound. All woodwinds produce sound by splitting an exhaled air stream on a sharp edge, such as a reed or a fipple. A woodwind may be made of any material, not just wood. Common examples include brass, silver, cane, as well as other metals such as gold and platinum. Occasionally woodwinds are made out of earthen materials, especially ocarinas. Common examples include flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone.

Brass instrument class of musical instruments

A brass instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips. Brass instruments are also called labrosones, literally meaning "lip-vibrated instruments".

List of notable symphonic black metal bands

BandCountryFormedNotes
Abigail Williams USA2005 [2]
...And Oceans Finland1995 [3] [4]
Anorexia Nervosa France1995 [5]
Apostasy Sweden2000 [6]
Bal-Sagoth England1989 [7] [8]
Carach Angren Netherlands2003 [9]
Carpathian Forest Norway1992 [10]
Catamenia Finland1995 [11]
Chthonic Taiwan1995 [12]
Cradle of Filth England1991 [13]
Crimson Moonlight Sweden1997 [14]
Darzamat Poland1995 [15]
Diabolical Masquerade Sweden1993 [16]
Dimmu Borgir Norway1993 [17] [18]
Dragonlord USA2000 [19]
Equilibrium Germany2001 [20]
Graveworm Italy1992 [21]
Hecate Enthroned England1993 [22]
Imperial Circus Dead Decadence Japan2007 [23]
Limbonic Art Norway1993 [24]
Opera IX Italy1988 [25]
Shade Empire Finland1999 [26] [27]
Stormlord Italy1991 [28]
Tiamat Sweden1988 [29]
Tvangeste Russia1996 [30]
Twilight Ophera Finland1996 [31]
Vaakevandring Norway1999 [32]
Vesania Poland1997 [33]


Related Research Articles

Dimmu Borgir Norwegian symphonic black metal band

Dimmu Borgir is a Norwegian symphonic black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. The name is derived from Dimmuborgir, a volcanic formation in Iceland, the name of which means "dark cities" or "dark castles/fortresses" in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse. The band has been through numerous lineup changes over the years; vocalist Shagrath and rhythm guitarist Silenoz are the only original members who still remain, with lead guitarist Galder being a longstanding member.

Tiamat (band) Swedish metal band

Tiamat is a Swedish band that formed in Stockholm in 1987 and led by Johan Edlund. The band went through a number of stylistic changes, usually leaning towards gothic metal.

Symphonic metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music which combines the heavy drums and guitars of metal with different elements of orchestral classical music, such as symphonic instruments, choirs and sometimes a full orchestra. Keyboards reminiscent of power metal are also sometimes featured.

<i>Death Cult Armageddon</i> 2003 studio album by Dimmu Borgir

Death Cult Armageddon is the sixth studio album by Norwegian symphonic black metal band Dimmu Borgir, released on 9 September 2003. It has since sold over 100,000 copies in the United States; the first album under Nuclear Blast to do so; and debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at number 169. The song "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" is released as single with accompanying music video. Parts of the album were recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. This would also be the last album to have Nicholas Barker on drums. It also features guest vocals by Abbath Doom Occulta.

<i>Stormblåst</i> album

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Snowy Shaw Swedish musician

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<i>Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia</i> 2001 studio album by Dimmu Borgir

Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia is the fifth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Dimmu Borgir. It was released by Nuclear Blast Records in 2001. This is the first album to feature drummer Nicholas Barker, guitarist Galder, and ICS Vortex on bass. It is also the first album upon which the band used real orchestral instrumentation instead of keyboard lines.

<i>Godless Savage Garden</i> 1998 compilation album by Dimmu Borgir

Godless Savage Garden is a compilation album by Norwegian black metal band Dimmu Borgir. It was released in 1998 by Nuclear Blast and re-released on 3 October 2006 with 2 bonus tracks.

<i>Redimus</i> 2004 studio album by Hecate Enthroned

Redimus is the fourth studio album by British symphonic black metal band Hecate Enthroned. It was released on 3 May 2004 by Blackend Records. It was their last album to be released by Blackend, as well as their last one to feature Dean Seddon on vocals and Rob Kendrick on drums. It was also their first release to feature Pete White on the keyboards.

Chrome Division band

Chrome Division is a heavy metal band from Norway formed in 2004 by Shagrath, the lead vocalist of symphonic black metal band Dimmu Borgir. It is now considered a full band of Shagrath and the current lineup consists of him on rhythm guitar, along with Shady Blue as the vocalist, Mr Damage on lead guitar, and Tony White on drums. The band plays Doomsday hardrock and has, to date, released four albums, Doomsday Rock 'n Roll in 2006, Booze, Broads and Beelzebub in 2008, 3rd Round Knockout in 2011 and Infernal Rock Eternal in 2014.

Dariusz Brzozowski Polish musician

Dariusz "Daray" Brzozowski, is a Polish heavy metal drummer. Brzozowski has played with such bands as Vader, Black River, Jelonek, Sunwheel, Armagedon, Arysta, Azarath, Faust, Neolithic, Crionics, Autumn: Death, Imperial Age, Kayzen, Crystal Abyss, Nerve, Insidious Disease and Pyorrhoea. He currently plays in Dimmu Borgir, Vesania, Symbolical, Hunter, and Masachist.

Dimmu Borgir discography discography

The discography of Dimmu Borgir, a Norwegian symphonic black metal band, consists of ten studio albums, four extended plays, one compilation album, six singles and three music videos.

<i>Abrahadabra</i> (album) 2010 studio album by Dimmu Borgir

Abrahadabra is the ninth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Dimmu Borgir, released in 2010. The first single from the album, "Gateways", was released on August 20 in Europe and August 24 in North America. On September 14, a video for "Gateways" was released featuring Djerv front-woman, Agnete Kjølsrud. On September 17, the song "Born Treacherous" was released on Dimmu Borgir's official Myspace for streaming. On September 24, the band announced they would stream Abrahadabra in its entirety, until 7 p.m. EST that evening. This would mark the first official release of all the tracks on the album. The album features drummer Daray and additional keyboards by Gerlioz.

References

  1. "Symphonic Black Metal : Significant Albums, Artists and Songs, Most Viewed : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  2. Henderson, Alex. "In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns - Abigail Williams : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. [...] In the Shadow of 1000 Suns is more in the symphonic black metal vein.
  3. Loftus, Johnny. "...And Oceans - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  4. Anderson, Jason. "A.M. G.O.D.: Allotropic/Metamorphic Genesis of Disorphism - ...And Oceans : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  5. Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Anorexia Nervosa - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. ...establishing themselves as a symphonic black metal force to be reckoned with.
  6. Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Apostasy - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. Sweden's Apostasy was formed in 1994 and performs keyboard-laden symphonic black metal inspired by the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Arcturus.
  7. Huey, Steve. "The Power Cosmic - Bal-Sagoth : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  8. Henderson, Alex. "The Chthonic Chronicles - Bal-Sagoth : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. [...] The Chthonic Chronicles underscores the ambitious nature of the symphonic black metal style.
  9. "Carach Angren | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  10. Serba, John. "Defending the Throne of Evil - Carpathian Forest : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. ...Defending the Throne of Evil just falls in with the rest of the symphonic black metal pack.
  11. Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Catamenia - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. Finland became a surprising hotbed of heavy metal talent during the late '90s, and symphonic black metal act Catamenia certainly ranks among the most consistent – if not commercially successful – of these.
  12. Prato, Greg. "Seediq Bale - Chthonic : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. Symphonic black metal will always be first and foremost associated with Norway, a locale that seems to spawn a new band sporting ghoulish face paint every bloody day. But by 2007, the style had long crossed over into other faraway territories, as evidenced by the emergence of Taiwan's Chthonic.
  13. Bregman, Adam. "Midian - Cradle of Filth : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  14. Van Pelt, Doug (August 2010). "Top 100 Christian Metal Albums of All Time" (PDF). Heaven's Metal: 8. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  15. Prato, Greg. "Transkarpatia - Darzamat : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. Symphonic black metal comes from all points of the globe, but it seems to have truly taken hold in Europe circa the early 21st century, as an avalanche of similarly styled bands began sprouting up from this particular locale. And one of Poland's leading entries into the symphonic black metal sweepstakes turned out to be the six-piece Darzamat.
  16. Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Diabolical Masquerade - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. ...Sweden's Diabolical Masquerade released a string of symphonic and misanthropic black metal albums...
  17. Serba, John. "Death Cult Armageddon - Dimmu Borgir : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  18. Jurek, Thom. "In Sorte Diaboli - Dimmu Borgir : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. Dimmu Borgir's brand of symphonic black metal...
  19. Wiederhorn, Jon. The New (Old) Order. Revolver . Retrieved 2009-09-30.
  20. Henderson, Alex. "Sagas - Equilibrium : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. Equilibrium's folk metal/symphonic black metal attack isn't just about intensity; it is also about craftsmanship.
  21. Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Graveworm - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. Since forming in 1992, Italy's Graveworm have unleashed a number of very sophisticated gothic-symphonic black metal albums...
  22. Henderson, Alex. "Redimus - Hecate Enthroned : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. Redimus is neither the best nor the worst that symphonic black metal and melodic death metal have to offer...
  23. "Imperial Circus Dead Decadence | official website". Imperial Circus Dead Decadence official website (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  24. Serba, John. "The Ultimate Death Worship - Limbonic Art : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. The relatively lo-fi, but still clear, production lends the songs a grainy nastiness that's integral to the overall feel of the record, which strongly represents the ugly, pockmarked side of symphonic black metal.
  25. Henderson, Alex. "Anphisbena - Opera IX : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. [...] Cadaveria did her part to make Opera IX one of the more unusual bands in symphonic black metal...
  26. Henderson, Alex. "Sinethic - Shade Empire : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. [...] But these guys take it a step further, providing music that is elaborate even by symphonic black metal standards.
  27. "MusicMight :: Artists :: Shade Empire". musicmight.com. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  28. Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Stormlord - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. ...before turning their collective gaze northwards to Scandinavia's bustling extreme metal scene. There they found like-minded accomplices in up-and-coming symphonic black metal bands like Dimmu Borgir and Borknagar...
  29. Huey, Steve. "Tiamat - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. Over the course of the 1990s, Sweden's Tiamat evolved from a typical death metal outfit into one of the leading lights in 'symphonic' black metal.
  30. "Tvangeste - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic" . Retrieved 30 July 2013. Tvangeste was formed in 1996 in Kaliningrad, Russia, and its line-up at the time consisted of Miron Chirva, Edgar, Nikolay "Kok" Kazmin (of Candle in the Dark) and...
  31. "The End of the Halcyon Age - Twilight Opera : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. Twilight Ophera isn't terribly distinctive – plenty of other symphonic black metal bands have favored this type of sound in the Nordic countries...
  32. "MusicMight :: Artists :: Vaakevandring". musicmight.com. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  33. Mason, Stewart. "Firefrost Arcanum - Vesania : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 2 September 2012. [...] Firefrost –Arcanum–, an album so hugely, unapologetically over the top that at first it almost sounds like a deadpan parody of symphonic black metal.