Black metal is an underground sub-genre of heavy metal emanating largely from Scandanavia. There has historically been a large amount of controversy surrounding black metal due to its primary themes of blasphemy and/or Satanism and the nefarious activities of many of its most prominent musicians (i.e., murder, suicides, and church burnings).
This year has been rife with major happenings from many of the founders of the black metal genre. Metal’s most notorious band, Mayhem, released their first album in seven years, titled Esoteric Warfare. King Diamond announced his first U.S. tour in nearly a decade, including a Halloween show in L.A., which I will be reviewing [the NYC GoD crew will be at the New York show in October]. We also observed the 10th anniversary of the death of Bathory leader and the man who many consider to be the father of Scandinavian black metal, Quorthon.
Emperor also graced us with their first live performances in seven years. The band kicked off their run of European summer festivals in June at the Sweden Rock Festival. They are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their watershed first album, In The Nightside Eclipse. Unfortunately this occasion will not see a new album or widespread tour from the band, who still consider themselves to be officially broken up. They did, however, pay tribute to Quorthon by closing their set at Sweden Rock with a cover of the Bathory classic, “A Fine Day to Die,” which you can watch here below.
Come on guys: Are two American dates too much to ask? New York and L.A…. that’s all I want for X-Mas!