It's come to my attention that Decibel Magazine just released a special issue that lists their picks for the top 100 black metal albums of all time. Usually these sorts of things do nothing really except bring out an endless spew of whining and complaining from the internet's vast legions of IMNs, but we here at Malicious Intent (i.e. me) felt left out from the party and decided to weigh in with our own thoughts on this controversial list. Here we go!!
100. "Ominious Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm" - Inquisition
#100?? Seriously?? This should be much higher, as it's one of the best black metal albums to come out since 2000!! Killer stuff. Dagon's guitar-playing is top-notch, his croak is gnarly, and the way they layer the instruments in their songs is tastier than the new 7 Layer Bean Dip Crunchwrap Supreme at Taco Bell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously though, even Inquisition's lyrics are both interesting and original as well...most bands blather on about Satan and blah blah, but their take on "cosmic Satanism" is refreshing. As someone who's scared shitless of outer space after reading H.P. Lovecraft and taking astronomy courses in college, these lyrics resonate with me much more than talking about dying and going to Hell or whatever LaVey was trying to convey in The Satanic Bible.
On a side note, I actually met Inquisition when I was living in Sydney, Australia...really nice guys!! Friendly yet soft-spoken and a bit intense, I found these guys to be really cool and genuinely interested in meeting their fans and hanging out. If you're going to check out Inquisition, I would say it's perfectly reasonable just to enjoy the music as it is, but if you read the lyrics along with it I feel like it adds an extra dimension (so to speak) to it that solidifies it in my mind as a masterpiece!!
99. "Vampires of Black Imperial Blood" - Mütiilation
I've never actually listened to Mütiilation (or any other LLN band for that matter) so I'm kind of a n00b when it comes to old school French BM. I'll check it out very soon, but I still refuse to believe that it's going to be better than some of the lunacy the French have been sending our way in the past few years via Blut aus Nord, Deathspell Omega, Peste Noire, Spektr, etc. Anyway, yeah yeah I'm sure this is a great album...NEXT!!
EDIT, APRIL 2015: Finally checked out this album. I haven't listened any other LLN bands at the moment, but from what I've read this is supposed to be the pinnacle of that collective. It's not bad! I kind of dig the atmosphere and overall vision of what they seem to be going for, but as far as songwriting goes this isn't very good. However, I definitely respect this record in terms of influence (raw minimalism, experimentation, vaguely romantic atmosphere), especially within the French BM scene. I suppose this spot on the list is appropriate for this album, but it's definitely not better than anything Inquisition has put out, EVER!!
98. "Tentacles of Whorror" - Leviathan
First of all, this cover art is fucking insane. I really have no idea what to make of it...it's so bizarre and creepy that I'm just going to let it speak for itself. That being said, I've really tried to get into Leviathan and while I think it's interesting stuff, if we're talking one-man USBM then I'd much rather listen to Xasthur! I usually tend to go for the more atmospheric stuff to see where it takes my imagination, but for whatever reason it doesn't quite do it for me. I still need to check out his later albums tho, plus I'm sure at some point I'll revisit his earlier stuff. I did enjoy his Lurker of Chalice stuff tho, IIRC it's much more atmospheric and strange.
97. "Ordo ad Chao" - Mayhem
This is another great album that should be higher on the list. Yeah, yeah, it's maybe not as good as De Mysteriis, but it's arguably Mayhem's second best LP. Damn...isn't it crazy to think that Mayhem has only released four full-lengths??
Anyway, I haven't listened to this album in awhile but I remember this used to be a favorite to pass out listening to after a night of utter madness!! I don't know why, but it always reminds me of that one scene in Time Bandits where they're trying to escape from the hanging cages (or the last third of the movie where they enter the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness).
96. "Infiltration.Downfall.Death" - Revenge
I've never heard of these dudes, let alone listened to this album. I guess it's a Canadian black metal supergroup of sorts with Pete from Angelcorpse thrown in the mix? I'm pretty unfamiliar with Canadian black metal like Axis of Advance, Weapon, Conqueror, and Blasphemy. Sorry, not really much to say except that their band name is lame and they don't look like very nice guys :(
95. "V - Halmstad" - Shining
I remember when I got this promo in the mail and thinking "WTF is this?" Back then, DSBM hadn't quite become the popular subgenre that it is today, but I would argue that this was a very important album in bringing that style to the metal masses (or at least me haha). And I hadn't even heard of their legendary stage shows or all the drama surrounding Niklas Kvarforth's disappearance, addictions, mental health problems, etc. Yeah, it's pretty emo and I'm not really sure what to make of Kvarforth...he's a weird guy with a big ego for sure, but his vocal performance on this record is great!! I need to give it another listen, but at the time I hadn't quite heard music so atmospheric, depressing, and experimental, and yet at the same time still vaguely be categorized as black metal. I would say this should be higher on the list as well, kvlt warriors be damned (in black)!!
94. "Triarchy of the Lost Lovers" - Rotting Christ
I'm more familiar with Rotting Christ's newer stuff, but I thought this was the album where they started exploring a more gothic rock kind of sound or whatever. I could be wrong, maybe that's "A Dead Poem"...either way, I hate to say it but while I've listened to this album I really don't remember it at all. Sorry!! For what it's worth, I really enjoy some of Rotting Christ's newer stuff!!
93. "La sanie des siècles - Panégyrique de la dégénérescence" - Peste Noire
It's too bad that Famine's such a racist hooligan, because this band's music is awesome!! I put PN in the same boat as Nokturnal Mortum or Graveland; politically-incorrect bands that write some really killer stuff. Anyway, we're focusing on the music here, so I just want to say that I've been a huge fan of this album (PN's best, by the way) ever since Mark of the Beast played it on Malicious Intent years ago. I was blown away by the sloppy, punky attitude of Famine's guitar-playing, combined with his fucking insane vocals and the music's bizarre experimentation. Listening to this always made me think of a Bubonic Plague-stricken France, with peasants living in squalor, cities crumbling, and plague doctors wearing those bird beak gas masks running around trying to save the day all while the unwashed masses hysterically scream for forgiveness within vast cathedrals. Every Peste Noire album has gotten weirder since, but it's still been an awesome ride!! I just wish Famine wasn't such a bird brain!!
92. "Welcome to My Last Chapter" - Vinterland
Damn, 13 reviews and 94% on metal-archives.com???? I've never heard of these guys!! I'll be sure to check it out very soon.
91. "Göetia" - Mystifier
This album cover is awesome!! Sadly, I've never listened to Mystifier even tho I always feel like Brazilian bands come off as way more evil than anyone from North America or Western Europe...I have no idea why. Maybe because so many MMA fighters come fom there?
Anyway, sorry it's amateur hour at Malicious Intent right now!!
90. "Le Secret" - Alcest
Annnndd to finish off with what started with a bang and is rapidly ending in a whimper, we have Alcest's "Le Secret", which I've never listened to!! I'm quite familiar with the Neige's back story and their full-length releases, but I've never listened to this EP. I'm sure it's great though!! I remember Ty from Hammerlord saying that he really liked this release more than their later stuff. Or maybe he was talking about Amesoeurs and their "Ruines Humaines" EP, I can't remember.
Sorry this ended up being kind of shitty! It's pretty disheartening because I really thought I knew my black metal!! Looks like I've got some catching up to do!! Check in soon for further analysis of Decibel's Top 100 Black Metal Albums of All Time, more zany stories, and mildly interesting commentary!!