89. "The Black House" - Krieg
Man, I always wanted to get into this album. I've already expressed my disdain for 90's USBM bands since they just seemed so lame compared with their European counterparts...however, the whole concept behind this particular record really intrigued me. Back when I was still a bit new to the scene in 2004 I just thought black metal for the most part just involved being Satanic and anti-Christian, so to read about a band who was doing something different lyrically was interesting to me. For those out of the loop, "The Black House" is somewhat of a weird autobiography of Imperial himself portrayed through some nightmarish musical lens. I should probably actually listen to the album before I talk about it in more detail, but I always wanted to sit down with this record and try to get a better idea of what Imperial's deal is. Great album cover too!!
88. "Those of the Unlight" - Marduk
Even though the album cover is fucking awesome, I think early Marduk is kind of mediocre. I don't know why people are so blown away by it! Yeah, it's got its strengths: Bogge's bass sounds great, the drum production matches the atmosphere, and Av Gravf's vocals are really well-done. However, what brings it down are too many mediocre riffs that don't go anywhere, as well as being a bit slow (compared to Marduk's later stuff)...it just doesn't do it for me. For me shit doesn't start getting real though until Legion and Fredrik Andersson are both in the band and take the intensity up a notch, although it's debatable who is the better vocalist between Legion and Av Gravf. My vote goes to Legion I suppose just because on metal-archives.com he looks like this, whereas Av Gravf looks like this (and went on to play in Dimension Zero, which isn't very evil).
Anyway, Norwegian BM during this time was way better during this time as well. This shit is especially whack if you compare it to what Mayhem, Burzum, Immortal, Emperor, etc. were putting out in the early '90s. I know most BM elitists consider Marduk's pinnacle to be either this one, "Opus Nocturne", or "Heaven Shall Burn...When We Are Gathered", but what can I say?? I like my black metal fast and brutal, and Marduk doesn't start getting truly speedy until "Nightwing" (which I would much rather listen to than any of their albums that came before it). Still though, one of my favorite album covers!!
87. "Malice (Our Third Spell)" - Gehenna
I've never really listened to Gehenna. I know that they're an old-school Norwegian BM band from back in the day, but the only song I really know by them is "A Witch Is Born" from their second LP...I think it was back in 2003 or so and I had just read Lords of Chaos and was trying to check out as many new Scandinavian black metal bands as I could find, and this was their only song available on Kazaa. I remember thinking the track was pretty cool, but didn't like it enough to get my hands on any of their records. I'll come back and give this a listen later!!
86. "Black Thrash Attack" - Aura Noir
Surprise, surprise, I haven't listened to this album, sorry!! I know it's got a bunch of big names involved with it from the Norwegian BM scene and blah blah but I'll probably give it a listen after I check out Gehenna haha.
85. "Anno Domini" - Tormentor
God fucking damnit!! I haven't heard this either!! When I first saw this I was pretty surprised...Attila Csihar's old band's 1989 demo...yeah right! No one's heard that shit! Then I looked on metal-archives and saw that it has 9 reviews and a score of 92%. Ugh. I'll have to check it out...is it really that good though?? These guys were like, 17 when this came out (yeah, I know so were the dudes in Emperor, but you know what I mean!!)!
84. "Thy Dying Light" - Judas Iscariot
First of all, I need to mention that the song title "His Eternal Life, Like a Dream Was Obliterated..." is one of my favorite song titles ever (it's also my favorite track on the album)!! Actually, all the song titles are pretty cool on this album...not too sure what the lyrics are since they're mostly just (allegedly) trance-induced improvised babbling (IIRC based on interviews with Akhenaten). I don't know why I enjoyed this album more than his others (besides "Heaven in Flames", that's a good one too). It's been awhile since I've listened to it, but I remember enjoying it because the songs are long, hypnotic, and depressing. Also, he seems like he was pretty fucking serious about this shit. Something about the ritualistic, hypnotic quality of the music and its mysteriousness just gets me. Why it applies to this album more than the others I can't remember, but this one stuck out in my mind as his best work along with "Heaven in Flames". I also just really enjoy listening to his psychotic babbling too! I like to imagine this was recorded on a cold day in a shitty part of DeKalb, Illinois, with weeks of physical and mental preparation and the actual music itself being an afterthought. Worth checking out, but I would put it a bit higher on this list, if at all.
83. "Fuck the Universe" - Craft
I listened to either this album or their latest ("Void") and remember thinking it was just OK. I should probably listen to it again though, as these guys seem pretty evil!!
82. "Gin" - Cobalt
Damn, this one's tough! I really wanted to like it, as Phil McSorley seems like an interesting cat based on his interviews. The fact that the record is all philosophical and nihilistic is cool, but the cover art is what really does it for me! I love it when there's just some old photograph or artwork (in this case, it's a portrait of a young Ernest Hemingway) with a metal logo superimposed randomly on the cover. It's too bad that Cobalt's logo is kind of lame; I prefer the traditional, completely illegible BM logo, but whatever. Anyway, I remember the music on this album to be interesting and fairly original, but nothing special enough to cement itself on some underground metal magazine's Top 100 Black Metal Albums list. I've always been meaning to give it another chance though, as well as Cobalt's earlier albums. Anyway, as with many of these albums on this list, I'll have to revisit it sometime soon to make a final judgement!
81. "Min Tid Skal Commme" - Fleurety
This is one band I come across like once a year when I'm drinking wine by myself on a Friday night and digging through metal-archives for random crap. While usually I'm drawn to experimental black metal, I really don't want to like these dudes just because I think their name sucks (yeah it's supposedly the name of a demon, but that demon picked a pretty shitty name...it sounds like something Tom Cruise would name his daughter or some shit) and the guys just look like dorks. Anyway, I'm just talking out of my ass, I'm sure this is a wonderful album. I'll check it out soon enough!!