Black metal is an extreme style of Heavy metal that started in the early 1980s. Lyrics are often for religions such as Satanism. Various black metal bands have relations to satanism in their lyrics and even in outlook. Lyrics may also have subjects such as Paganism. The majority of black metal vocalists are male, although there are a few notable exceptions – for example Cadaveria, Astarte and Lucifugum.
Black metal is divided into two waves. The first wave began in the early 1980s by bands such as Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Mercyful Fate. Venom's first albums, Welcome to Hell and Black Metal are usually said to be the first black metal records. The second wave is the most popular wave of black metal and it started in the early 1990s. It started from Norway and includes bands such as Darkthrone, Enslaved, Burzum, Satyricon, Mayhem, Gorgoroth, Immortal, and Emperor.
Black metal is also very controversial, especially in Norway. During the early 1990s, certain black metal musicians burned old churches in Norway. One of the people who was found guilty for burning churches, Varg Vikernes, was also found guilty for murdering Øystein Aarseth, a fellow black metal musician.
- Ambient black metal (also atmospheric black metal) is a type of black metal that uses synthesizers to create a dark atmosphere.
- Symphonic black metal is a type of black metal that uses symphonic elements in the music.
- Viking metal is a type of black metal that focuses on Norse mythology instead of Satanism and the occult. Bands in this subgenre often use some folk instruments as well. Bathory is usually given credit for creating the subgenre with their album, Blood Fire Death.
- National Socialist black metal (also known as Nazi black metal or NSBM) is a title used to refer to black metal acts with an emphasis on Nazi beliefs in their music. Nazi black metal artists are a small minority.
- Don't simply demonise death metal. The Age. Retrieved on August 13 2008
- "Atmospheric Black Metal". rateyourmusic. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Symphonic Black Metal". rateyourmusic. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Viking Metal". rateyourmusic. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- Gardell, Mattias. Gods of the Blood (2003).