Black Metal Trance part I: Prologue

Looking at my musical preferences throughout the years, one of many recurring themes is intensely energetic music with a majestic and euphoric, yet introvert and melacholic mood. That may sound like an oxymoron, but imagine being flown out from earth through the solar system. You would likely be in extatic awe of its unfathomable size and majesty, yet at the same time taken aback when realizing your relative insignificance and the fragility of our world. This particular blend of emotions, mindfuckery and aesthetic/philosophical direction has manifested itself in my record collection mainly in the form of goa trance. My first contact with these themes was through another genre though – thrash metal. More specifically, Helloween’s Walls of Jericho, which I bought at the age of 8. I think in particular “How Many Tears” managed to tune my neurons to these settings.

For the longest time I turned my back on the lust for metal after having sold off nearly all such records in 1994, when I had fallen in love with electronic music. The need slowly crept up on me and finally caught up properly in 2003, when I started to tentatively point my nose in the metal direction again. It has taken me very long to fully realize, but what I always seek in metal is the majestic hypnotism I can also find in goa trance, only painted with a different sonic palette. I’m not interested in “rocking out”, nor do I have the knowledge needed to appreciate the finer details of guitar technique. This combined with an intense distaste for musical cheese quite quickly took me to black metal, which contains a surprising width and has proven to be a hotbed for experimental, far-out metal. In a series of posts I will highlight some of the black metal records that best satiate my lust for awe-inspiring sonic hypnotism.

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