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Later styles of heavy rock music in the 1990s, such as grunge (the typical example being Seattle's Nirvana), show influences of heavy metal but are typically not labelled sub-genres of heavy metal, as opposed to thrash metal and hair metal. The general absence of virtuosic guitar solos is perhaps one reason grunge bands haven't been considered heavy metal bands. Another key artist during this time was Megadeth, which combined the relentless, speedy thrash metal riffs with the fancy guitar soloing of speed metal ala Judas Priest.
Norwegian Black Metal
Since the late '80s, the Norwegian
scene has been characterized by paganism, violence, and some of the
best heavy metal ever recorded.
The scene was largely influenced by a trio of non-Norwegian bands in
the 80s - Venom, Celtic Frost, and Bathory. England's Venom is widely
considered to be the first black metal band, and their campy satanic
posturing was a huge influence on Europe's extreme metal scenes. Their
second album, "Black Metal", gave the new genre its name.
the band that had the most
direct influence on Norway's extreme metal scene was a one-man studio
project from Sweden called Bathory. Bathory's album "Under the Sign:
The Sign of the Black Mark" pretty much defines the typical black
metal sound - loud, fast, and poorly recorded. However, the Viking
Trilogy, consisting of the albums "Blood, Fire, Death", "Hammerheart",
and "The Twilight of the Gods", is what really kicked off the
explosion of Scandinavian metal.
The early 90s saw the Norwegian metal scene rise in prominence on the
world stage as bands constantly tried to "out-evil" one another. Three
main bands emerged - Mayhem, Burzum, and Emperor.
(Especially Emperor, IMHO) Mayhem became the musical leader of the
scene, while Varg Vikernes of Burzum became the centerpoint of the
Black Metal "movement", for lack of a better word. Emperor, meanwhile,
garnered the most critical acclaim. Varg (aka "Count Grishnakh") was
responsible for starting a wave of church-burnings and grave
desecrations and eventually murdered Mayhem guitarist Euronymous.
Emperor has probably had the most lasting influence on
the scene, as the sound that they created has been the blueprint for
many bands such as Norwegian metal superstars Dimmu Borgir, as well as
a large number of non-Norwegian bands.
Dimmu Borgir is a melodic black metal band hailing from Norway. Shagrath, Silenoz and Tjodalv initiated the band in 1993. Shortly after, Brynjard Tristan joined to play bass, and Stian Aarstad joined for keyboard duties. Dimmu Borgir was born. They are a band which success is measured with such bands as Emperor, Kreator and Cradle of Filth. I will without a doubt say that Dimmu Borgir is the best black metal band in the world today (webmaster's comment).
Haunting keyboard melodies, aggressive guitar work, destructive drums, grim/raw vocals and a touch of melodic/operatic vocals characterize Dimmu Borgir's sound. They are musically inspired by 80's black metal and heavy metal. Classic composers, like Wagner and Dvorak, also inspire them.
Founded in the early 1990s, In Flames originally began as an influential Melodic Death Metal band, but eventually evolved into an Alternative structure and genre on the albums Reroute To Remain and Soundtrack To Your Escape. In flames is one of the best-known and highly praised bands in the New Wave of Swedish Death Metal movement.
After leaving Ceremonial Oath in the late '80s to form In Flames, founding member and guitarist Jesper Stromblad saw this project as a way of expressing his song writing creativity rather than being stuck in the background. With his added influences of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and his own touch of aggressive metal acts that overwhelmed home country of Sweden, Wrong Again Records took notice and released In Flame's 1993 debut Lunar Strain. In the tradition of many other Swedish metal acts, In Flames also had a revolving line up that changed year after year, not that this was going to stop them from releasing their next two records Subterranean (1994) and The Trooper (1995) before signing to Nuclear Blast Records in 1996. After putting out The Jester Race album later on that year followed by 1997's Whoracle, In Flame's line up was finally settled with Bjorn Gelotte (drums), Anders Friden (vocals), Peter Iwers (bass) and David Svensson (drums). To celebrate, the band released their sixth album Colony in 1999. Clayman followed in the same vein the next year, and the band even ... more