Uncovering the Dark History of Murder Music: A Journey Through Black Metal


From Venom to Mayhem: A Step-by-Step History of Black Metal Bands

Black metal is one of the most controversial and misunderstood genres in modern music. With its occult imagery and themes of blasphemy, it has alarmed mainstream society while attracting a devout following of fans who appreciate its unique brand of aggressive, uncompromising sound. Here’s a step-by-step guide to some of the most important bands in black metal history.


Often cited as the progenitors of black metal, Venom’s influence on the genre cannot be overstated. The band’s first two albums – titled “Welcome to Hell” and “Black Metal” respectively – became foundational texts that helped define what would later become known as black metal.

Their trademark rasp-throated scream was especially influential on other bands to come. Today, many credit Venom with establishing the distinctive aesthetic that characterizes much of modern-day black metal.


Singer and guitarist Quorthon formed Bathory shortly after discovering Venom in 1982. The Swedish band’s sound evolved beyond Venom’s punk-influenced aggression into something darker and more atmospheric.

Their early works showcased a pioneering use of keyboards in black metal alongside Quorthon’s deep growling vocals – which are still hallmarks for many black metal bands today. With their overwhelming emphasis on rawness, Bathory became essential listening for anyone seeking out truly intense, extreme music.


Norwegian group Mayhem gained infamy early on due to their connection with violence both on stage and behind the scenes – which culminated in tragic murder so horrific it was almost impossible to comprehend.

Despite being controversial figures (or perhaps because of it), Mayhem played an instrumental role in shaping second-wave black metal along with contemporaries like Darkthrone and Burzum – sounds characterized by drumming that barely keeps pace with searing, discordant instrumentation accompanied by deathly growls or banshee shrieks, far removed from traditional structures or conventions.


Taken from a line in Venom’s classic song ‘Immortal’, Darkthrone co-founders Fenriz and Nocturno Culto performed consciously primitive black metal, rejecting the faster and more technical styles popularized by bands like Mayhem or Emperor.

They valued a punk-inspired focus on only the most essential elements of sound, ignoring confusing complexity or pyrotechnics. Influencing fellow musicians worldwide (including Cradle of Filth’s Dani Filth), Darkthrone continues to be a boundary-pushing force on the black metal scene today.


Perhaps more than any other band in extreme music history, Norway’s Emperor is credited with singlehandedly evolving black metal from a raw, lo-fi sound into something grandiose and epic, befitting its lurid lyrical themes. Blindingly fast but intricately constructed guitar riffs and keyboard flourishes steadily built up into bombastic crescendos that felt like perverted symphonies.

After their classic “ Wrath of the Tyrant ” debut album (1992), Emperor broke new ground with their 1994 follow-up “In The Nightside Eclipse” – universally hailed as one for Metal’s landmark albums.

Final Thoughts

From Venom to Mayhem to Bathory over to Darkthrone and onto possibly the most influential-looking pioneers of all – Emperor – decades later Black Metal has retained its dark allure thanks to constant evolution from original stylistic building blocks put forth by these groundbreaking bands.

Nonetheless adopting the scathing criticism that came along with it. Much discipline is required from listeners who could get bit hard by dissonant chords wrapped around furious screamo vocals or hurled blasphemies accompanied by eerie samples designed to deepen an already traumatized headspace. But for those willing – beyond broad strokes lies an ominous landscape whose bellowing echoes are impossible not to worship.

Unpacking the Controversy: A Murder Music FAQ

From the dancehalls of Jamaica to the global stage, murder music has been a hotly debated topic in the music industry. This genre features lyrics that are violent and derogatory towards minority groups. While some defend it as freedom of expression or cultural heritage, others see it as hate speech that should be abolished.

In this FAQ, we’ll unpack the controversy surrounding murder music by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about this controversial genre.

1) What is murder music?

Murder music is a sub-genre of dancehall reggae characterized by violent and homophobic lyrics. It originated in Jamaica in the late 1980s through sound systems and soon spread to other parts of the world.

The term “murder music” was coined in the early 2000s by activists who criticized its extreme language against LGBT communities. The song “Boom Bye Bye” by Buju Banton is one of the most infamous examples of murder music.

2) Why is murder music controversial?

Murder music gained notoriety for its derogatory and violent lyrics towards marginalized groups such as LGBTQ+ individuals. Many have accused it of promoting homophobia, hate speech, and inciting violence towards these groups.

Some artists argue that they sing about their experiences from living in violent communities with high crime rates or use hyperbole to create art that reflects their reality. Experts say there’s a difference between lyrical expression and verbal assault; however, many continue to challenge whether killing gays becomes acceptable through artistic license.

3) Has any action been taken against murder music?

Many countries have taken steps to ban or restrict performances featuring artists known for promoting violence against LGBTQ+ people; not only is it deemed inappropriate but also disrespectful and insensitive towards progressive efforts made around equal rights advocacy on global level.

In 2007, several UK concerts featuring Jamaican artist Vybz Kartel were canceled after campaigns based on his anti-gay lyrics surfaced online. In 2013, a collaboration between Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg) and Jamaican artist Mavado was also stopped by activists who pointed out Mavado’s use of violent language.

Several countries like Canada, France, Germany and the United States have also barred entry to artists who perform murder music lyrics. Although these are merely efforts aimed towards creating more awareness regarding violence targeting minority groups in music industry.

4) Is there any defense for murder music?

Some defenders argue that murder music is simply a reflection of Jamaican culture or an expression of freedom of speech under human rights provisions.

Earlier responses portrayed the “gay lobby” as trying to empty reggae music of its raw emotion and cultural context in favor of Western ideas around LGBTQ+ rights. Many echo the sentiments expressed by Vybz Kartel: “My lyrics come from Jamaica’s streets; they don’t only represent what’s going on in JA but express what people want haffi say.”

While it’s true that any artform needs to be approached with an understanding that it may be addressing some sensitive issues particularly socio-political acttivs which can sometimes make the genre critical or condemnatory. However most part engaging in narratives promoting hate against certain communities is not considered acceptable on moral grounds.

The debate sparked by murder music questions where free speech ends and hate speech should begin thus recognizing one’s personal liberties that could directly endanger another individual or community either through physical violence or mental distress inflicted.

5) What can we do about it?

As audiences, we hold significant power in shaping social norms conveyed through musical genres communicated globally today; responsible engagement can eventually create constructive dialogue which helps limit discourse promoting hostility against minority groups within entertainment sector worldwide.

Individual contributions include boycotting concerts, blocking artists’ content and campaigns raising awareness about anti-violent language within this genre will contribute towards less tolerance for such ideologies while celebrating diversity with inclusivity whenever possible, which can lead to more meaningful movement towards eradicating hate language within all types of media, inclusive of music.

Exploring the Dark Themes of Murder Music: A History of Black Metal Lyrics

Black metal music is a genre that has become infamous for its dark themes and controversial subject matter. While the music itself can be fast-paced, aggressive, and intense, it’s often the lyrics that truly shock listeners.

The origins of black metal can be traced back to the early 1980s in Norway. This was a time when heavy metal was gaining popularity around the world, but in Norway, a small group of musicians wanted to take things in a different direction. They created music that was intentionally raw and unpolished, with distorted guitars and shrieking vocals. And while there were certainly influences from other genres like punk and thrash metal, it was the lyrical content that truly set black metal apart.

Black metal lyrics typically deal with topics like death, Satanism, blasphemy and anti-Christian sentiment. In many cases they also incorporate references to Norse mythology or medieval history. These themes may seem shocking or even offensive to some people today, but they were deliberately chosen by black metal musicians as a way to rebel against mainstream society.

One of the most notorious bands in this genre is Mayhem. Founded by guitarist Euronymous and bassist Necrobutcher in 1984, Mayhem became famous (or infamous) for their live shows which often featured animal carcasses on stage and band members covered in blood. It was their second album “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” where they reached new heights of infamy: its title means “The Mystery Of The Lord Satan” in Latin!

Their frontman at the time “Dead,” whose real name was Per Yngve Ohlin tragicly commit suicide before the release of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas back then leaving behind only his eerie corpse-painted photos & letters describing his contemplation for suicide/harsh approach towards life.

Another Norwegian act is Gorgoroth who unlike Mayhem inspired thousands of fans across several decades. Founded in 1992, this group is known for their obsession with Satanic symbolism and the glorification of evil in their lyrics. One of their most controversial performances was when they played on top of a hill in Poland surrounded by sheep’s head impaled on stakes. They were ultimately prosecuted for “promoting Satanism.”

However, it would be wrong to simply write off black metal as just an attempt at making music about controversial subjects for the sake of it. In fact, many bands within this genre have utilized these themes to explore deeper, more philosophical ideas.

For example, Swedish band Dissection has often been praised for their lyrical complexity and intellectual depth despite being associated with Satanic worship throughout its career.

In summary Black metal lyrics have always been censored as dangerous or even threatening but there still lies a unique subset among them that portrays much-needed rebellion from the normative values upheld by societies in general; sometimes these shock tactics are used just as enhancement to overall dark aura while sometimes they serve profound purposes-the trick is deciphering which ones does what!

Top 5 Facts You Need to Know About Murder Music: A History of Black Metal

Black Metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal that originated in the early 1980s in Scandinavia. This extreme form of music is infamous for its aggressive and violent sound and controversial lyrics. Murder Music: A History of Black Metal is a captivating book that delves deep into the roots of this genre, revealing some fascinating facts that you may not have known before. Here are the top five facts you need to know about murder music and its history:

1) The origins of black metal are steeped in controversy.

Black metal’s origins can be traced back to the early 1980s with bands such as Venom, Bathory, and Hellhammer. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that black metal became a global phenomenon, thanks to Norwegian bands like Mayhem and Burzum. These bands gained worldwide notoriety due to their extreme imagery and lyrics promoting violence, death, and anti-Christian beliefs.

2) Satanism was a driving force behind black metal.

One of the defining characteristics of black metal is its connection to Satanism. The use of inverted crosses, pentagrams, and other Satanic symbols was meant to provoke shock value in conservative societies. However, although most black metal musicians identify themselves as atheists or agnostics; they still embrace Satanic aesthetics as an expression of rebellion against mainstream culture.

3) The Norwegian church burnings are one of the most shocking events associated with black metal.

In the early 1990s, several churches in Norway were burned down by members of the black metal community. This event shook Norway’s religious community as well as law enforcement officials who eventually captured several key players responsible for these crimes. This would lead to other instances such as Varg Vikernes killing Mayhem guitarist Euronymous at his apartment; cementing Black Metal’s bad-boy image for years to come.

4) Black Metal has inspired many sub-genres over time.

Black metal initially emerged as a rebellion against mainstream culture and has since inspired other sub-genres such as death metal, melodic black metal, and symphonic black metal. Each of these genres shares some similarities with black metal in terms of musical style and sensibility.

5) The Norwegian Black Metal scene is still regarded as the most influential to date.

Despite its controversial history, the Norwegian Black Metal scene is one of the most revered music movements today. It continues to inspire musicians from all over the world while maintaining a loyal following. Its legacy lives on through countless bands heavily influenced by this genre’s violent soundscapes and anti-establishment posturing.

In conclusion, murder music (i.e., Black Metal) is an extreme music scene that continues to fascinate listeners worldwide. Although it began as a fringe movement; its influence can be felt in various other genres – both within heavy music and beyond – attesting to the broad range of appeal it harnesses. Whether you’re interested in the music or not, the history behind Black Metal is undoubtedly one worth exploring for anyone curious about how far fans are willing to push boundaries when it comes to self-expression through art.

Beyond the Burnt Churches: The Global Reach of Murder Music

The world of music is ever-evolving, with different genres and sub-genres constantly emerging. Among these genres is Dancehall, a popular music style originating from Jamaica in the late 1970s.

Dancehall has become hugely popular globally, with its catchy beats and infectious rhythms captivating listeners everywhere. However, it’s not just the music that’s catching on; there’s a darker side to dancehall known as “Murder Music.”

Murder Music refers to dancehall songs that promote violence against marginalized groups like queer people, women, and minorities. These songs spew hateful lyrics that are both offensive and dangerous.

The term Murder Music was first coined in the ’90s when reggae artists like Buju Banton released songs like “Boom Bye Bye” glorifying violence towards gay individuals. The release of these types of songs sparked protests and boycotts in many countries worldwide.

Despite widespread outcry against murder music, it continues to be produced and consumed today. Several Jamaican artists have been banned from performing in countries such as Canada and England because of their anti-gay lyrics.

But the reach of murder music goes beyond the Caribbean dancehall scene; it has made its way into mainstream pop culture. In 2013, rapper Macklemore performed his hit single “Same Love,” which supports LGBTQ+ rights at the NRL Grand Final in Australia. The intro for his song included DJ Franky playing Buju Banton’s homophobic anthem “Boom Bye Bye,” sparking backlash from fans.

More recently, Grammy-nominated artist Popcaan came under fire for his song titled “Nah Run.” Many people took offense to lyrics advocating domestic abuse when played by an artist with such influence over young people globally.

With its hateful messages influencing even mainstream musicians outside of the dancehall scene – Murder Music is clearly an issue deserving greater attention from global communities who support justice for all humans regardless of sexuality or gender expression.

In conclusion, while the music industry continues to expand on a global scale, it’s essential to acknowledge and address the negative aspects that are prevalent such as hate speech present in some forms of Dancehall music. To combat this issue we must encourage artists to create music that promotes peace, love, and unity among all groups regardless of sexual orientation or background. Let’s put an end to Murder Music once and for all.

The Enduring Legacy of Murder Music: A History of Black Metal in Today’s Metal Scene

Black metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal that has heavily influenced the music scene since its inception in the early 1980s. It was an underground movement characterized by its dark imagery, harsh sound, and ferocious lyrics. This type of music quickly gained notoriety due to its shocking themes and controversial behavior surrounding the musicians who played it.

Often referred to as “Murder Music,” Black Metal continues to be a highly debated and sometimes misunderstood genre within the broader heavy metal scene. The term originally came about after a spate of church burnings in Norway in the early ’90s; most notably committed by black metal bands Emperor, Burzum, Immortal, and Mayhem. These vandals claimed they were inspired by Satanism, National Socialism (Nazism), or Odinism—ancient Norse mythology.

Despite this dark background, black metal still holds an enduring legacy within today’s metal scene. And while its history may be somewhat bloody, it is also rich with creativity, innovation and iconoclastic qualities.

Black Metal’s Musical Characteristics

One of the things that makes Black Metal stand out is its sound: raw and abrasive with distorted guitars, pounding drums punctuated with high-pitch wailing vocals – often taking on an otherworldly quality.

The origins of these musical attributes can be traced back to Venom – one of the first bands to experiment with heavy distortion and extreme speed – considered by many as one of Black Metal’s founding father’s.

Another defining characteristic of Black Metal is lyrically focused on death worshiping while often adopting pathological elements such as necrophilia or cannibalism – this image has always been integral to both fans and detractors alike.

Portrayal In Popular Culture

Despite becoming more mainstream within recent years black metal remains largely overlooked when compared to other sub-genres due primarily to its image-based excesses rather than any inherent lack of talent among adherents. Still, this sub-genre is simultaneously highly contentious and highly regarded within the music industry.

The portrayal of black metal in popular culture has often revolved around notorious incidents such as the church-burnings mentioned earlier or murder, leading to many who are unfamiliar with it too quickly dismiss it as nothing more than a fanatical form of angry noise.

However, closer examination into this musical genre reveals that even though there have been isolated instances of extreme behavior – most notably involving members of Norway’s Black Metal Scene – these fell largely into the less sensational phases: arsons, vandalism, hate crimes and even rumors of human sacrifice.

Ultimately its hard to deny its cultural impact especially when considering how black metal has given rise to other successful subgenres like death metal (a high-speed version) melodic black metal (incorporating harmonies and symphonic elements), and post-black-metal (pioneered by bands like Deafheaven – providing an experimental twist).


Black Metal is about much more than provocation. It has helped shape heavy metal into what we know today, influencing a whole generation along the way. It embodies the essence of rebellion against society’s norms and offers creative freedom for those musicians -perhaps contributing to its lasting appeal among both fans and musicians alike.

Even a casual listen cannot fail but to notice its powerful presence: one rooted in intelligent musical innovation, astonishing sound engineering while injecting an eclectic intensity that immerses listeners in new possibilities.

Despite some challenging controversies attached over 30 years since its birth, Black Metal proves why things should never be taken at face value: challenging preconceptions is essential for our growth as individuals but also makes us more open-minded towards diversity in many forms – Black Metal included!