Black metal is described as a sub-genre of heavy metal music. With themes of satanic and anti-christian lyrics. Many trash metal and death metal bands formed something that became black metal, in the 1980s.
The first bands that is considered to be in the first wave of black metal is Venom, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer and Bathory. The term black metal was coined in 1982 with the band Venom with their album Black Metal. The Swedish band Bathory had a major influence, Quorthon the vocalist of the band was the first to use shrieked vocals that came to define black metal. Though their later album had a style that would become viking metal. Celtic Frost had a huge impact in the mid-90s black metal scene and was one of the worlds original black metal bands.
The second wave of black metal began in the 90s. Norwegian bands led the second wave of black metal. The genre developed even more and became a legitimate sub-genre during this time. Bands such as Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Burzum and Mayhem helped develop the sound and culture further. It was a lot about creating a dark and moody atmosphere. This is also when black metal spread to Europe and America.
Clothing and appearance is important to black metal music. With mostly black outfits with inverted crosses, pentagrams, spiked wristbands and bullet belts. It’s also common to use face paint, real or fake blood to look corpse-like and demonic. Many but not all metal bands are Satanists and Satanism is a big part of black metal. In the first wave, satanic themes were used to cause controversy and gain attention.
Most black metal bands feature raspy, high-pitched vocals including shrieking and screaming vocal styles. Common lyrics for black metal is satanic, death, war, rebirth but some also write about folklore and mythology and many lyrics attack religion. It was common to record music in homes and basement because of limited resources that resulted in lo-fi quality recordings. The music is in a fast tempo with heavily distorted guitars and fast drums.