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Black Metal Friday: Behemoth “Christians To The Lions”
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Behemoth Band Photo

“Christians To The Lions” is the sixth track off of Thelema 6, the fifth studio album by Polish juggernauts Behemoth. Check out the clip here below of Behemoth performing “Christians to the Lions” live somewhere around 2004.

Ever since the release of the album Thelema 6 in the year 2000, the aforementioned track has been the central manifesto of nearly every live performance that the band has done. The song’s anti-religion message is a perfect summary of the philosophical stance that has, at times, gotten Behemoth leader Adam “Nergal” Darski into hot water. Darski was charged with causing offense to religion when he ripped the pages out of a bible at a live show in Poland. He was later acquitted of the charges.

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Black Metal Friday: Dissection “Dark Mother Divine”
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Dissection Band Photo

Sweden’s Dissection was a lightening rod for controversy. The band would release only 3 full-length albums in its career, but each of them is considered a masterpiece and essential listening for students of black metal. Band leader Jon Nödtveidt was a disturbed genius who viewed Dissection as his vehicle to spread the anti-cosmic Satanism philosophies of the notorious Norwegian inner circle organization known as the Misanthropic Luciferian Order (now the Temple of the Black Light).

Dissection broke up in 1997 when Nödtveidt was convicted for his part in the murder of a homosexual man in a Göteborg park. He received a 10-year prison sentence, of which he served six. Upon emerging from prison, he would resurrect the band with new members who would be “able to “stand behind and live up to the demands of Dissection’s Satanic concept.” This would be the lineup that would record the final Dissection album, the 2006 masterpiece Reinkaos.

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Black Metal Friday: “Frontschwein” By Marduk
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Marduk Band Photo

The Swedish black metal unit known as Marduk has just released its 13th studio album, Frontschwein, in Europe. The album will hit North American shores on February 10, 2015.

They have also just gifted us with the official video for the album’s title track, which you can check out here below. Frontschwein is the band’s first solely war-themed album since 1999’s legendary release, Panzer Division Marduk.

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Black Metal Friday: “Birth and Death of the Pillars of Creation” by Agalloch
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Agolloch Band Photo

Agolloch is an avant-garde black metal band from Portland, Oregon, that utilizes elements of everything from folk music to shoegaze to prog rock. The band has been active since 1995, but has only released five full-length albums preferring to focus on quality, not quantity. Unlike many black metal bands that find their formula early on and stick with it, Agolloch is constantly experimenting and growing their sound. This has resulted in each of their albums bringing new and exciting surprises.

The band’s most recent offering, The Serpent and the Sphere, was their finest work to date and I’m still kicking myself for forgetting to include it on my Best Metal Albums of 2014 list. It should have had a place in the top 5 of that list and I can’t, for the life of me, imagine why it slipped my mind.

Let me make up for it by giving you a listen to the album’s awesome opening track, “Birth and Death of the Pillars of Creation,” right here below.

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Black Metal Friday: “Walker of Dissonant Worlds” by Xasthur
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Xasthur Band Pic

Multi-instrumentalist Scott Conner goes by the stage name Malefic and is the sole musician behind the black metal project known as Xasthur. Working in solitude from his Alhambra, CA, home since 1997, Conner has produced an extremely prolific body of work. To date, the Xasthur catalog includes 3 demos, 8 full-length albums, 16 EPs and/or splits, and one compilation album.

Xasthur has only made one official video in its history. You can check it out here below. The haunting track, “Walker of Dissonant Worlds,” appears on the excellent 2004 release To Violate the Oblivious.

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Black Metal Friday: “Summoning Lupine” By Leviathan
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Wrest a.k.a. Jef Whitehead One Man Black Metal Band Leviathan

Leviathan is a one-man black metal project from Oakland, CA. The man behind the band is Wrest (real name Jef Whitehead). Whitehead was a teenage troublemaker who became an international skateboarding star, even being featured on the cover of the classic video game Skate or Die 2, despite being kicked out of one group home after another. He would also gain quite a reputation as a graphic artist throughout the skating community. That is a skill that he has parlayed into a career as an highly sought after tattoo artist and has allowed him to keep Leviathan going since 1998.

On February 17th, Leviathan will release its eight full-length studio album, Scar Sighted. Since anything that Leviathan does is highly influential in the black metal world and the band happens to be one of my all time biggest influences, so you can expect a full run down of the new disc right here at GoD.

Meanwhile, check out the killer track “Summoning Lupine” from Leviathan’s compilation album Howl Mockery At The Cross here below.

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Black Metal Friday: “Where Mountains Pierce The Sky” by Panopticon
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Panopticon Band Photo

Panopticon is a one-man black metal project out of Louisville, Kentucky. Multi-instrumentalist Austin Lunn is the man behind the music and prefers to remain in the shadows while his art does the talking for him. And speak it does… in volumes. Panopticon’s fourth album, 2012’s Kentucky, is probably the most groundbreaking and important black metal album that America has ever produced. The album’s deft fusion of Appalachian folk music to traditional black metal is both jarring and breathtaking.

Never one to rely upon black metal’s tired Satanic cliches, Lunn describes Panopticon as “Anarcho Pagan Black Metal.” However, recent releases have seen him veering away from politics toward a more introspective and contemplative point of view. The most recent Panopticon record, Roads to the North, continues to expand upon this subject matter.

Here from Roads to the North is the stunning track “Where Mountains Pierce The Sky.”

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Black Metal Friday: “Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog” by Wolves In The Throne Room
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Wolves In The Throne Room Band Photo

Brothers Nathan and Aaron Weaver formed Wolves In The Throne Room in 2003 in Olympia, Washington. The band has always eschewed the traditional aesthetics of the black metal genre. Preferring a DIY approach, they generally tour with their own PA and try to avoid traditional concert venues. Torchlight is usually the only illumination and flash photography is never permitted. Going even a step further, the brothers frown upon moshing, stating that they want their show to be more of a meditative experience. Their music has been described as “eco-metal” and “astral black metal.”

“Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog” is the opening track of Wolves In The Throne Room’s third album Black Cascade. Check it out here, below.

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Black Metal Friday: “Forhist” by Blut Aus Nord
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Blud Aus Nord Saturnian Poetry Album Cover

Blut Aus Nord is a black metal band from France, but also so much more. Guitarist/vocalist Vindsval started out as a one-man project in 1994 under the moniker of Vlad. The name was soon changed to Blut Aus Nord, which translates to “blood from the north.” Musically, the project started out as fairly straight black metal, but quickly evolved to incorporate elements of industrial, ambient, avant garde and symphonic black metal.

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Black Metal Friday: “Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark)” by Immortal
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Immortal Band Photo

Immortal come from (where else?) the hotbed of black metal, Bergen, Norway, and is one of the most iconic and polarizing bands in the genre. They are revered by many as one of the first bands to emerge in the second wave of black metal and reviled by others who see them as “the KISS of black metal,” perhaps due to the fact that the band has proven to be one of the most commercially successful black metal outfits ever and can often be seen playing the main stages of major European festivals.

Love them or hate them, there is no denying that black metal as we know it today might be a very different animal if not for the contributions of Immortal. Here, from their iconic 1995 album Battles In The North are Immortal with the official video for the song “Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark).”

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