Watch: Is Black Metal Just Angry Surf Rock? YouTube Guitarist Shows How That May Be The Case

YouTube guitarist shows the similarities between black metal and surf rock
Gahl: Vassil, CC BY 3.0, Wikipedia/ Surfer: Wikipedia
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YouTuber Kevin Balke decided to take it upon himself and explore the question – Is black metal just angry surf rock?

Throughout a pretty entertaining and insightful video, Balke plays several different black metal cuts via his guitar; the catch is that he does not involve any distortion and has added a shuffling beat to these songs. Besides these slight changes, these black metal songs are the same, but now they sound like chill surf rock tunes. It is pretty surreal. In the description of Balke’s video he does include timestamps for when a particular song is being performed, but below we have included what black metal cuts are part of his video (read as, “band” – “song”):

  • Emperor – I Am The Black Wizards
    Burzum – Jeg Faller
    Mayhem – Freezing Moon
    Dissection – Night’s Blood
    Darkthrone – Transilvanian Hunger
    Satyricon – Mother North

You can check out the video that features Balke playing the stripped down metal tracks below:

After watching this, what do you think? Is black metal just angry surf rock music? Balke’s channel is also home to other really interesting videos; a couple videos that caught our attention is him playing 10 iconic Metallica riffs, as well as playing the guitar riff from the Eminem song “Lose Yourself.”

Speaking of black metal, check out this interview we conducted earlier this year with Trivium singer Matt Heafy. We spoke to Matt about his new project Ibaraki and how he embraces the sonic elements of the genre, but also made efforts to expand the genre into something more positive. We have included an excerpt from our interview with him (but you can find the full interview with the link below):

Matt Heafy: [Overtime, I came to discover these other aspects to black metal, these things that to] me, as everything I stand for in Trivium and in life, things that are vastly against what I believe in life. So then I started saying, “Well a genre I’ve loved my whole life has so many things that I don’t love about it. That I despise about the genre, that are not okay with me.” Like I’m fine with the Satanism for show; no one’s really Satanist, and if they are really Satanist, that is cool. The feuds – give or take – it made the genre what it is… but when you get into the bigotry, the racism, the extreme subsects and factions of the genre, that’s the stuff I want nothing to do. That’s the stuff I had my blinders on as a kid.

So I said to myself, this is no longer “just a black metal album.” And I’m not demeaning the genre that I’ve loved for so many years – although, it does have problems. This Ibaraki album is rooted from black metal, but has grown into something else.

Trivium Frontman Matt Heafy Talks Black Metal Project Ibaraki, My Chemical Romance Collab + Inspiring Good Through Black Metal