Is Black Metal Popular in Norway?

Black metal is a popular subgenre of heavy metal. While it may not be for everyone, there is certainly a large fanbase for this type of music. The genre’s popularity can vary depending on where people live. 

Black metal is popular in Norway, though not everyone loves the genre. While there is some disagreement about where it is most popular, there is no denying that some of Norway’s best black metal bands started. 

This article will go more in-depth about the popularity of black metal and why it is so popular in Norway and other countries. 

Also, see What Do Norwegian People Look Like? to learn more.

Why Is Norway Known for Black Metal?

Black metal is strongly associated with Norway. Many people consider black metal to be the country’s biggest export, as a great number of black metal bands have originated in Norway. [1]

It may come as a surprise, though, that black metal did not originate from Norway. Still, a lot of people attribute the popularity of the genre to Norwegian black metal bands. 

There were two waves that brought about the popularity of black metal as it is known today. The first wave did not begin in Norway.

In fact, Norway wasn’t involved much until the second wave of black metal’s popularity began. The first wave started in the 1980s with the English band called Venom. 

Venom already had an album out when their second one, “Black Metal,” became more well-known. This album stood out from the previous one as it had many satanic themes.

Many bands caught onto this new, radical style of music and created their unique personas. 

The second wave of popularity came almost ten years later as bands started to emerge from Norway.

These Norwegian bands took some of the tones of the black metal genre, making it their own. This is where bands like Darkthrone and Immortal really took off. [2] 

As the second wave of black metal artists started to take off during the 1990s, it began to take off worldwide.

This is why most people choose to credit Norway for the rise in popularity of black metal music, as the second wave, which began in Norway, is where it gained the most popularity. 

Some of the most popular black metal bands to come out of Norway during the second wave include:

  • Darkthrone
  • Burzum
  • Gorgoroth
  • Ragnarok
  • Order [3]

Since their origins in Norway, these bands have cemented their legacy in the back metal scene.

These bands and others have promoted the genre’s popularity and allowed many other bands from different countries to come after. 

Where Else Is Black Metal Popular?

The popularity of black metal music is not specific to Norway. Many other countries all over the world share a love for black metal music.

However, despite so many bands coming out of Norway, not all Norwegians like the style of music.

The article “Why Do Norwegians Like Black Metal?” goes into greater detail on black metal’s appeal in Norway and the reasons why not everyone like the music. 

Some other countries are worth mentioning regarding the popularity of black metal. Poland, France, and the US are three major countries where black metal has taken off since the second wave in the 1990s.

There are also established black metal fanbases in places like Iceland, Russia, Finland, and Lithuania

Black metal has fans everywhere, just like every other musical genre. Its distinct popularity in Nordic-Baltic countries does not speak for its entire fanbase.

However, it may be more difficult to attend live shows in countries where the genre is not as popular. 

What Other Genres of Music Has Black Metal Influenced?

As with any style of music, black metal artists have strayed from the basic idea of black metal. These groups created their own subgenres to create their own unique style.

The term post-black metal references the bands who chose to use aspects of black metal while branching out into different sounds. 

Post-black metal is a term used to describe a genre of heavy music that has evolved from traditional black metal.

Though black metal has since become well-known for its intense brutality and extremity, it has evolved over the years to encompass a vast array of subgenres.

These subgenres employ various tactics to stand out from the original ideology or sound of black metal. For example, unblack metal is a genre that uses the same sounds of black metal music layered with Christian-based lyrics. [4] 

Unblack metal or faith-based black metal music is a popular genre in the Christian community.

It allows bands to use the same sounds that black metal has traditionally used, while taking away some of the harsher and more extreme lyrics and imagery.

This form of Christian music provides an alternative for those who want to experience heavy music without compromising their faith. 

Not all subgenres of black metal are as different from unblack metal. Some subgenres, like symphonic and industrial black metal, use different instruments to alter the sound of the original genre while still maintaining many of the important characteristics of black metal. 

Another genre that black metal inspired is known as black’ n’ roll.

This genre’s title is on point as it takes from the rock and roll music of the 1970s and the more current black metal genre.

While black ‘n’ roll and black metal can sound quite similar, people can easily distinguish the two once they hear the rock and roll incorporations. 

No matter the sound preference, anyone can find a genre of music that fits their taste. With the vast variances in black metal music, many people have found their preferred sound.

While black metal isn’t for everyone, there can be a subgenre more fitting to a specific person’s taste. This is why exploring different genres of music is so vital. 

With the availability of streaming nowadays, it is much easier to listen to music from different types of artists worldwide.

Listeners are no longer subjected to the whims of radio popularity or needing to purchase an entire album just to see if they like it.

So, take advantage of this by exploring other genres like black metal and the many subgenres they offer as well. 

[1] Source 
[2] Source
[3] Source
[4] Source

Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

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