Unblack Metal


Unblack metal refers to a musical style similar, if not identical, to that of black metal but with lyrics and imagery drawn from Christianity. Formed in the early 1990s, unblack metal may very well be one of the more controversial forms metal has taken within the community. Many black metal purists argue that unblack metal is in direct opposition to the abundant anti-Christian and misanthropic themes that make up the foundation of black metal and, perhaps, metal in general. Some black metal artists have said explicitly that Christ and Christianity have no place in black metal and that Christians simply cannot create black metal.

All opinions and conjecture aside, unblack metal exists (the its labeling is suspect) and is a thriving subgenre even today. 

Arguably the very first unblack metal band and the one to coin the controversial term was Horde. Formed in 1994 in Australia, Horde's front man Jayson Sherlock sought to create a musical project that offered an alternative to what he saw as the very hateful and evil black metal music he saw coming out of Scandinavia at the time. Hordes lyrics not only focused on Christianity and faith but also made attacks on Satan and Satanism. Due to this controversial subject matter Horde was met with hostility from the majority and remains a polarizing bastion in the genre. Around this same time another "founding father" of unblack metal, Antestor was formed. First as a death doom band then later embracing a different style, an unblack outfit.

Since that time numerous bands have sprung up under the unblack banner and continue to do so today. 

The trouble with labeling a style of music based on the lyrics is the misrepresentation of music as an ideology. In fact, no music, the music itself (devoid of lyrics) can claim any one ideology. As many traditional black metal artists would like to claim the music in and of itself is allied with darkness and Satanic themes it has caused some muddying of the sonic waters. Similar issues have arose with bands such as Amon Amarth which is often incorrectly branded as "Viking Metal" when in reality they play death metal with lyrics and imagery of Vikings.

For more information about unblack metal the documentary Light in Darkness - Nemesis Divina is recommended. Light in Darkness - Nemesis Divina focuses on the artists involved in the genre, their roots, their points of view on the genre and its future, as well as interviews with musical experts regarding this very polarizing music.    

Average: 5 (1 vote)

Subscribe to Metal CallOut