Various Artists Fenriz Presents...The Best of Old-School Black Metal
Released: 2004, Peaceville
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Darkthrone skinbasher Fenriz has ventured into the compilation market and in cooperation with England’s Peaceville Records, assembled a telling collection of early black metal bands entitled FENRIZ PRESENTS…THE BEST OF OLD-SCHOOL BLACK METAL. One look at the list of bands on this CD and it is immediately apparent that this is THE one to get: Mayhem, Burzum (whose music has never appeared on any compilation before), Bathory, Venom, Nattefrost, Mercyful Fate, Blasphemy…need I go on?
There are a few curious inclusions like Destruction and Sodom, who I always considered thrash, as well as Mercyful Fate, who I suppose wrote about the black arts but never really had that feel that is usually associated with the genre. Also, who are Bulldozer and Aura Noir?!?! Hearing Vancouver’s own Blasphemy in the same breath as South American cult metallers Sarcofago and Carpathian Forest’s Nattefrost is quite remarkable, too. This really is an expansive collection that covers over twenty years of black metal. Some you will know, while others will be heard for the first time. Prefer for a shock, but truth be told, this was the first time I had heard a track from Burzum (those vocals…UGH?!). I prefer the early black metal sound of Bathory to the mid-period Viking stuff and it was a real treat hearing “Dies Irae” included here. Same goes for Nattefrost, who was probably still suckling at Satan’s breast when Venom recorded “Warhead.” In other words, even if you think you know black metal, there just might be something here that you have never heard before.
The influence of Fenriz’ own band Darkthrone is evident in modern black metal bands, but the man himself got his feet wet with many of the pioneering artists he has gathered here. Old school black metal is not for everyone given its horrendous production, screeching vocals and overdone themes but for those wishing to explore the dark corners of this genre, let Fenriz be your guide.
1. Winds of the Black Godz (Blasphemy)
2. Satanic Lust (Sarcofago)
3. Dawn of Megiddo (Celtic Frost)
4. Sluts of Hell (Nattefrost)
5. Evil (Mercyful Fate)
6. Burst Command Til War (Sodom)
7. Elisabeth Bathory (Tormentor)
8. Blood Unity (Aura Noir)
9. Curse the Gods (Destruction)
10. Into the Pentagram (Samael)
11. Whisky Time (Bulldozer)
12. The Freezing Moon (Mayhem)
13. The Third of the Storms (Hellhammer)
14. Ea, Lord of the Deeps (Burzum)
15. Warhead (Venom)
16. Dies Irae (Bathory)