Various Artists - Fenriz Presents... The Best of Old-School Black Metal
Peaceville Records
Old-School Black Metal
16 songs (71:40)
Release year: 2004
Peaceville Records
Reviewed by Daniel

If you ask someone who has recently discovered real Black Metal, which was the first Black Metal band, he would probably answer Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum or something like that, and if you ask someone a bit more experienced, he’ll probably answer Bathory. Now, if you ask the same question to a group of experienced Black Metalers it’s probable that some will answer in the same way as the Black Metal newbie, but some others will surely mention bands like Venom, Mercyful Fate and Celtic Frost. Now, I’m not going to start arguing if Venom (or any band in the compilation) is or isn’t really Black Metal, but one thing is sure; every single band in this compilation has left a very deep mark on the genre (with the obvious exception of Nattefrost), and there’s no arguing in the fact that most, if not every single one of the so-called “second wave of Black Metal” artists where highly influenced by all of these bands (once again with the obvious exception of Nattefrost).

The album’s track-list is as follows:

Blasphemy - Winds of the Black Godz
Sarcofago - Satanic Lust
Celtic Frost - Dawn of Megiddo
Nattefrost - Sluts of Hell
Mercyful Fate - Evil
Sodom - Burst Command til' War
Tormentor - Elisabeth Bathory
Aura Noir - Blood Unity
Destruction - Curse the Gods
Samael - Into the Pentagram
Bulldozer - Whisky Time
Mayhem - The Freezing Moon
Hellhammer - The Third of the Storms (Evoked Damnation)
Burzum - Ea, Lord of the Depths
Venom - Warhead
Bathory - Dies Irae

As you can see the album is composed mainly by 80’s and early/mid 90’s bands. Something that strikes me as odd was the inclusion of Nattefrost’s Sluts of Hell, considering that the song was released in 2004, but anyway, it sure is in the vein of old-school Black Metal.

When reading the track-list it becomes rather evident that Fenriz didn’t include the bands’ most famous tracks in all of the cases, but his personal favorites, thing that I guess it’s nice because people that don’t know much about these bands will be able to hear material which is a bit more obscure than the most known tracks.

The album tracks range from more Thrashier bands like Sodom, Aura Noir and Sarcofago; to more Deathish ones like Hellhammer; to bands that portray what Black Metal is considered nowadays, like Burzum and Mayhem. But whether you’re playing 1984 Hellhammer, 1994 Mayhem, or 2004 Nattefrost, you’ll sure headbang from start to finish.

Money snatching gimmick or good intentioned documentary? I don’t know, but this compilation is sure to please most of the Metal community. So, if you think that the first Black Metal band was Darkthrone, then pick it up to see what influenced your Metal heroes. If you want to revive the old days when you and your buddies got drunk to anthems like Black Metal or Circle of the Tyrants, then pick it up as well. If you hate old-school Metal, it’s probable that you will hate this one as well, but who knows? Maybe you find something in this album that will make you change your mind, especially if you are interested in the more extreme side of Metal. All in all, a very solid compilation.

Killing Songs :
All are great.
Daniel quoted no quote
Other albums by Various Artists that we have reviewed:
Various Artists - Servants of Chaos II reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Various Artists - In Mordor Where the Shadows Are - Homage to Summoning reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Various Artists - A Light in the Black : A Tribute to Ronnie James Dio reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Various Artists - Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple's Machine Head reviewed by Stefan and quoted No Quote
Various Artists - Illud Divinum Insanus - The Remixes reviewed by Charles and quoted no quote
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