Bands come and go, and some bands, it feels like they quit before their time is up, or go on hiatus before their last missing chapter is complete, or part ways before they had an opportunity to showcase their entire potential together, so I decided to write a list of 16 Black Metal bands and projects that I wouldn't mind seeing reunite or at least put out fresh material (regardless of how realistic such a reunion would be). In no particular order:
Pagan Black Metal from Kiel, Germany - Originally formed in 1996, Drautran only managed to release one full-length album in 2007, "Throne of the Depths", before going on an indefinite hiatus. "Throne of the Depths" remains one of my all time favourite albums, and the songwriting and themes showcased within demonstrate that these are seriously talented musicians, and that Drautran has a lot of potential, should a reunion ever take place.
Atmospheric / Pagan Black Metal from Moscow, Russia - Another band with a singular release to their name, Walknut put out "Graveforests and Their Shadows" in 2007, with no further material ever released. Still, "Graveforests and Their Shadows" remains one of the all-time greats of Russian Black Metal, and I know I'm not the only one who'd look forward to the project being reignited.
Atmospheric Black Metal from Bavaria, Germany - Featured not too long ago in my "15 Underrated Black Metal Bands" article, Gratzug are one of my favourite Atmospheric Black Metal projects, and I was surprised to learn recently that Mephistopheles, the project's founder, laid Gratzug to rest in 2019, and has since moved on to work on another project, Strigae. Gratzug counts with six full-length albums and a number of split albums and EPs, with plenty of atmosphere and creativity to be found.
Black / Death Metal from Berlin, Germany - Also featured in the "15 Underrated Black Metal Bands" article, and again another band that I was surprised to learn had called it quits recently. Over their 20-year career, Necros Christos put out a total of three full-length albums, the most recent of which, "Domedon Doxomedon", clocks in at almost 2 hours in length, dripping themes of esoteric biblical doom.
Black Metal from Sundsvall, Sweden - Floating just beneath the surface of Sweden's Black Metal scene for most of their career, Setherial were quite prominent in the 90s, with their first two albums earning them universal acclaim. Their last full-length album to be released, "Ekpyrosis", was in 2010, and not much has been heard from them since.
Black Metal from Hamburg, Germany - One of the lesser known bands from the German scene, after putting out five full-length albums and two EPs, Negator announced their dissolution last after vocalist and founder Steve "Nachtgarm" Marbs revealed his retirement as a musician on his 40th birthday.
It's always a shame when any musician feels like they can't continue their craft for one reason or another, so I'm hoping this is but a temporary break from things and that Nachtgarm will be back in the studio at some point. Negator's debut, "Old Black", is still held in high regard to this day.
Black Metal from Austin, Texas, USA - A fairly big name in the American Black Metal scene, Averse Sefira put out a solid four albums before calling it quits in 2012. They certainly ended on a high note, but I'd still like to think that Averse Sefira's final chapter is yet to be written.
Black Metal from Mora, Sweden - The brainchild of Johan "Shamaatae" Lahger, Arckanum was a force to be reckoned with, and one of the most prominent of the many Black Metal bands out there devoted to "Chaos-Gnosticism" and founded as far back as 1992. After putting out nine full-length albums and countless EPs and split albums, Shamaatae eventually laid the project to rest in 2018 to focus on his career as an author.
Black / Thrash Metal from Oslo, Norway - The Norwegian Black / Thrash act par excellence, Aura Noir surprised me by going on hiatus in 2020, as I expected them to have a lot more fuel in the tank. Not much to say about Aura Noir that isn't widely known already. Here's to hoping they'll be back in business soon and keep on doing what they do best.
Black / Death Metal from Thuringia, Germany - Alchemyst was one of the many projects created by prolific German artist and musician Martin "Valkenstijn" Falkenstein, who is also the mastermind behind another of my favourite German bands, Mosaic. With Alchemyst, only one singular full-length album was ever released, "Nekromanteion", in 2012, however one spin of this masterpiece will convince you that the world can definitely do with at least one more Alchemyst album.
The parallels in atmosphere and songwriting with Mosaic definitely shine through here and there, but overall this is a whole different beast.
Symphonic Black Metal from Jyväskylä, Finland - One of the great Symphonic Black Metal acts to emerge from Finland, offering a perfect blend of melody and authenticity and truckloads of catchy riffs to boot. I was sad to hear them retire after playing their final show in their hometown of Jyväskylä in June of 2018. In a career spanning three decades, they put out a total of eight full-length albums, the last being "Eight Coffin Nails", which is perhaps a self-reflective reference to their lengthly career.
Black / Death Metal from Saxony, Germany - A criminally underrated band from the German underground, Katharsis knew exactly how to make Black / Death Metal in it's purest form, chaotic, mystical and merciless. Their last album was in 2006, "VVorldVVithoutEnd". The double VV instead of W should tell you everything you need to know. There are dozens of bands that share the name, but don't be fooled. This is the only one that counts.
Atmospheric / Folk Black Metal from Portland, Oregon, USA - Probably at or near the top of anyone's "Ideal Black Metal Reunions" list, Agalloch were one of the pillars of the American North-west's prominent Folk / Black Metal scene, and their first three albums are undisputable classics of American Black Metal, and often some of the first releases that anyone encounters when first familiarizing themselves with Black Metal.
The band's founder John Haughm parted ways with the band in May of 2016, and a few days later, the remaining members concluded later that, in his absence, it was for the best to lay the band to rest.
Black Metal from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany - Yet another band that also featured in the "15 Underrated Black Metal Bands" article, Zarathustra were a fine group of talented musicians who released a total of three full-length albums before going on hiatus. The most recent album was In Hora Mortis, from 2006. Check out that cover art.
Pagan Black Metal from Sunderland, UK - Despite Venom's pioneering contribution to the genre, I always felt like the UK was lacking in their overall presence in Black Metal, especially taking into account a population that is fast approaching 70 million. I could probably count the truly ground-breaking or noteworthy bands to emerge from there on one hand. Cradle of Filth, Bal-Sagoth, Anaal Nathrakh, Akercocke... and... Hecate Enthroned? The Meads of Asphodel? A Forest of Stars perhaps? Maybe Saor? I'm not sure.
Still, one relatively short-lived British Black Metal band I would have loved to see more of were Wodensthrone, who only managed to put out two albums before calling it quits in 2016. I feel like there was a lot of potential with these guys that wasn't revealed before the project came to an end.
Black Metal from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany - Saving the best for last of course, Nagelfar would be the perfect reunion in my mind. Perhaps the greatest German Black Metal band ever, their three full-length albums are pure gold. Nagelfar is the type of thing that happens when the stars are aligned, when the right people meet at the right place and at the right time. It could be argued that Nagelfar being laid to rest in 2002 after their final album, "Virus West", was a good thing, and that it prevented them from succumbing to mediocrity, but I am convinced they certainly had at least two more albums left in the tank that could have been just as memorable.
A reunion at this point is highly unlikely, with the ex-Nagelfar members firmly entrenched in their new projects, but a man can dream.
Epic Black Metal from Grenoble, France - I had initially planned to include Aldaaron in this list, after believing them to still be on hiatus for over a decade now, but while writing this article I happened to notice they have actually been putting out new music over the last couple of months, and gearing up for the release of what promises to be a third full-length album. Check out their latest single, "Arcane Mountain Cult", released last month:
Last edited by Imperator on 25th August, 2022 @ 23:38 UTC
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