Watch this guitarist prove that black metal without distortion is really just... surf music?
Guitar YouTuber Kevin Balke demonstrates what black metal could have been like if it had come from California, not Norway
It's been swept under the rug, but Surf music was the black metal of its day: a subversive off-shoot of another genre, marked by extreme guitar playing, played by church-burning cardigan-wearing misfits with Satanic- [Alright, that's enough – Ed].
Ok, it wasn't. The two genres couldn't really be further apart. Or so it seemed. YouTuber Kevin Balke has discovered that the two styles have more in common that you might think.
His video "Black Metal Without Distortion Is Just Surf Rock" says it all, as he plays tracks by some of the genre's biggest, darkest, maddest stars – Emperor, Burzum Mayhem, Darkthrone, Satyricon and more – in a clean and far more wholesome style.
It turns out that the surf metal connection is something other people have drawn over the years, including the brilliantly-named Glitter Dick, whose surf cover of Slayer's Seasons In The Abyss is also worth checking out:
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Tom Poak has written for the Hull Daily Mail, Esquire, The Big Issue, Total Guitar, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and more. In a writing career that has spanned decades, he has interviewed Brian May, Brian Cant, and cadged a light off Brian Molko. He has stood on a glacier with Thunder, in a forest by a fjord with Ozzy and Slash, and on the roof of the Houses of Parliament with Thin Lizzy's Scott Gorham (until some nice men with guns came and told them to get down). He has drank with Shane MacGowan, mortally offended Lightning Seed Ian Broudie and been asked if he was homeless by Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch.