Introduction to Christian Black Metal
By Mace Beard (September 22, 2016)
Christian Black Metal, also known as Unblack Metal, started in the early 90's. In 1994, Jayson Sherlock (ex-Mortification, ex-Paramaecium), started his solo project, Horde, originally called Behemoth, under the alias "Anonymous", originally "Unpaganuth Necronomoccultociduth" and came up with the term, Unblack Metal, or as Sherlock calls in "Holy Unblack Metal", a play on words of secular Black metal band Darkthrone's album. Horde was a solo project, with Sherlock recording the drums, vocals, guitars and bass. This was the first time he had recorded the latter two.
Horde has done two live shows with live lineup of Sherlock on drums and vocals, Simon "Pilgrim" Rosen on vocals (Crimson Moonlight), Karl Fredrik "Kvest" Lind and Bengt "Bøddel" Olsson on guitars and Håvar "Gestalt" Wormdahl on bass, all three of the latter being members of Drottnar.
The band recorded their debut album, Hellig Usvart and live album, Alive in Olso in 2006. The band has been inactive since then.
Though it should be noted that Horde was not the first Unblack Metal band. Antestor formed in 1990 as the first Christian Black Metal band. Antestor is known as the "most controversial black metal band in Norway", ironically, due to many black metal bands in the secular market do extreme things, such as promote satanism or the occult, burn churches, or murder people or even each other. In fact, a member of Mayhem stated in an interview that Crush Evil, the name Antestor owned before changing to Antestor, needed to be stopped and that he had a plan to make them disband. Ironically though, this member was murdered by another black metal band member.
Antestor later became known as an Unblack Metal band. Even later on in the band's existance, satanists and anti-christians held riots against Antestor. Though, many would call out these people in anger, but Antestor approached it differently. Antestor thanked the security that protected them, and blessed the people that rioted against them. They even went as far to say "We are twice as big in Brazil as we were before we went there!"
Other notable Unblack Metal bands would include Crimson Moonlight, Drottnar (both band's have members that played live with Horde), Renascent, Pantokrator, Frosthardr, Elgibbor, Frost Like Ashes, Extol and Schaliach. Schaliach consisted on two members, Ole Børud and Peter Dalbakk. Schaliach ended in 1999, with Børud went on to Extol and Dalbakk started Vardøger. Extol has been a pinicle influence with the Unblack Metal scene. They have released albums with the Unblack Metal scene and the Christian Death Metal scene. Frost Like Ashes did the opposite of what Black Metal bands would do. They spit on, and ripped up the Satanic Bible. Elgibbor is a member of Frost Like Ashes, who does all the music and the vocals. He is currently signed to SkyBurnsBlack Records.
Frosthardr has had major sucess in the Unblack scene, while Renascent has not done much in the scene, though currently they are about to release their sophomore album. Pantokrator perservered in the scene for several years, while reaching very little success until recently. They have released two to three full-length albums. Crimson Moonlight and Drottnar have had mild success in the scene, however Crimson Moonlight has had much more success than Drottnar.
There have been several one off Unblack metal project, Horde included, such as Firethrone, Dark Endless, and Abdijah. Many of these bands release an EP, at the least, or an Album. Many of these projects last no longer than that. The scene has not grown much, due to band's releasing one release then disappear from music for long periods of time. Bands in the unblack scene in more recent days (2010-present), would include Skald in Veum, Vials of Wrath, Flukt and Ascending King.
To end this post, here is a list of the UnBlack Metal.
Frost Like Ashes
Skald in Veum
Throne of Awful Splendor
Vials of Wrath