Black metal is a spiritual music for people who like to call forth Satan.
Kult Ov Azazel's founding member Xaphan is a true believer, and will prove it tonight at Churchill's Pub for the first annual Black Kvlt Metal Fest "with 2 infernal stages, and 11 Kvlt bands."
Here are Xaphan's top ten Florida black metal bands.
10. Cryptic Winds
"They were based out of Orlando. They're no longer around," Xaphan tells us. "They released one album. We played with 'em back in '99 or 2000 in Fort Myers. They were like a really raw totally fuckin' sick black metal band. They were a three piece. I liked what they were doing. They were doin' what we were doin'.
"The difference between death and black metal is that black metal is fuckin' more satanic in nature, more with the occult, that aspect of things. Death metal is more guttural, and more about the horrors of society and death and shit like that. Death metal is usually boom boom rrrrruhhu wwwrraaahhh. Black metal is more blasting to an extent, more like sskkrreeeeeyeyeyayy yayaah. More scream. Death metal is more like reality based. Black metal is more spiritually based."
9. Promethean Horde
"They're from Tampa. They have keyboards and, like, a Dimmu Borgir vibe goin', kinda. I ran sound for 'em a couple months back. I don't usually like a lot of keyboards and stuff, but they're really good. I dug what they were doing. Some black metal leans toward, like, the Viking style. Just like some death metal. Not everybody sounds like Cannibal Corpse or writes lyrics like that. Some death metal is almost like hardcore. I'm not an elitist for purist form. There's black metal bands like Immortal that don't sing about Satan at all or anything evil. It's more like cold mountains and ravens and shit. I imagine that by the song titles like 'Dark Black Catacomb' that's what they're about. I just know they fuckin' played with Krisiun in Fort Lauderdale. They fuckin' tore it up. I was impressed. They really kick some ass."
"Some of this list," Xaphan admits, "is biased because [Orbweaver's] Randy [Piro] has played in fuckin' KOA, my band Kult Ov Azazel. The other half is that I really like what they do live. I ain't heard their album yet either. It just dropped, I guess. They're fuckin' crazy. I like how they incorporate all the trippy psychedelic Voivod influences. They're from Miramar or Hollywood, not sure what they claim. They kinda mix, Randy don't really categorize, he mixes more with all kinds of forms of music. My band KOA playin' with a grindcore band would look funny. We do the corpse paint and all that shit, we do the corpse paint, the spikes, and all that shit. Orbweaver, they just have a more normal look to 'em. I really like what they been doin'. They've really raised the bar. And Randy is one hell of a fuckin' musician. All of 'em are."
7. Angel Corpse
"They fuckin' rule. That's all I need to say. They came down some time in the '90s. They're originally from Missouri and then came to Florida in, I don't know, fuckin' '98. They were based over in Tampa, and they play like a blackened style of death metal. Pete, the bass player, was from Order of Chaos, a really huge band in the underground in the '90s tape-trading scene. It was Pete and two other guys that formed the band. They're just brutal, dude. Their lyrical shit is all like warfare and anti-Christian-type lyrics and apocalyptic themes and shit like that. Kind of like in the beginning stages of war metal and shit. Old school."
"They're from Tampa, Florida, but they relocated to Ohio or some shit. They're totally Satanic. Their lyrical themes are fuckin' blasphemy. Their singer and bass player fuckin' Vincent Crowley is an officially ordained priest in the Church of Satan. Fuckin' ask anybody in the underground who Acheron is and they know. Old-school classic shit from back in the day, still going at it and releasing shit and staying true to their fuckin' blueprint. It hasn't changed much throughout the years. Not like superdoomy, not superfast. Not big blaster dudes. After they got here, their shit took off. You wanna hear some evil shit? Get Rites of the Black Mass. That's their first album that I got in '91 or '92. Blew me the fuck away."
5. Secrets She Kept
"They're from Tampa-slash-Gainesville. But dude lives in Tampa. This choice is another bias 'cause dude plays in my band, doing straight-up black metal. Necrol. This is how he came to be in my band. They're like black and death metal along the lines of Behemoth. Lyrically, they're about depression, death, and shit like that. I don't know. They're not super well known. More, like, within like the state. They just did a show with Terrorirzer with Pete Sandoval from Morbid Angel. They just played in Tampa like a week ago. Pretty underground. Not super well known, but getting out there."
"They're a fuckin' sick-ass fuckin' band from Miami that plays like blackened death metal. War metal like Angel Corpse. They just kill. I done a lot of shows with them. Every time they play live, they murder and murder people. It's like black thrash. Real fast. All their lyrical content is like anti-religious and fuckin' destruction, hatred, war. I can go on all day about they're this, they're that, they're this, they're that, but you have to see 'em live to see why. They're a band of fuckin' drunken-ass Cubans and shit. Not all of 'em, but they're, like, crazy fuckin' Satanic Hispanic motherfuckers. Total alcoholocaust crazed fuckin' wild men, playin' this fuckin' sick fuckin' black thrash. And every time they play they kill it."
3. Perdition Temple
"Another Tampa band. And it's the newest band formed by the guy from Angel Corpse, Gene Palubicki. They're black death, man. War metal. Pretty much like the extension of a more modern and intense version of Angel Corpse. It sounds like a fuckin' tank rollin' over you. War metal is another thread of black metal-style music with lyrics about war and shit like that. It has a real heavy war theme. I have yet to see them live. I was given the CD one night when we played in Tampa a couple years back. They're sick. Definitely worth checkin' out. Only one album out right now. If you're an Angel Corpse fan, you'll definitely shit your pants when you hear it. I did."
"Again, bias. I played in this band live. They're from West Palm Beach. No longer together to my knowledge. Their lyrical shit is more like Germanic occultism leaning, and very intricate musically for black metal, man. I mean playin' that dudes riffs was hard to say the least. Way harder than the shit I write. The music is like fuckin' Norse mythology-based occultism about ruins and shit like that. Kinda Viking-ish shit. The tribes of Germania are what inhabited Norway, Scandinavia, England. All that got inhabited by the Germanic tribes of what's now Germany. Not too many bands were doing anything down here in '98, '99, but Tenebrous was."
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SHOW ME HOW
1. Black Witchery
"They're from Orlando. Winter Springs. And they are total Blasphemy worship. There's a band from fuckin' Canada fuckin' called Blasphemy, man, and they're the originators of what is now War Metal. But there was no term for it in, like, the fuckin' late 80s, or even the early to mid '80s. They were totally Satanic, man. They started the whole fuckin' thing. They were takin' like the black metal and death metal and combining them. At one point it was called blackened death metal. Blasphemy took those two styles and boom, singing about war, death, satanic rituals, and blasphemous, sacreligious topics they made war meta.
"Darkness, evil, black, death, grrraaw. Blasphemy are still around, and Black Witchery is, like, the modern, younger version of fuckin' Blasphemy. They're on that same level. Sick. Man, you see em' live and they got the robes, the fuckin' hooded black robes. The black war paint. A lot of war metal bands put paint on, but not like white and black corpse paint. They take black paint and smear it all around their face, there's no white involved, and black sunglasses over the top of it, and the priest hoods and the whole fuckin' thing. The robes and everything. They're just sick, man. They been around since '87 in one form or another. They're one of those early black metal bands in the U.S.A."