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USBM: A Journey


Currently doing a deep dive into the sub-genre of USBM (United States Black Metal for the uninitiated). The list will be subject to updates. For the time being the list will be limited to one album per band. Black metal albums (i.e. black, ambient black, atmospheric black, etc.) will be the focus for the time being (i.e. no blackened death, blackened sludge, etc.). Organized alphabetically. You can go to my album votes if you are particularly curious to see what I rated the album. The album included on the list may not be my favourite album from the band, but it makes the most sense to include on the list. Additional commentary for albums may be added as the list develops.

There are likely some notable ones missing, which I have in the queue to revisit their discography (i.e. Cobalt), so please feel free to suggest below. The list is not intended to be a catch all of every black metal band from the USA, but to highlight some releases that I feel are worthwhile.

Created by: Chobo_jokeR | 29.12.2021



1. Agalloch - Pale Folklore
Atmospheric Black (1999)
2. Alraune - The Process of Self-Immolation
Black (2014)
3. Anicon - Entropy Mantra
Krallice-Lite Black (2018)
4. Ash Borer - Ash Borer / Fell Voices [Split]
Black (2011)
5. Arazubak - The Haunted Spawn Of Torment
Raw/Lo-Fi Black (2021)
6. Arizmenda - Within The Vacuum Of Infinity...
Psychedelic Black (2009)
7. Ashdautas - Shadow Plays Of Grief And Pain
Black (2005)
8. Blue Hummingbird On The Left - Atl Tlachinolli
War Black (2019)
9. Celestial Sword - Dawn Of The Crimson Moon
Raw Melodic Black (2021)
10. Chaos Moon - Eschaton Mémoire
Psychedelic Atmospheric Black (2017)
11. Cobalt - Gin
Black (2009)
12. Falls Of Rauros - The Light That Dwells In Rotten Wood
Atmospheric Black (2011)
13. Fell Voices - Fell Voices
Ambient Black (2009)
14. Funereal Presence - Achatius
Off-kilter Black (2019)
15. Infernal Coil - Within A World Forgotten
Grindy Black (2018)
16. Inquisition - Obscure Verses For The Multiverse
Endless Riffs Black (2013)
17. Judas Iscariot - To Embrace The Corpses Bleeding
Black (2002)
18. Kallathon - Disequilibrium Of The Ecliptic Plane [Split]
Black (2011)
19. Krallice - Demonic Wealth
Avante-garde Black (2021)
20. Krieg - The Black House
Black (2004)
21. Lamp Of Murmuur - Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism
Raw/Lo-Fi Black (2020)
22. Leviathan - Massive Conspiracy Against All Life
Ambient Black (2008)
23. Lurker Of Chalice - Lurker Of Chalice
Ambient Black (2005)
24. Mäleficentt - Night Of Eternal Darkness
Raw/Lo-Fi Melodic Black (2020)
25. Mastery - Valis
Chaotic Black (2015)
26. Mo’ynoq - Dreaming In A Dead Language
Black (2019)
27. Mortum - Atlantean Ouroboros
Raw Melodic Black (2020)
28. Necrite - Sic Transit Gloria Mvndi
Ambient Black (2010)
29. Negative Plane - Stained Glass Revelations
Off-kilter Black (2011)
30. Nocturnal Triumph - Nocturnal Triumph
Black (2022)
31. Odz Manouk - Odz Manouk
Black (2010)
32. Pale Chalice - Negate The Infinite And Miraculous
Dissonance-Lite Black (2015)
33. Skáphe - Skáphe²
Psychedelic Black (2016)
34. Spirit Possession - Spirit Possession
Black (2020)
35. Tukaaria - Raw To The Rapine
Black (2011)
36. Ustalost - Before The Glinting Spell Unvests
Dreamy Spacey Black (2021)
37. Valac - Burning Dawn Of Vengeance
Raw/Lo-Fi Black (2021)
38. Void Meditation Cult - Utter The Tongue Of The Dead
Occult Black (2016)
39. Volahn - Aq'Ab'Al
Black (2015)
40. Weakling - Dead As Dreams
Black (2000)
41. Wolves In The Throne Room - Diadem Of 12 Stars
PNW Black (2006)
42. Xasthur - Nocturnal Poisoning
Depressive/Ambient Black (2002)
43. Yellow Eyes - Hammer Of Night
Dreamy Black (2013)



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Chobo_jokeR ]



Comments

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Comments: 24   Visited by: 61 users
30.12.2021 - 05:00
Neachy

Arizmenda/Volahn, Skáphe/Chaos Moon and Bestia Arcana/Nightbringer/Akhlys are the omissions that immediately spring to mind. A couple of deeper dive bands to check out would be Void Meditation Cult and Mo'ynoq.
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30.12.2021 - 13:32
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Impressive list whit strong bands, could be longer
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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30.12.2021 - 13:51
Chobo_jokeR

Written by Neachy on 30.12.2021 at 05:00

Arizmenda/Volahn, Skáphe/Chaos Moon and Bestia Arcana/Nightbringer/Akhlys are the omissions that immediately spring to mind. A couple of deeper dive bands to check out would be Void Meditation Cult and Mo'ynoq.


Those first 4 are in my queue. It’s been so long since I’ve listened to some/all of their albums in succession. Sucks that Arizmenda’s stuff is completely gone from Bandcamp from what I can tell.

The rest I’ll need to investigate. I’ve listened to Akhlys but wasn’t blown away, but will give it a second shot. Preferred album of his?
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30.12.2021 - 13:53
Chobo_jokeR

Written by Bad English on 30.12.2021 at 13:32

Impressive list whit strong bands, could be longer


It’s gonna be a grower, not a shower

More to follow.
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30.12.2021 - 16:45
Karlabos
Meat and Potatos
I like how the USBM has this characteristic "sludgy" approach to their bm, it feels very different from the scandinavian
I mean... At least for the more recent bands, of course.
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Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.
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30.12.2021 - 19:29
Chobo_jokeR

Scandinavian definitely has that “icy” or “frosty” feel to it. Any band in particular with the “sludgy” sound you are most fond of?

US also has Coffinworm, Indian and Lord Mantis which are outright blackened sludge, all of which I enjoy, but they likely won’t make the list as sludge is their primary genre.
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02.01.2022 - 19:46
mz

Imperial Triumphant, Mastery, Necrite, and Xenward come to my mind.
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Giving my ears a rest from music.
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03.01.2022 - 00:18
Karlabos
Meat and Potatos
Written by Chobo_jokeR on 30.12.2021 at 19:29

Any band in particular with the “sludgy”

Well, I don't mean actual sludge mixed with black (I know there are those, too) more like just a vibe which is present on usbm releases. There are even some such bands in this list: Krallice, Weakling, Yellow Eyes... Their sound is a lot more heavy and deep tuned than the average black metal band. Sorta like if a sludge band was writing bm or something
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Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.
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03.01.2022 - 01:01
Chobo_jokeR

Ah ok, I gotcha!
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03.01.2022 - 02:31
Chobo_jokeR

Written by mz on 02.01.2022 at 19:46

Imperial Triumphant, Mastery, Necrite, and Xenward come to my mind.


I’m unfamiliar with the last 3 - so I’ll need to check them out. I’ve been working my way through the Black Twilight Circle after Neachy’s recommendation.

As for Imperial Triumphant, I could see maybe their second one making the cut. Their 2 more recent ones feel more like tech death/avantgarde rather than black.
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03.01.2022 - 18:37
matt4815162342

Written by Neachy on 30.12.2021 at 05:00

...Bestia Arcana/Nightbringer/Akhlys...

There is also Aoratos by the same creator - Naas Alcameth.

My other recommendations would be Abigail Williams, Ash Borer, Ashbringer, Mare Cognitum, Pillorian (founded by John Haughm of Agalloch), Vukari, Wayfarer, Woe, and Woman Is the Earth.
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05.01.2022 - 03:54
Chobo_jokeR

Written by matt4815162342 on 03.01.2022 at 18:37

Written by Neachy on 30.12.2021 at 05:00

...Bestia Arcana/Nightbringer/Akhlys...

There is also Aoratos by the same creator - Naas Alcameth.

My other recommendations would be Abigail Williams, Ash Borer, Ashbringer, Mare Cognitum, Pillorian (founded by John Haughm of Agalloch), Vukari, Wayfarer, Woe, and Woman Is the Earth.


Thanks for the additional recommendations. I've added a number of them to the queue. I'm familiar with Pillorian and Wayfarer. The last two from Mare Cognitum didn't particularly interest me, but I remember liking his earlier work. The others I'll need to check!

I've been doing an extensive run through the BTC bands before I move on to some of the others.
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07.01.2022 - 13:34
Lou Rambler

Definitely missing Nachtmystium.
Also: Panopticon, Minenwerfer, Gallowbraid, Hulder, Sadness
And maybe So Hideous, Crowhurst...
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08.01.2022 - 22:29
Chobo_jokeR

Written by Neachy on 30.12.2021 at 05:00

Arizmenda/Volahn, Skáphe/Chaos Moon and Bestia Arcana/Nightbringer/Akhlys are the omissions that immediately spring to mind. A couple of deeper dive bands to check out would be Void Meditation Cult and Mo'ynoq.


I’m glad I finally gave Arizmenda a proper listen. Wow. What a trip. Numerous other gems from within the BTC too.

Skaphe and Chaos Moon added.

I donno if it’s just because I’ve been so deep into the BTC stuff but bestia arcana/akhlys/aoratos didn’t do much of anything for me. It’s “good” but im not sure what it is it never hits that next gear for me. I started the 3rd nightbringer album and then decided it was more of the same and backed out. I honestly think it may be the production. I have a similar issue with Desolate Shrine’s stuff.

Void Meditation Cult and Mo’ynoq likely to get added. Both of those were thoroughly enjoyable.

Thanks again!
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09.01.2022 - 01:35
Neachy

Written by Chobo_jokeR on 08.01.2022 at 22:29


I’m glad I finally gave Arizmenda a proper listen. Wow. What a trip. Numerous other gems from within the BTC too.

Skaphe and Chaos Moon added.

I donno if it’s just because I’ve been so deep into the BTC stuff but bestia arcana/akhlys/aoratos didn’t do much of anything for me. It’s “good” but im not sure what it is it never hits that next gear for me. I started the 3rd nightbringer album and then decided it was more of the same and backed out. I honestly think it may be the production. I have a similar issue with Desolate Shrine’s stuff.

Void Meditation Cult and Mo’ynoq likely to get added. Both of those were thoroughly enjoyable.

Thanks again!

The Bestia Arcana and Nightbringer from 2011 are the ones I've enjoyed the most. The rest of the stuff by him would definitely be pretty tame after a heavy dose of BTC. I know it's not USBM but give Hwwauoch's debut another listen since you've been initiated into the madness of the BTC. Very similar vibe.
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09.01.2022 - 01:59
Chobo_jokeR

Written by Neachy on 09.01.2022 at 01:35

The Bestia Arcana and Nightbringer from 2011 are the ones I've enjoyed the most. The rest of the stuff by him would definitely be pretty tame after a heavy dose of BTC. I know it's not USBM but give Hwwauoch's debut another listen since you've been initiated into the madness of the BTC. Very similar vibe.


I was just thinking I was going to have to revisit Hwwauoch after the BTC. And the rest of the Prava Kolletiv. I suspect I’ll have a whole new appreciation for Hwwauoch.
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09.01.2022 - 06:21
kethnaab

No discussion of American black metal is complete without Echoes of Battle

If you aren't familiar, then...you're welcome
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09.01.2022 - 20:47
Chobo_jokeR

Written by Lou Rambler on 07.01.2022 at 13:34

Definitely missing Nachtmystium.
Also: Panopticon, Minenwerfer, Gallowbraid, Hulder, Sadness
And maybe So Hideous, Crowhurst...


Thanks for the recommendations! Nachtmystium were one of the bands I was spinning when I decided to start this. I’ll give them another shot but most of their stuff never goes beyond “ok to good” for me.

Panopticon - possible addition. I’d have to give his whole discography a listen to decide which one. Likely autumn eternal but TBD. Never really loved his stuff on album but when I saw them at Migration Fest in 2016 they were insanely good.

Listened to Gallowbraid. Will need to give it another shot but it felt more or less like a straight up Agalloch carbon copy. Down to copying Haughm’s vocal delivery. The BTC stuff has altered my appetite for tunes right now so may need a break.

Others I’ll have to investigate!
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09.01.2022 - 20:49
Chobo_jokeR

Written by kethnaab on 09.01.2022 at 06:21

No discussion of American black metal is complete without Echoes of Battle

If you aren't familiar, then...you're welcome


Thanks for the recommendation!

I remember listening to it when it came out and was underwhelmed and I gave it another shot this morning and again, underwhelmed. This isn’t typically my go to style when it comes to atmospheric black metal. I’ll give it a couple more spins but I don’t expect my opinion to change. The vocals, keys and choir type chants are more or less what holds it back for me.
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10.01.2022 - 10:27
Lou Rambler

Written by Chobo_jokeR on 09.01.2022 at 20:47

Nachtmystium were one of the bands I was spinning when I decided to start this. I’ll give them another shot but most of their stuff never goes beyond “ok to good” for me.


I think albums like "Instinct: Decay" or "The World We Left Behind" could be in that list.

Written by Chobo_jokeR on 09.01.2022 at 20:47

Listened to Gallowbraid. Will need to give it another shot but it felt more or less like a straight up Agalloch carbon copy.


Despite the clear similarity i think "Ashen Eidolon" is more than a just copy of Agalloch and a great album by itself (well, a 40min EP).
And this leads me to something I forgot before: Caladan Brood ("Echoes Of Battle"), which is the same guy.
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11.01.2022 - 09:07
no one

Panopticon - Kentucky, Fauna - Avifauna, I Shalt Become - Wanderings Deafheaven - Sunbather
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Unable to connect to the database
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21.01.2022 - 21:46
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Solid list Mr Joker. I'll throw a few random suggestions below (maybe repeats of what others have recommended). Very glad to see Necrite on your list, that album needs more attention.

Abigail Williams - Becoming or Accuser
Akhlys - The Dreaming I (I see that you said you weren't blown away by them but I'm recommending it anyways because I fucking love this album)
Amiensus - Restoration
Ash Pool - For Which He Plies The Lash
Bestia Arcana - To Anabainon Ek Tes Abyssu
Bosse-De-Nage - III
Botanist - Suicide Tree/Rose From the Dead
Death Fetishist - Clandestine Sacrament
Dispirit - Enantiodromian Birth
Esoterica - Aseity
Fauna - The Hunt
Jute Gyte - Perdurance (There's a lot to choose from with JG but I think this is a solid pick out of the discography)
Nachtmystium - Instinct: Decay
Njiqahdda - Nji. Njiijn. Njiiijn. (Or Yrg Alms, hard to pick)
None - Life Has Gone On Long Enough
Rhinocervs - RH-12
Sannhet - Known Flood
Suffering Hour - Dwell
Tyrannosorceress - Shattering Light's Creation
Velvet Cacoon - Genevieve
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22.01.2022 - 03:32
Chobo_jokeR

Written by no one on 11.01.2022 at 09:07

Panopticon - Kentucky, Fauna - Avifauna, I Shalt Become - Wanderings Deafheaven - Sunbather


Thanks for the recommendations! I gave Fauna a listen and quite enjoyed it. I still need to visit the others.

I’ve been on a bit of a detour from USBM last week or so but still finding time to listen to some.
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22.01.2022 - 03:34
Chobo_jokeR

Written by Alex F on 21.01.2022 at 21:46

Solid list Mr Joker. I'll throw a few random suggestions below (maybe repeats of what others have recommended). Very glad to see Necrite on your list, that album needs more attention.

Abigail Williams - Becoming or Accuser
Akhlys - The Dreaming I (I see that you said you weren't blown away by them but I'm recommending it anyways because I fucking love this album)
Amiensus - Restoration
Ash Pool - For Which He Plies The Lash
Bestia Arcana - To Anabainon Ek Tes Abyssu
Bosse-De-Nage - III
Botanist - Suicide Tree/Rose From the Dead
Death Fetishist - Clandestine Sacrament
Dispirit - Enantiodromian Birth
Esoterica - Aseity
Fauna - The Hunt
Jute Gyte - Perdurance (There's a lot to choose from with JG but I think this is a solid pick out of the discography)
Nachtmystium - Instinct: Decay
Njiqahdda - Nji. Njiijn. Njiiijn. (Or Yrg Alms, hard to pick)
None - Life Has Gone On Long Enough
Rhinocervs - RH-12
Sannhet - Known Flood
Suffering Hour - Dwell
Tyrannosorceress - Shattering Light's Creation
Velvet Cacoon - Genevieve


Thanks for the thumbs up and for the recommendations! I’m familiar with some but several of them I’m unfamiliar with. I shall add these to the list. I’m trying to work my way down the recommendations starting with the top ones. Neachy’s BTC recommendations took me quite some time to get through. I’ve also been on a bit of a tangent the last little bit. Found some bands out of Bosnia that are quite good and now I’ve stumbled upon a collective out of Chile that may keep me busy too. Still mixing in some USBM too.
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