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Qayn
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:14 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:38 am 
 

Hi guys,

I'm curious as to how the Portuguese Underground music (mainly black metal) is perceived outside of Portugal, what is your level of familiarity and what are your feelings about Portuguese Metal?

There have always been trends within Metal on what gets to be more widely approached and catalogged, noteworthy examples would be "tags" such as: Norwegian, French, Icelandic or Greek Black Metal, "NWOBHM" and so on... Some of these, are of course redundancies to anyone who is foreign to lets say "Black Metal", but are however descriptive of the aesthetic approach within a certain culture/geography and note specific musical landscapes to those who consume such music/art.

Black Metal specifically, has been subject of many of these iterations, adding to the aforementioned examples, we can also cite British Black metal as something that had/has its specific aesthetic and sound, same thing would go to Colombian Black Metal or Brazilian Black Metal and even narrower approaches such as "Quebecoise Black Metal" would be valid in such sense, the list would go on and on.

Portugal has had a long history of metal and specifically Black Metal, with bands such as Decayed, Morbid God (earlier incarnation of Moonspell), and Filii Nigrantium Infernalium (to name a few) releasing music in the early 90's alonside the releases in France, Scandinavia and the UK and of course, South America.

There's even a curious video on youtube where Quorthon is strolling through Almada and crossing the river Tejo in a ferry surrounded by fans (some of whom are not only members of aforementioned bands, but are also part of other Portuguese acts), I also know that there was an active correspondence between many of our (Portuguese) undergrounds musicians, with a lot of people involved in the second wave of Black Metal. (you can find the aforementioned video here -
Youtube: show
(other link in case embedded doesn't work - https://youtu.be/Kzkkocx0JzE)

I'm curious as to why Portugal's music hasn't been more widely approached, known or interacted with, and I personaly feel there is now a lot of maturity in our underground.

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 6303
Location: Kansas City
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:32 pm 
 

Portugal had a large BM scene in the early/mid 90's compared to other "periphery" countries of the black metal scene. Bigger than the Spanish scene, for sure. I don't really know why they never caught on with wider attention like the then comparable Polish or Greek scenes. A lot of bands then had a very first wave approach to black metal though it was informed by second save aesthetics. It was not uncommon for bands to mix death and doom riffs with some gothic melodies in their otherwise very norse black metal. They certainly stood out next to the more conventional sounding stuff coming from Germany, France, and Finland at the time.

I'm guessing there wasn't a lot of studio equipment available in Portugal at the time or any labels with broad reach because it doesn't seem like there was a lot of professional push for many Portuguese bands, despite the fact that the musicians themselves were rather creative and as you pointed out, in communication with the broader black metal universe.
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GTog
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:35 pm
Posts: 770
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:53 am 
 

I remember being quite impressed with Penitência when I first heard their only output several years ago, the split Black Throne of Disease. I tracked it down and bought it just because of them. They never did anything after that, so I followed the two principle guys over to Lux Ferre where their 2004 release Antichristian War Propaganda seemed to be going in the same direction. Their other stuff doesn't quite measure up though.

Somehow I ended up listening to Koltum too, maybe because of the Portuguese connection, but probably not. Azagatel and Acceptus Noctifer also had promise around the same time. So I guess mid 2000's might have been a good time for Portuguese BM.
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Qayn
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:14 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:13 am 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
I'm guessing there wasn't a lot of studio equipment available in Portugal at the time or any labels with broad reach because it doesn't seem like there was a lot of professional push for many Portuguese bands, despite the fact that the musicians themselves were rather creative and as you pointed out, in communication with the broader black metal universe.


Yeah, I guess that was part of the issue. Not that there wasn't any music around, but there seemed to be a lack of exposure through any label with broad reach. Nowadays I believe there are some labels in Portugal working in an interesting direction specializing in specific aesthetics (Altare, Helldprod and Caverna Abismal come to mind) but there still seems to be some level of attrition to progress.

GTog wrote:
I remember being quite impressed with Penitência when I first heard their only output several years ago, the split Black Throne of Disease. I tracked it down and bought it just because of them. They never did anything after that, so I followed the two principle guys over to Lux Ferre where their 2004 release Antichristian War Propaganda seemed to be going in the same direction. Their other stuff doesn't quite measure up though.

Somehow I ended up listening to Koltum too, maybe because of the Portuguese connection, but probably not. Azagatel and Acceptus Noctifer also had promise around the same time. So I guess mid 2000's might have been a good time for Portuguese BM.


Shifting from its begginings and onwards from the 2000's, a lot of stuff has been released but it still seems to fail picking up any attention. In comparison, the Icelandic Black Metal acts are much more widely known and referenced, although as a "movement/scene" being much more recent. Normally the only acts I see more widely referenced from Portugal are either Corpus Christii (and some of the "surrounding/related" acts such as Morte Incandescente) or Black Cilice, and even then not as widely known as the aforementioned Icelandic peers. Other acts such as Ars Diavoli, Monte Penumbra, Tod Huetet Uebel, Lux Ferre or Angrenost don't seem to catch as much attention, even though most of their releases paralleled the Icelandic development.

Its weird that a country that produces so much Black Metal (and in such a wide offering as John_Sunlight pointed out, spanning from the lo-fi approach to the higher production standard) and for such a long time has little to no exposure...

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 6303
Location: Kansas City
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:49 am 
 

At least now we can look back and appreciate all the stuff that came out and didn't get much recognition at the time. :)
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