Various Artists

Fenriz Presents:The Best of Old School Black Metal

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When black metal first crawled out from the grave during the '80s, this extreme form of metal was ridiculed by many -- including many members of the heavy metal community, who felt that the pummeling music and dark/disturbing lyrics were simply too much. But by the early 21st century, there's no denying the genre's staying power, and the fact that it has influenced legions of subsequent bands. For a taste of the trailblazers of this genre, the 16-track Fenriz Presents: The Best of Old School Black Metal compilation comes in quite handy. As its title states, the album was compiled by black metallist Fenriz, best known as the drummer of Darkthrone, who supposedly will be putting together further collections in the future. For the most part, the best-known tracks hold up the best (including Mercyful Fate's "Evil," Venom's "Warhead," and Celtic Frost's "Dawn of Megiddo"), but there are plenty of obscurities here to be discovered as well (including selections from such oft-overlooked outfits as Bathory, Hellhammer, and Destruction). A solid metallic history lesson.