For better or for worse, black metal broke the mold in the 2010s. It was a long time coming, too. From its inception in the early ’80s until shortly before 2010, black metal, with regard to both its sound and its culture, had barely budged.
Prior to this week, I had no idea who Omar Souleyman was. I found his name scrolling through Metacritic and thought it sounded like one out of my high school yearbooks or my mom’s soap operas (I’m Arab).
Many producers note that the inherent darkness of their music reflects the uneasy tension between the desire to celebrate, and the poverty, violence and lack of opportunity that are widespread in the areas they grow up in.
While their exaggerated pop brand has worked well for the band, they’ve always seemed antsy to transition into a different realm of music, one that’s a little less hopeful and more honest in its vision of the world.