Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It often employs fast tempos, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking in oftentimes droning or hypnotic patterns, and unconventional song structure. It places more emphasis on creating a specific atmosphere of dread or depression than death metal or thrash metal, something it shares with doom metal.
During the first half of the 1980s, certain thrash metal bands established a prototype for black metal. This First Wave includes bands such as Venom, Bathory, Mercyful Fate, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. A Second Wave emerged in the early 1990s, which consisted primarily of Norwegian bands such as Burzum, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Immortal, Gorgoroth, Satyricon, and Emperor.