People might disagree but I hate the really old school black metal like Mayhem, Burzum, Marduk, Darkthrone.
Lately I've been trying to get into Black Metal as I very much like the aesthetics of it all and of course it's yet another genre to expand my listening to.
Currently I'm enjoying what I would assume is on the fringes of the genre in a sort of Black + Ambient/Folk mix. Agalloch, Ulver, Negura Bunget, and a couple others. And then of course there's the more mainstream sounding Melodic Black metal In Dimmu Borgir & Illnath. I realize some of these may be "Black Metal-lite" for those BM fanatics among you, but please bear with me.
It would seem in comparing these bands with some of the more highly praised BM acts that the defining difference I'm taking notice of is the overall production style. It seems to have a very gritty, treble-y, almost low-bitrate quality to it, namely in the guitar distortion. Is this a more fundamental aspect of the genre, or am I simply running into a lot of bands with these production values? To be quite honest much of what I've heard *literally* gives me a headache, yet some of the heaviest Death Metal bands don't even phase me even after hours of listening.
So is this lo-fi production style a fundamental tenet of the genre that I'll simply have to get over (much like how Opeth helped me get over death growls several years ago) or am I simply looking into the wrong acts? Might you suggest a bridge between the "Agallochs" I currently enjoy towards to the "Darkthrones" of the core of the genre?