Make sure you check out other Metal subculture articles like The Mark Of Cain, Saint Vitus and The Four Horsemen.
The Black Death is the horrible plague which devastated Europe between 1347-1351, killing 60% of its inhabitants and spreading to nearby regions like the Middle East.
One must note that back in the 14th century, the transmission of diseases was still not understood, therefore many thought that the plague was brought by God’s anger.
Due to the era’s lack of disease control, the plague spread fast with the help of small rodents and their fleas, killing everyone in its way. People were buried in mass graves as chaos and terror overtook the cities.
The band who’s most famous for referencing the Black Death is Norwegian band “1349”. Their debut album “Liberation” was released in 2003 to positive reviews from the Black Metal community and their 5th full length album “Demonoir” was released in 2010, which is “without a shadow of a doubt 1349‘s darkest, most sinister and brutal work to date”.
Another reference to the Black Death plague is Bader Nana’s “Wormwood” (free download), whose entire concept is based on the Black Death plague. The beacon-shaped mask used in the album’s artwork refers to the protective mask worn by Plague Doctors who attempted to treat the plague victims.
These “Plague Doctors” were also referenced by Metal bands like Predicted, Plague Doctor and Bloodbound among others.
Dark Ages – Black Death