I wasn't sure what to expect from Daniel's book as this was very much an impulse purchase. With the exception of Grave and Entombed, the Swedish scene at the time passed me by as I was more into their British and American counterparts, and later the Norwegian Black Metal scene. I missed a lot it seems!
This is an unashamed and honest look at the scene and makes no claims to be 100% accurate, being compiled from the demos, fanzines and the recollections of those within Sweden's death metal community - including the author himself. The music comes first throughout the book and shuns sensationalism, which lends a greater air of authority to the text.
Swedish death metal's punk and thrash origins are explored, the (quasi-)parallel development of the black metal genre runs throughout, and the legacy of the scene completes the history. No genre is completely isolated, so it was great to have this information included and usually impartial... well, with some slightly unfair knocking of the black metal bands across the border.
The author's knowledge and passion shines through with a wonderfully thorough (and frequently amusing!) list of bands, recordings and fanzines rounding out the book. Demo covers, fanzine extracts, band photos, posters and flyers form an amazing visual record of the years and got me very nostalgic for my own experiences of the UK scene.
A fine addition to any extreme metaller's bookshelf alongside Albert Mudrian's "Choosing Death".