on 20 June 2015
I've been an avid follower of the genre since 2008 and wanted to see if there was any worthwhile literature about it. I found this book and to my surprise it was a truly excellent read and well above my expectations. It has everything from the early black thrash bands, the second wave, to the underground scenes including the Black Legions and Polish black metal, pagan black metal and the more avant-garde offshoots that developed later on. It doesn't cover absolutely everything, for example there is not much about the American scene or the depressive sub-genre, yet it is a well-written overall history that doesn't solely rely on interview excerpts, but provides a decent narrative divided nicely into chapters. Currently the author is writing more material for the Cult Never Dies series, the first volume of which goes into further detail regarding the scenes mentioned in this book, I will certainly be purchasing those when available. For anyone remotely interested in the genre I cannot understate, this is a must have!
on 22 June 2016
An excellent encyclopaedia of all things black metal, there are just a few issues here which cause me to drop a star from the 5* it undoubtedly deserved:
* whilst it may be subjective as to who the main players in the rise of the scene are, there is no denying that both Immortal and Satyricon more than deserves their own chapters in this story. Without them this massive 642 page tome actually feels incomplete. Satyr is mentioned in almost every chapter due to his label, but both really needed a full chapter.
* I found myself loosing my interest around the last fifth of of book. I felt these later interviews were just not an interesting as the earlier ones.
These things said, the chapters on Burzum, Darkthrone, Venom, Emperor etc were excellent and I found myself flying through them.
I have read people who believe Mayhem and Euronymous got too many chapters, but hey, this is a book about the rise of black metal. These were undeniably such huge players in the scene that they needed such space.
What makes this book different to others on the subject is that the author doesn't set down his own views on any of the acts, apart from when reciting what has been told to him in interviews. I found this to be good in the discussion of satanism (enough he been written on this subject before ), but a tad bit concerning in the chapter on the rise of NSBM. My opinion is that whilst this topic needed to be discussed it should have been made clear that the ideology on display is abhorrent.
With his book Dayal Patteson has written a modern day masterpiece and is the only book on black metal you need to read.
on 25 November 2014
Whether you are a die-hard fan or simply curious about Black Metal this book is for you. A superbly written overview and history of the genre told by the people who played their part in it. It is the interviews with the musicians themselves that make this such a fascinating book, providing a genuine insight to a musical form that many mistakenly regard as just 'noise'.
Despite it's hefty size i found this book pretty much 'unputdownable' and have discovered a whole load of new music as a result. Highly recommended.
on 27 June 2016
Dayal Patterson breaths new life into metal journalism. The writer, having contributed to Metal Hammer for over a decade, turns now to a series of books regarding the Black Metal. These books are excellent reading for anyone interested in the subject. They are written in an unpretentious and down to earth style which makes them easy to dive into. However, they do not represent a boiled down simplification lacking the subtlety needed to convey the genre. In a series of in-depth interviews, Black Metal : Evolution of the Cult looks at the history of a number of important as well as obscure artists. Putting a human story to bands known previously only through their music. 5/5