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Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult Paperback – February 13, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dayal’s knack for a riveting, conscientious narrative – combined with a lifelong knowledge of the scene and a rare level of trust from all involved – leaves behind the sensationalism and various agendas so many authors and documentary makers have brought to bear on black metal, and treats it instead as the still vibrant and turbulent artform all genuine fans will recognise first and foremost, while still providing revelatory insights for fans both old and new." -Metal Hammer

"Anyone who has picked up any UK metal mags over the past few years would recognise Dayal’s writing. And anyone who has ran into him at a gig over the past few years will recognise the burden of putting together a phone-book sized history of a metal subgenre that has thrived on half-truths, legend and scandal. Said burden could have—should have turned Dayal all shades of Senator Palpatine, but it looks like it has gone to press just in time." - Decibel Magazine

"Offering an unparalleled level of detail, and spanning 600 pages, ‘Black Metal: Evolution Of The Cult’ captures the progress of one of metal’s most dangerous and exciting genres." -Terrorizer

"Author Patterson has pulled off the remarkable trick of covering 30 years' worth of extreme heavy metal, from its garage beginnings to the murderous second wave and finally to the disparate chaos of today.To his credit, Patterson doesn't repeat other book's mistakes by focussing solely on the Oslo scene of the early 90s, though those events (murders, church-burnings and grave desecrations) get their own in-depth chapters. His book adds plenty of previously unread interviews with the main culprits, leading to new perspectives on the original shortlist of innovators (Venom, Bathory, Mercyful Fate, Hellhammer) as much as the modern and frankly confusing wave of bands. It's easy to recommend this book: it's the most ambitious work on black metal so far attempted." - Joel McIver, Record Collector Magazine

Unlike other books and documentaries on the subject, Patterson approaches the genre from an insider’s perspective, providing an exciting account of nearly 30 years’ worth of black metal history, two decades of which he found himself firmly rooted; a purposeful tome meant to enrich, enlighten and “examine the artistic, musical, and spiritual development of the genre and the creative work, ideologies and often colourful lives of some of its most significant bands. - Zero Tolerance Magazine

With the arrival of British music writer Dayal Patterson’s excellent book, we have a collection of the best journalism and photo archival work of the lot. It completes the “unholy trinity” of BM books. It is an extremely diligent and well-informed publication that leaves almost nothing out of the history of the genre, containing many previously unreported facts and stories. This is no lazy collection of old interviews thrown together in haste. It is a modern masterpiece of the declining art of music journalism. - Vice Magazine

It’s a fascinating overview of Black Metal written by a seriously otaku expert on the genre. At nearly 500 pages, it’s instantly the defining book on Black Metal, even a kind of minor masterpiece of the rock book form, featuring dozens of interviews with the luminaries (would that be the right word?) of the Black Metal scene. I got totally lost in it. - Dangerous Minds

About the Author

Dayal began writing professionally in 2005, having previously created a self-published music journal entitled Crypt Magazine. Since that time he has contributed regularly to the likes of Record Collector, The Quietus, Terrorizer, Decibel, Classic Rock Presents... and, most prominently, Metal Hammer magazine, whom he has written for since 2006, providing numerous lead and cover story features. He has also written liner notes for releases by high profile bands including the post-punk pioneers Killing Joke and black metal legends Marduk. As well as working with the written word he has also conducted onscreen interviews for magazines, web sites and DVD release. He has conducted interviews with hundreds of bands of various styles from Rammstein, to Public Enemy to Gorgoroth to Alice in Chains to Machine Head as well as actors, directors and visual artists.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Feral House (February 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936239752
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936239757
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a pretty thorough retrospective of what has grown to be an enormous sub-culture/ genre. At 600 or so pages, it's well paced and and sewn together quite well, capturing the essence of multiple eras. As someone who fiended for information (generally pre-internet,) through 'zines, letter writing, tape trading and buying from small distros in the states during the early/ mid 90's, this book collects a lot of the information (in addition to some new insights) without overly relying on the same old hype stories. Though the retelling of some of the "shock stories" from Norway have grown tired, this text handles them without them having to be the central focus, while painting the scene with a broad enough brush to capture many of the splinter genres that have developed over the last 30 years.
While it may be a matter of personal taste, my one criticism would be the overlooking of particular bands (Immortal, Ancient, Abigor, Summoning) in favor of some of others who have had less of an impact (DHG, Storm, etc.). Perhaps it was just the accessibility of the aforementioned bands' products in the States (getting imports in the US was a challenge at this time) that made them important to me, but it seems odd to have not spent time on them.
If you are a long time fan of the genre, this book is a solid collection of stories and reflections, with enough new information to make it a worthwhile read. If you are newer to the scene, it is a large but digestible overview of one of he more intriguing sub-cultures of the last 30 years.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I love about Dayal's book is the wide range he covers in this book. It seems like every book or documentary on black metal focuses on Burzum, Mayhem, and Varg Vikernes vs. Euronymous. Dayal touches on this briefly, but more as a side note. It's very refreshing to read a black metal book that starts with the guys who started it all: Mercyful Fate, Venom, Celtic Frost, etc. and how it progressed into what it is today. Dayal's look at modern bands of all subgenres of black metal really put this book over the top and make it the best black metal book out there. Lords of Chaos for years have set the standard, but that book was last revised in 2003, so there is a whole decade of black metal culture and goings on to report on, especially with the thousand different directions black metal has gone since then. Dayal really nailed it with this book and Feral House will continue to be my favorite publisher. Dayal puts every major (and minor) black metal and props for mentioning bands like Ulver, Samael, old Cradle of Filth, Beherit, Fleurety, Dodecahedron, Vlad Tepes, and especially Marduk. Marduk is my all time favorite band and get overlooked constantly, so it is nice to see some representation here. ANother great aspect of this book is the breakdown of scenes from various countries from around the world and the introduction to many of us such great bands like VON, which I had heard the name, but had to check out on Youtube, and am now depressed on missing out on those guys back in the day. This book is not just the best music book I have read this year (honorable mention: Al Jourgensen), but probably the best book of any kind period I have read in 2013. Props to Dayal Patterson and Feral House. This book is an encyclopedia and worth the money.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Forget Lords of Chaos, this is the one book every black metal fan should own. Absolutely a joy to read. Gave a linear insight into how 2nd wave black metal came to be, without the hype and bias every other writer has. Obviously a well-researched labor of love for the author.
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Casual readers can enjoy this, but it definitely satisfies the aficionado as well. Lots of interviews and research has been done by the author. You can tell he has a real love for extreme music, especially Black metal. Less emphasis on the sensational like 'Lords of Chaos' and more info about the bands and the people behind them. It's up to date as well and doesn't linger on the early years of 2nd gen Black Metal in Norway, yet he covers it fully as well. Tons of great b&w pics with a good section of color as well. I only wish he'd covered 1349 and Nattefrost. Oh well. Can't have everything I guess. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've never really been into Black Metal when I was growing up. I chose Death, Thrash Metal in those days. This book really explained a lot, and opened my eyes to the history of Black Metal and the waves it went through. Great read, and I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Metal period! Horns up!
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I'm only a few chapters in, but I'm enjoying this book quite a bit so I figured I'd post a review. This book gives the history of black metal by focusing on the stories, backgrounds and influences of some of the most important bands in the genre. It gives a pretty broad view of the different aspects of black metal without oversimplifying. There are a good amount of pictures in the book as well.

I'm learning a lot about this genre and gaining an appreciation for it by reading this. It's gotten me to check out bands I hadn't been too familiar with. You can tell the writer put in a lot of time and effort in putting together this book.

If you are a metal fan, or have an interest in learning about metal, or specifically black metal (even if you're just a music fan in general and enjoy books about music) I would recommend this book. If I have anything to add after finishing this book I'll edit my review later on...
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