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True Norwegian Black Metal Hardcover – May 20, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

American documentary photographer Peter Beste has spent the last eight years working in the milieu of this insulated and secretive community. Beste's access and insight has been absolutely without precedent, resulting in an amazing photographic journey.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: VICE Books; Deluxe edition (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576874354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576874356
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 1 x 14.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Corpsie on August 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off, what a deal Amazon has on this. Pretty much half off what a person would pay in the store.

Anyway, like the other reviews here, this book is no slouch. It's meant for the coffee table and if you don't have a coffee table then it garners an extra seat on the couch. When people visit they have to sit next to the large front cover of Nattefrost holding up his inverted crucifix. It's definitely a conversation starter.

I've been a fan of this sub-genre of metal for a while now. I'm not going to lie and say that I've liked it or even knew about the "second wave" when it was happening. I was happily listening to my death, thrash, and classic metal albums at the time. But, when I finally did discover it, I found a new form of extreme music that paralleled my tastes at the time (around 1996).

Pros: Peter Beste's True Norwegian Black Metal captures some of the most memorable photos of the scene throughout the years. My favorites are in here and it's nice to have them on hand and just sit and look at the various photos in detail. There is additional information and old reviews/interviews with the Norwegian black metal alumni near the back as well as a tribute to ex-Mayhem vocalist "Dead". I was expecting to see Dead's body (Dawn of the Black Hearts) but alas, it was nowhere to be found. I'm neither disappointed or elated.

Cons: There is an index with page numbers and names of individuals and/or bands, but a lot of good the page numbers do when the pages have no numbers printed on them! That's probably my only gripe.

Objectively, looking on the scene then and now, my opinion remains slightly mixed on the scene's ideals, chest thumping, and rebellion.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Wright on June 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm sure most black metal fans are familiar with Peter Beste's True Norwegian Black Metal. We've seen the selections that are online, and maybe you've been lucky enough to attend one of the shows. I haven't.

Just got the book today after preordering it. It's amazing. The book itself is quite large and impressive. The quality of the paper and binding is good in my opinion. There are many more photographs here than what you may have seen online, and as a whole they are really impressive from a aesthetic perspective. I like the choice of quotations to go along with the work. Also includes some older photos, letters and articles documenting the Mayhem story as well.

You owe it to yourself to buy this. It's definitely a nice thing to have in your collection for anyone interesting in Norwegian BM. $40 bucks well spent!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Suárez López on January 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've heard about Peter Beste and this book from a long time ago, I was always curious about it but I have never decided to purchase it until I found a really great offer here in Amazon.
First of all, the book is really huge, with pages and hardcover made of materials of the greatest quality.
The book itself contains a high load of photographs from lots of characters from the norwegian black metal scene, here you can find live photos of typical corpse painted bands or individuals, but you can also see Samoth (Emperor and Zyklon member) playing with his doughter, Nattefrost (Carpathian Forest) smoking heroine in his kitchen(!), Fenriz (Darkthrone) headbanging in his room, members from Immortal walking in the woods or Ghaal (Gorgoroth) standing in front of his cabin atop of the mountain.
The photos are all of them nicely done, looks like Mr. Beste knows something about photography! Seriously, Peter Beste have done here a great job, he's a very skilled guy.
Apart from photographs, the book also contains an introduction written by Metalion, founder of Slayer Magazine; a three page norwegian black metal timeline that goes from the christianization of Norway in 995 A.D. to the denial of parole to Varg Vikernes in 2006, very detailed; some scanned fanzine interviews to people like Euronymus, Dead or Emperor; and some old photos from the church burnings or the infamous kerrang interview to Varg.
If you are into black metal and into bands like Carpathian Forest, Emperor, Taake, Enslaved, Windir or 1349, get yourself a copy, it is worth the money!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Singslinger on December 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to contain fascinating images of the black metal scene in Norway, a rich country that oddly, has more than its fair share of disenchanted and rebellious youth. As the author points out in the intro, if you were to rely solely on welfare in Norway, you'd still get around US$35,000 a year - not too shabby for doing nothing and being unemployed. And yet the country has a burgeoning death/black metal(it's the same to me) scene, full of unhappy, angst-riddled people who have completely rejected mainstream society and religion. Hard to understand but fascinating nonetheless.

My only gripe is that the photos are described at the end of the book numerically but the numbers don't appear on each page, thus making it difficult to figure out what or who is in the individual photos. But overall, a worthwhile buy for anyone interested in this genre of music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tuomioistuinmies on December 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have been fascinated with Norwegian Black Metal music for a while, especially with the intensity of it. The images in this book convey this intensity quite well. Most people might think that it's all just Halloween gone mad but if you know anything about the background of the music and the people involved you will find that this book captures the whole phenomenon in all of it's facets. You will not be disappointed.
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