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Swedish Death Metal Paperback – July 29, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Death Metal musician and author Ekeroth (Violent Italy) shows a true fan's dedication in this oral history/band index of the thunderous music scene that emerged from frozen, sparsely-populated Sweden in the '80s and early '90s. In his introduction, Ekeroth explains the youth phenomenon that was Swedish Death Metal (it sounds pretty much like you would think) as natural in a country "generally made up of extremely small and boring towns." He writes: "In the small and worthless town of Avesta where I grew up, there were metal bands in every garage, school, and youth center," he writes. Without sensationalizing SDM's dark, flamboyant lyrics, Ekeroth traces the movement that produced more than a thousand bands, from proto-genre "thrash metal" (more punk) to bastard offshoots like "black metal" (more makeup, less fun), through interviews with the musicians, tape-traders and fanzine writers who were there. The furious scene, made up almost entirely of frustrated and disaffected teenagers, would echo the '70s punk revolution in New York and explode with the same powder-keg intensity, before eventually spawning "ridiculously well established" years that meant the death of Death. Maybe worth the price alone is the appendix, an "A to Z of Swedish Death Metal Bands," which features brief profiles and discographies (with Ekeroth's opinions) of every known SDM band, from world-famous At the Gates ("all their albums are classic masterpieces") to Slakt (just one 2005 demo, "probably nerds"). More than 500 black and white photos and illus.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Finally, the true story of Swedish death metal! This book brought me back to the good old days.
-- Tomas Lindberg, At the Gates/Grotesque/Disfear

Death metal ruled my adolescent years. The problem is I don t remember half of it! This tome of dark recollections is the chance to set things straight.
-- Nicke Andersson, Nihilist/Entombed/The Hellacopters

Vastly entertaining -- Time Out New York

Painstakingly researched...a true labor of love, and an addictive read. --Albert Mudrian, Decibel Magazine

Daniel Ekeroth has impressively balanced a high level of raw data with a loving, subjective tone. Aspiring authors of such future volumes are advised to approach their subjects with the same care and passion. - --Metal Maniacs

STARRED WEB EXCLUSIVE PICK OF THE WEEK: Death Metal musician and author Ekeroth (Violent Italy) shows a true fan s dedication in this oral history/band index of the thunderous music scene that emerged from frozen, sparsely-populated Sweden in the 80s and early 90s. In his introduction, Ekeroth explains the youth phenomenon that was Swedish Death Metal (it sounds pretty much like you would think) as natural in a country generally made up of extremely small and boring towns. He writes: In the small and worthless town of Avesta where I grew up, there were metal bands in every garage, school, and youth center, he writes. Without sensationalizing SDM s dark, flamboyant lyrics, Ekeroth traces the movement that produced more than a thousand bands, from proto-genre thrash metal (more punk) to bastard offshoots like black metal (more makeup, less fun), through interviews with the musicians, tape-traders and fanzine writers who were there. The furious scene, made up almost entirely of frustrated and disaffected teenagers, would echo the 70s punk revolution in New York and explode with the same powder-keg intensity, before eventually spawning ridiculously well established years that meant the death of Death. Maybe worth the price alone is the appendix, an A to Z of Swedish Death Metal Bands, which features brief profiles and discographies (with Ekeroth s opinions) of every known SDM band, from world-famous At the Gates ( all their albums are classic masterpieces ) to Slakt (just one 2005 demo, probably nerds ). More than 500 black and white photos and illustrations. --Publishers Weekly

Painstakingly researched...a true labor of love, and an addictive read. --Albert Mudrian, DECIBEL Magazine

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Bazillion Points; Expanded 2008 Death-luxe Edition edition (July 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097961631X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979616310
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I purchased this book a few weeks ago, as the cover is simply amazing, and I love death metal. I am currently about half way through and it has been a goretastic ride. Daniel Ekeroth writes the book from his point of view as a kid growing up in Sweden as a death metalhead. It recounts the origins of extreme music in Sweden, starting with the hardcore/punk bands in the early 80's. The book segues into the early thrash scene in Southern California, and how it impacted the youngsters in Sweden. Daniel tells of a bunch of Swedish bands that I have never heard of, but he writes about them so well that I want to listen to all of them. There are hundreds of band/album/demo photos as well to illustrate the scene.

If you are a seasoned metalhead, then you will enjoy this book and remember the good old days. If you are relatively young, like me, then you will get a fascinating look into how the old school Swedish death metal scene was like back then. Every respectable metalhead needs this book on their bookshelves. Really, get it, even if you haven't read anything since Left Hand Path came out, it's an awesome book.
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Format: Paperback
This is a must-have for any swedish metal fan, but I think it's pretty obvious with the title...

Anyway, what makes the book really good is the approach of the research : contrary to most of books about metal, Swedish Death Metal doesn't focus on sales and biggest bands for the history, but on the underground and the whole demo/fanzine scene... which is in fact what metal is all about. The encyclopedia at the end of the book is pretty useful too, covering most of the swedish death metal bands that rose in the early 90's/late 80's and some more recent acts.
The only minus thing : sometimes, the views on bands and some history are a bit too subjective, but I think death metal addicts can easily correct.

A great book !
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like any book on music there are a lot of parts in the book that are subjective. That being said this is the most in-depth, interesting, and well researched book not just on metal but on any topic I've read concerning music.

The pictures and articles Ekeroth managed to scrape together for this amazing tome compliment the writing and history very well, and being that this is the most money I've spent for a book in a long time, it was worth every penny.

A star gets deducted because, even though it is clarified in the introduction that there a lots of parts that are subjective, there are areas where the author comes off "metal-er than thou." This is especially the case in the index of metal bands where bands that actually made money and became famous (see In Flames) are called "too commercial." Shouldn't the listener/reader be the judge of that? And maybe they are too commercial in Scandinavia, but last I checked an In Flames album would not stand a chance to crack the Top 40 in the American market, which IS way overproduced and manufactured.

That aside it has to be one of the best things I've read in a long time and I'm hoping someone comes along and puts out a book about Children of Bodom and the Finnish metal scene sometime in the near future (preferably in the King's English and not Finnish).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With it's diligent research, copious rare graphics, enthusiastic delivery and quality printing, this just may be the best book ever written on any aspect of heavy metal. It goes to show just how well the music can be documented when you have an author that really gives a damn! The author deserves our gratitude and praise for the amount of work and love put into this book, which is staggering in it's exhaustive nature.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great read that has input from just about every major Swedish Death Metal Band that were part of creating and defining Swedish Death Metal (At the Gates, Dismember, Entombed, etc). Lots of great quotes and historical "facts" of how it all began and how it changed metal forever. If you are a fan of this style of music you will not be disappointed. Highly recommended!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is remarkably well written and goes into detail about the music itself instead of just the people and places involved in its creation. There are lots of great photos, too. If you love metal, this should be on your book shelf or coffee table! :) Sarah
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Daniel Ekeroth gives an amazingly detailed account of the birth and rise of one the most revered genres of metal music. It focuses on the seeds of the extreme movement and how it developed into the massive Sunlight sound and beyond.
It basically leaves no stones unturned on the origins of these Swedish bands. the book includes first hand accounts from many people in those bands and people involved with zines, radioshows ect

This book is truly hard to put down.

If you are looking for info about In Flames, Dark Tranquillity or other Gothenburg bands do not look here.
The closest you will get is some info from Michael Amott from Arch Enemy but if you didn't know he was apart of the seminal band Carnage.

Get it now!
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Format: Paperback
This is the f++++g underground, the true born of the mighty swedish death metal!!!!!!!!
Tons of demo covers that a lot of people in the undergraond like me, never saw.
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