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An epic 600 page tome exploring the history and development of black metal from its beginnings in the early 1980s to the present day. Featuring many dozens of interviews with the most significant protagonists and a wealth of previously unpublished images.This visually exciting musical genre, known for its extreme views and actions, have finally breached the mainstream in tAn epic 600 page tome exploring the history and development of black metal from its beginnings in the early 1980s to the present day. Featuring many dozens of interviews with the most significant protagonists and a wealth of previously unpublished images.This visually exciting musical genre, known for its extreme views and actions, have finally breached the mainstream in televised parodies and bestselling publications by Vice and Feral House. Despite a history of criminal actions, black metal has become Norway’s biggest cultural export, earning it support from the government itself.Spanning 600 pages, Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult traces the progress of the genre, from its infancy in the early 1980s to today’s scene. Combining dozens of interviews with iconic photographs, this epic tome examines the artistic, musical, spiritual development of this controversial genre. Included are interviews with:Venom • Mercyful Fate • Bathory • Hellhammer • Celtic Frost • Sodom • Slayer • Kreator • Destruction • Vulcano • Sarcofago • Blasphemy • Samael • Rotting Christ • Necromantia • VON • Tormentor • Master’s Hammer • Beherit • Mayhem • Vomit • Thorns • Darkthrone • Burzum • Thou Shalt Suffer • Emperor • Gehenna • Gorgoroth • Trelldom • Cradle of Filth • Dimmu Borgir • Mütiilation • Vlad Tepes • Belketre and the Black Legions • Dissection • Watain • Marduk and Funeral Mist • Shining • Graveland • Infernum • Behemoth • Enslaved • Satryricon • Isengard/Storm • Ulver • Windir • Negura Bunget • Hades • Primordial • Arcturus • Manes • In the Woods • Ved Buens Ende • Fleurety • Sigh • Dødheimsgard • Mysticum • Aborym • Blacklodge • Amesoeurs/Alcest • Fen • Wolves in the Throne Room, LifeloverAlongside band interviews, Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult includes exclusive interviews with:Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski (Behemoth)Alan ‘AA Nemtheanga’ Averill (Primordial)Attila Csihar (Mayhem / Tormentor)Benny ‘Cerastes’ (Mysticum)Christophe Szpajdel (Designer for Emperor, Graveland etc)Conrad ‘Cronos’ Lant (Venom)Dani Filth (Cradle Of Filth)Edmond ‘Hupogrammos’ Karban (Negura Bunget)Eirik ‘Pytten’ Hundvin (Producer for Emperor, Gorgoroth, Mayhem)Fabban ‘Malfeitor’ (Aborym)Frank ‘The Watcher’ Allain (Fen)František Štorm (Master’s Hammer)George ‘Magus Daoloth’ Zacharopoulos (Rotting Christ / Necromantia)Gerald ‘Black Winds’ (Blasphemy)Greg ‘Damien’ Moffit (Cradle Of Filth)Gylve ‘Fenriz’ Nagell (Darkthrone / Dødheimsgard / Isengard / Storm)Hans ‘Mortuus’ Rostén (Marduk / Funeral Mist)Håvard ‘Mortiis’ Ellefsen(Emperor)Ian ‘Tjodalv’ Åkesson (Dimmu Borgir)Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved)Jarle ‘Hvall’ Kvåle (Windir / Vreid)Jason ‘Venien’ Ventura (VON)Jon ‘Metallion’ Kristiansen (Slayer Mag / Head Not Found Records)Jonas ‘B’ Bergqvist (Lifelover)Jonas Åkerlund (Bathory)Jørn ‘Necrobutcher’ Stubberud (Mayhem / Kvikksølvguttene)Jorn Tunsberg (Old Funeral / Immortal / Hades)Kai ‘Trym’ Mosaker (Emperor / Enslaved)Kim ‘( )’ Carlsson(Lifelover)Kim ‘King Diamond’ Petersen (Mercyful Fate)Kjetil ‘Manheim’ (Mayhem)Kjetil Grutle (Enslaved)Kristian ‘Gaahl’ Espedal (Trelldom / Gorgoroth / Gaahlskag)Kristoffer ‘Garm’ Rygg (Arcturus / Ulver)Lee Barrett (Candlelight Records)Marko ‘Holocausto’ Laiho (Beherit)Michael ‘Vorph’ Locher (Samael)Mikko Aspa (Clandestine Blaze)Mirai Kawashima (Sigh)Morgan ‘Evil’ Hakkansson (Marduk / Abruptum)Niklas Kvarforth (Shining)Ole ‘Apollyon’ Moe (Aura Noir / Dødheimsgard / Immortal)Paul Ryan (Cradle Of Filth)Peter Tagtgren (Producer for Dimmu Borgir, Marduk)Preben ‘Prime Evil’ (Mysticum, Aborym)Rob ‘Darken’ Fudali (Graveland / Infernum)Robin ‘Graves’ Eaglestone (Cradle Of Filth)Robin ‘Mean’ Malmberg (Mysticum)Roger ‘Infernus’ Tiegs (Gorgoroth / Borknagar)Rune ‘Blasphemer’ Eriksen (Mayhem / Aura Noir)Saint Vincent (Blacklodge)Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ)Shawn ‘Goat’ Calizo (VON)Simen ‘ICS Vortex’ Hestnæs (Arcturus / Dimmu Borgir)Snorre Ruch (Stigma Diabolicum / Thorns / Mayhem)Steffen ‘Dolgar’ Simestad (Gehenna)Svein Egil Hatlevik (Fleurety / Dødheimsgard)Sven ‘Silenoz’ Kopperud (Dimmu Borgir)Sven-Erik ‘Maniac’ Kristiansen (Mayhem)Terje ‘Tchort’ Vik Schei (Emperor / Carpathian Forest)Thomas ‘Pest’ Kronenes (Gorgoroth)Tom ‘King’ Visnes (Gorgoroth / Ov Hell)Tom ‘Warrior’ Fischer (Hellhammer / Celtic Frost)Tomas ‘Samoth’ Haugen (Thou Shalt Suffer / Emperor)Tor-Helge ‘Cernunnus’ Skei (Manes)Vegard ‘Ihsahn’ Tveiten (Emperor / Thou Shalt Suffer)Ville ‘Shatraug’ Pystynen (Horna / Behexen)Willy ‘Meyhna’ch’ Rousell (Mutiilation)Yusaf ‘Vicotnik’ Parvez (Dødheimsgard)Zhema Rodero (Vulcano)Dayal Patterson has been following the black metal scene since the mid-1990s and writes and photographs for Metal Hammer and Record Collector magazines, and also contributes to The Quietus, Terrorizer and Classic Rock Presents, as well as writing biographies and liner notes for Marduk and Killing Joke....

Title : Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781936239757
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 560 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult Reviews

  • Robert
    2019-03-22 00:50

    To get the comparisons out of the way first, this is not the infamous 'Lords Of Chaos' by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind. Author Dayal Patterson has not embarked on a personal mission to prove that some sort of global Satanic Network exists and he also manages to get his facts right in a book which devotes almost equal time to both Black Metal music and philosophy. Neither is this Gavin Baddeley's 'Lucifer Rising' - the interviews in Patterson's book having been conducted during the past six years for the most part and also in their proper context.By 'proper context' I mean that this book differentiates between those statements made for shock effects, those made through what could generously be described as "Youthful exuberance" and those made thoughtfully, sincerely and with the benefit of hindsight. It is sometimes the latter which are most shocking, as the book reveals a multitude of protagonists for whom time has not extinguished their passions and hatreds. Indeed, the likes of Necrobutcher and Mortiis may express a distaste for the more extreme actions of their fellows, but it seems that this was ever the case even during youth. On the other hand 'Family Man' Tchort never really expresses any remorse whatsoever for his violent attacks on Christians during his formative years.As for the structure of the book, every chapter is largely the same. Almost every chapter is devoted to a different band or musician and details their influences, philosophies, recording techniques and those whom they have in turn influenced. There are a few exceptions as there are a handful of chapters devoted to certain scenes such as Poland and USBM and Mayhem garner a slightly excessive four chapters all to themselves. It should not however be thought that this is indicative of some kind of Euronymous-worship as there is much about the Mayhem mastermind's duality, dubious political affiliation, juvenile outlook and utter ineptitude in business affairs. However, it also rightly paints him as the architect of 2nd wave black metal and a champion of obscure and extreme music. A book on the history of Black Metal, even a non-sensationalist one cannot help but to cover the violence and chaos which surrounds it and this is no exception. However, the detailing of the events around the murder of Euronymous by Varg Vikernes are perhaps the most sensible and sobering that I've yet to come across. It is perhaps the only account which places fairly equal blame on the heads of both men. Euronymous often threatened the lives of rivals and those who had crossed him, he was just unlucky enough to encounter in Vikernes an individual paranoid and unhinged enough to take him seriously.An obvious criticism to level at this book is that it doesn't cover whichever bands the reader personally feels contributed a great deal to the Black Metal scene. While most criticisms will undoubtedly be quite churlish its genuinely perplexing that Abruptum don't earn a chapter of their own, despite that experimental bands who followed many years later earn the author's undying praise. Patterson also courts disaster by including several chapters on Post-Metal bands but really only time will tell if these too will be seen to have contributed something to the "Evolution Of The Cult".Perfectly well written, Patterson also wins points for his access to previously-unpublished photographs and even previously unheard recordings and does well to reprint the former and describe as well as he can the latter. This is true journalism, albeit an unobtrusive one as - in the style of the best documentaries - the author conceals himself and allows the protagonists to flesh out their own histories.What is Black Metal? This book offers so many viewpoints that any one view immediately becomes necessarily false, but from Venom through to Lifelover, Patterson has provided a slightly incomplete roadmap with many awesome sights along the way. All-in-all a significant achievement.

  • Kostas
    2019-03-18 03:48

    Ever since 1998, when a girlfriend made me a black metal compilation tape with the likes of Emperor, Satyricon, Cradle of Filth, Marduk and Dark Funeral, I have remained intrigued by this genre without ever becoming a die hard fan. Besides the church burnings, murders, crime and all controversy surrounding black metal, there has always been a mystical, atmospheric element which strongly appealed to me, a spirituality not found in death or thrash metal.While my own journey has taken me into slower and heavier musical territories, I must confess that I have always reserved some envy for this musical genre that always seems to find a way to evolve and reinvent itself while at the same time retaining its traditional core sound and ethos with ease. This wonderfully detailed book further illustrates this point in its colossal 600 pages. I liked Lords of Chaos as it gave a convincing account of some of the personalities and peculiarities of the people who are at the forefront of the genre, but in retrospect it almost feels like no more than an intro to black metal after reading Dayal's book, which is much more exhaustive in detail and thematically very cleverly structured.The book follows more or less a chronological outline of the genre's history and events, but only inasmuch the timeline illustrates the main branches of black metal. After a short but essential course on the founding fathers of heavy metal and the satanic philosophy which came to be so closely associated with the genre, the book slowly unfolds a history which started with the first generation bands such as Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer, before it goes on to explain how black thrash played -in retrospect- a significant part in black metal's development. The South/Central European and South American scenes -both flourishing before the Norwegian explosion- are not forgotten either. The second generation of bands -with the Norwegian scene at its epicentre- is then exhaustively recounted. Mayhem serve as the main protagonists whose story is broken up in three parts which illustrate how their philosophy and mentality have been interwoven with the evolution of that second generation of bands. The story is told through countless interviews with the protagonists of the genre themselves and while it's impossible to do everyone justice, I don't think that there are any reasons to complain, even for diehard black metal fans. The main characters appear to be as eccentric, challenging and unpredictable as the music they play, which makes for very entertaining and at times even humorous reading. An extensive photographic section in the middle of the book -in chronological order- gives a visual spin to the story as well, and those who tend to only read headlines of chapters and parts featuring bands they are interested in, will still find a convincing guide of the visual evolution of black metal simply by browsing through some chapters and the photo's.The story then takes us to the weirder and more avant-garde sub branches that have evolved more recently, as well as the cross-pollination of genres. However this is without failing to warn us that the term 'post black metal' (the prefix 'post' is nowadays annoyingly used in conjunction with most metal genres, as if there is a whole new generation of bands that have reinvented warm water) doesn't necessarily mean that traditional black metal is dead: it's merely a different approach.Dayal has a detached and confident writing style that successfully manages to retain its neutral stance despite certain controversial -and quite frankly ethically repulsive- views voiced by some of the main characters in the book. His approach is that of a scientist, or more accurately a cultural anthropologist who merely describes and outlines some general tendencies of this subculture, without judging or moralising. He doesn't shy away from controversies either, and discusses in detail the commercial explosion of the genre in the mid nineties and the rise of NSBM in countries such as Poland. It's somewhat pointless seeking for highlights as the book flows extremely well and can be read in one go, but personally I will retain mostly two things: firstly the clever way in which Euronymous managed to inspire a whole scene by defining it conceptually rather than musically (in his view black metal was all about literal devil worship) which freed up its artists to explore shockingly diverse musical paths that are often incompatible with each other; and the assertion that black metal never really accepted NSBM not because it thinks its views are too extreme or unethical, but because -quite the opposite- they are too positive(!) as they focus on the procreation of the race, brotherhood and loyalty rather than the genre's inherent individualism and unrelenting misanthropy.In summary, this is probably the ultimate black metal encyclopaedia, or is bound to become this over the next few years, simply because I really can't see anyone else taking up such a massive challenge to write a similarly gargantuan book. Whether you are a fan of the genre or not, it offers a highly engaging and thoroughly entertaining read about a genre that speaks to the imagination unlike many others and the equally extreme and controversial subculture related to it. Fiendishly recommended.

  • Katja
    2019-03-09 19:42

    If you want to read definitive, comprehensive book about black metal, this is the book to go.Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult covers the early pioneers of the genre before it was even named black metal, the second wave coming, central persons, phenomenons inside the genre and ideology, for example. Many notable bands as well as smaller ones are featured. Rather than mainly sensationalizing certain events (we all know what book I’m pointing at here), the central focus is the music, what makes black metal the music genre it has come known to be, and how different bands have contributed. One thing I like about Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult is that the author Dayal Patterson has a genuine interest about black metal and personal insight on the subject, going many years back. It really makes this book thorough. The book actually includes many earlier interviews with central black metal figures that the author himself done for magazine such as Metal Hammer. As for the music, Patterson doesn’t rub his opinions about the certain bands music to readers face, leaving it for the reader to determine whether to like it or not. To me this is top notch example of well written and thorough book about a music genre in general.

  • Ra
    2019-03-12 23:32

    Just one page on Satyricon and nothing about Immortal? Not to mention Limbonic Art, Naglfar, Troll, Dismal Euphony....A pretty good read though...

  • Michael
    2019-03-19 01:36

    It doesn't matter how I approach this review. As soon as you hear the term black metal you've already conjured a picture of Satan in your head. It's okay though because everyone does. Black metal has one hell of a reputation but where did it all come from? How did this blackened form of noise catch the ear of metal fans? That's what makes this book so interesting. Dayal had written a book that is must read for metal fans and it shows just how impressive black metal is. Evolution is a book that explains how the blackest form of metal evolved and also gives us the major players in its evolution. It's a lengthy read but it's never boring. I wasn't all that familiar with black metal's history or how it came to exist and I'm sure if you ask most people what black is you'll either get satanism, or it's that one form of music where all of the members wander around in the woods. It's extreme and yes, satanic, but look at the state of music when it appeared. It was a way to branch out and try and do something different and that's what makes black metal so good. As I read it I saw it as it is truly was and Dayal doesn't want to recruit fans and doesn't gloss over its satanic lyrics or other controversial topics because its all a part of the history. Being a casual fan of black metal I was able to jump right in because I knew quite a few of the bands and as I write this I'm listening to Dissection's Storm Of The Light's Bane which is a huge record for the growth and importance of black metal. The writing here is easy to follow and broken up by bands and even the notorious church burnings in Norway. Also a lot of time is spent discussing not only Mayhem, but the death of Euronymous. It's a huge thing that had a huge impact on black metal. For anyone who is afraid of what black metal represents this is not a book you want to read because you'll find yourself not only shocked but unable to grasp most of what these bands represent. They offer no apologies and Dayal chooses a variety of source material that Christians will no doubt find offensive. As a whole this is well a 600 page book that flows well. The main complaint I'm sure from most fans is the inclusion of the influential bands, but you'll have that with any book that features some type of music. If you've never listened to black metal before and just want to see what the big deal is you'll find that Dayal has compiled a book from a fans viewpoint. Each band is given a lengthy bit of space and testimonials from other bands on their importance to the genre. It's a damn good book that taught me a great deal and I now have a huge amount of respect for the bands that have given us some of the darkest, and heaviest forms of metal.

  • Russell Holbrook
    2019-03-21 19:32

    If you're already into Black Metal then this is a must-read, even though you're probably familiar with most of, if not all, the information that is covered between the covers of this excellent work. It's still worth reading because of the depth and detail given to each of the artists / scenes / sub-genres that are covered. For example, I enjoyed the extent to which the inner workings of the Norwegian scene was discussed. I went away seeing all the artists in a much more personal light. My only complaint is that the section on Wolves In The Throne Room was too brief for my tastes. I also feel that Panopticon needed to be included in the Post-Black Metal section. However, I'm sure that the author spent time on his favorite artists, just as I would do if I had written this. This may be a trivial matter of personal taste, though as, all things considered, the author has produced a truly formidable work. This is really awesome. If you love metal, check it out!

  • Jim
    2019-03-01 21:30

    An expansive, thorough, and totally readable overview of black metal. Ranging from the earliest roots to current bands, Patterson forgoes the easy sensationalism of the early 90's Norwegian scene and focuses more on the records, the evolution of the craft, and the human stories behind important bands worldwide. There is a bit of repetition towards the beginning - with so many bands drawing from the same handful of influences, I've pretty much got the list memorized - the book is engaging, interview heavy, and interesting even for the bands you may not know. A great reference that you can just as easily read straight through like I did. If you're interested in black metal, this is a good starting point or a nice way to fill in some knowledge gaps and deepen your understanding of some key players.

  • Michael
    2019-03-11 00:31

    Six hundred pages! Quite a lot on Celtic Frost, even treatment of Burzum that neither glorifies nor demonizes, coverage of Mayhem that goes beyond the death of Euronymous, and a lot of information on Japan's brilliant, underrated Sigh.

  • Elen
    2019-03-20 22:36

    more like 2.5/5 good info, not terribly written, but fairly apologetic when it comes to some absurdly disgusting shit. (inadvertantly?) portrays a lot of the early metal musicians as the ludicrous foreverteens that they truly are.

  • Katrin
    2019-02-21 01:41

    What a great book. This all you could want from a book explaining and examining black metal. I'm currently so damn hungry for black metal and i find new bands mostly in the DSBM field all the time. I love the aesthetics of black metal and mostly the ideology as well. This book covers it all. From the roots and beginnings to the period of confusion and semi commercialism until today's lively and truly remarkable scene. The scene is now so diverse and you can find your own niche. I love how Patterson tries to talk about as many countries, styles and bands as possible. Of course NSBM has to be mentioned but contrary to the lord of chaos, here it is not stretched painfully and dealt with in a rational way. I totally agree that true convictions are rather seldom. Mostly it's about shocking and being anti everything. And thus black metal will plow its way through conservatism, Christianity and mainstream and leave destruction in its path as it has always done so. What a completely satisfying book this was! Mortiis was interviewed at length, an individual I love very much. I loved to learn so much about him as well as countless other individuals that I admire and fascinate me. Also I love that the notion that all should have stayed trve and what not is not shared by many I this book. It truly does not make sense anyway. We cannot stop time progress and the public eye. Well.. Before I start a discussion now.. Let me just say hail black metal. Hail the black masses!

    2019-03-05 23:44

    Having read LORDS OF CHAOS and the beautifully photographed TRUE NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL by Peter Beste (well, I did not read it cover to cover--- I got caught up in the pictures, dammit!), I really can't think of ANY book in existence that comes anywhere close to covering the genre of Black Metal as fully and as in-depth and personal as author Dayal Patterson has done. This book is a fucking masterpiece! I dare someone to write a better book on the subject. I took 50 pages of notes while reading this jotting down bands I wanted to explore and check out, classic stories that amused me, epic quotes, names of sub-genres I was totally unaware of, and at times historical events or books cited that I was intrigued by. Read this book if you enjoy music of any kind, particularly if you love metal, and ESPECIALLY if you listen to Black Metal. I was thoroughly entertained reading this book, even on the bands that I was not familiar with. Enough writing here---I have an official review to write up on my website.

  • Maarten
    2019-02-28 03:25

    Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult (that should've been with a "K" and a "v" :-p) is definitely one of the most inspiring and stimulating books I've ever read. Being a BM fan since 15 years or so, I thought I knew a lot about this life style, but obviously I didn't. I only had some knowledge about the bands I was listening to and the things I had read on the Internet (e.g. reviews). This book connected a lot of dots for me. It gave me a lot of information I needed to know (and some I maybe didn't want to know). It also broadened my views a lot, especially about the founders of the second wave and industrial BM. I listened to a lot of new music in chronology with the book. I am very happy that the book helped me discover such gems as Master's Hammer's Ritual and the music of Beherit...

  • Joe Callaghan
    2019-02-23 21:49

    I've always been fascinated by Black Metal, without really being attracted to the music. I still find a lot of it a little unlistenable to my tastes, and I tend to like the idea of it (the atmosphere and ambience, the passages of repetitiveness, the speed) more than the actual execution of it.This book has given me a number of artists I need to explore. To supplement this, I watched a couple of BM documentaries on YouTube. After reading this book, all I learned from the docs is that Varg Vikernes is a bit of a bell-end. A very eloquent, highly intelligent, lunatic fascist bell-end.Good, exhaustive read.

  • Scott
    2019-03-16 21:46

    This is the most even handed and comprehensive book on the genre of Black Metal. I've seen many nitpicking complaints, such as why there are no chapters on Immortal or Satyricon but excessive coverage of Mysticum (who barely ever released any music) and the "post black metal" movement. These are certainly valid questions, but no book on this subject will ever be truly "complete" or please everyone. This is a huge improvement over the tabloid stylings of "Lords of Chaos" and any black metal fan should consider this an essential part of their library. 5 stars.

  • Matt
    2019-03-16 02:24

    Patterson has a grasp and respect for the style that few others have been able to express so effectively. In an period known for being rife with rumor, he cuts through to a truth derived of careful consideration, letting those who lived it act as the voice. Evolution has taken its rightful spot as the tome of record for anyone seeking deeper knowledge about black metal and the personalities that spawned it.

  • Garry Byrne
    2019-03-20 19:38

    It’s true – this is the definitive account of the history of Black Metal (thus far, as the series is continuing). I highly recommend this book to not only black metal fans (and metal fans in general), but to anyone who describes themselves as a lover of music – this book is the perfect introduction into a fascinating (and often misunderstood) musical genre and overall lifestyle.

  • Neri.
    2019-03-10 00:46

    This book was very informative and easy to read. Although, I'm not that big of a fan of black metal though I like Carpathian Forest a lot and I found out more intersting facts about other bands in the genre and how black metal started. A must-read for every metalhead.

  • Arnel Šarić
    2019-02-27 02:46

    Fantastic book. This is how you get your homework done.

  • Nihils
    2019-03-16 02:49

    Es ist so ein Schuh, über Black Metal zu schreiben oder gar nachzudenken. Eine Subkultur, die sich über den Punk stellt und offenbar ähnliche, retrospektive Vermarktungschancen besitzt, ist schwer zu durchdringen. Aus der Rebellion wurde ein Konstrukt und aus dem Konstrukt wurde ein marktrelevantes Konstrukt. Es ist, wahrhaftig, so ein Schuh ... Doch fangen wir dort an, wo ich beginnen durfte.Anfang der 90er war ich Grundschüler und wurde - durch meine recht heroische Schwester - ohne großes "Ich muss erst nochmal Maiden hören"-Geseier zu dem gebracht, was man heuer Extreme Metal nennt. Damals hieß das noch Grindcore, Death, Thrash und eben Black Metal. Der guten Frau darf bis heute über alle Maßen für ihren nicht immer freiwilligen Einfluss gedankt werden. Das weiß sie auch, daher vermacht sie mir ihre Platten auch nich'. - Mit zumeist tapegetradeten Darkthrone, Samael und Dimmu Borgir war für mich die Sprungschanze ins BM-Nirvana quasi geebnet. Ein paar Monate später hing mein Zimmer voll mit Bildern von Musikern, die zweifelsfrei Satanisten waren, ich orderte die Satanische Bibel ohne Amazon aus den USA (oder war's doch Schweden? SSB anyone?), hatte die Ablaze-Ausgaben frisch aus dem Druckwerk ins Haus und ergaß mich selbst in allem, was dem damaligen Spirit entsprach ...... und genau dort setzt "Black Metal - Evolution of the Cult" an. Wohlweislich. Denn in erster Linie baut diese durchaus überzeugende Quasi-Anthologie auf dem auf, was heuer (wiederum) Marktwert hat: Nostalgie. Es ist de facto schön, sich die längst bekannte und doch irgendwie nicht übersättigte Entstehungsgeschichte des Phänomens Black Metal auf erzählerische Weise einträufeln zu lassen. Dabei manipuliert Patterson weniger, als dass er inspiriert. Insbesondere die Grundmauern des musikalischen Konzepts BM weiß der gute Mann durchaus faszinierend zu umschreiben; eine Ahnung davon zu geben, wie es Ende der 80er wohl ausgesehen haben mag, egal ob Celtic Frost oder Mystifier. In Anbetracht der getriggerten Weichspülung heutiger Metal-Acts und/oder dem Verfall an totalitäre Underground-Stati, erscheinen damalige Kompositions- wie auch Produkionsverhältnisse beinahe absurd [eine Gruppe, die hiesig zum Glück ausgespart wurde]. Es bleibt, de facto, nur eine Schlussfolgerung übrig: Früher war alles jünger. Patterson, weiß um den historischen Wert der Legende namens Black Metal. Er tut somit vieles richtig: Als Konsorte, die erst relativ spät seine Wege zum BM fand, ist er stets gewiss, dem Subgenre in seiner Mystizität und vor allem musikhistorischen Unberechenbarkeit, nicht auf den authentischen Sack gehen zu müssen. Er hat Ehrfurcht vor einer Sache, die nicht erklärbar, die eigentlich religiöser Natur ist.Mit der Absicht, genau dem zu widersprechen, indem er ein Buch über Black Metal schreibt, ist Patterson allerdings auch nur ein Dingelchen im Uhrwerk. BM selbst hat den Mainstream schon längst überschritten. Darüber zu schreiben, ist darob keine unbedingte Herausforderung mehr. Man denke nur einmal daran, dass der Hergang rund um den Mord an Euronymous alsbald verfilmt werden soll. - Weshalb wir trotzdem nach dem Alten suchen, liegt darin begründet, dass das unsterblich geglaubte, vertraute Alte längst verletzlich, manipulierbar geworden ist. Wir drängen danach, herauszufinden, wie entsetzlich schlimm es um unsere Jugend bestellt ist. Und wenn wir sie finden, ist sie nicht mehr ausreichend authentisch. Interessant genug, dass selbst die Hohepriester eines homogenen Kults heuer eher skeptisch auf ihre jungen Jahre als BM-Ikonen zurückblicken. Alle werden irgendwann groß. So ist denn auch die Quintessenz des wirklich gelungenen Buches selbst, eher diese, dass man sich als zynischer Futzi sehr, sehr wohlwollend in alte Zeiten zurückversetzen lassen will, der Youngster hingegen egoman durch die Kneipen randaliert, weil er sich einbildet, er hätte irgendwas verstanden, weil er Patterson gelesen hat. Black Metal eben: 90% große Schnauze.Pattersons (schriftstellerisch gewissermaßen erzwungene) neutrale* Haltung dient dabei allerdings nur der Analyse der Subjekts BM. Objektiv bleibt alles beim Alten: Dass er in seinem Buch astreinen Nazis (e.g. Rob Darken) das Wort gibt, finde ich aus musikhistorischer Sicht (Stichwort: BM aus Polen) wichtig und richtig. Dass er sich aber um jede Kritik solch zweifelhafter Figuren herumwindet, hinterlässt keineswegs einen positiven Eindruck. Nicht nur, dass es schlicht und ergreifend endlich salonfähig sein sollte, Positionen zu vertreten. Wenn jemand wie Patterson, der sich höchste Mühe gibt, ein stets musikalisches wie auch politisches Phänomen wie BM ausgewogen zu beschreiben, läuft er nicht nur Gefahr, jungen Leuten Subgenres wie NSBM genießbar zu machen, er offenbart sich selbst als auf Zahlen gebauter Autor. *Neutralität ist insbesondere beim Thema Black Metal nicht mehr salonfähig. Auch wenn Patterson tendenziell linke Bands wie Wolves In The Throne Room kurz zu Wort kommen lässt. Die ausbleibende Stellungnahme ist und bleibt befremdlich bis peinlich.Wir haben also ein Buch, das nichts bewegt, außer dem eigenen nostalgischen Ego. Sei's aber drum, dafür lohnt es sich allemal. Patterson schaffte es mit viel Arbeit, beinahe jede wichtige Nase im Dunstkreis des BM ans Telefon zu ziehen oder auf Festivals zu behelligen. Dafür gebührt ihm ganz gewiss Lob. "Black Metal - Evolution of a Cult" ist demnach eigentlich ein tolles Buch, welches Einsteigern und Althasen gleichermaßen perspektivische Interpretationsmöglichkeiten anbietet. Geschichtsbewusst und mit Respekt geht Patterson mit seinem komplexen Thema innerhalb des modernen Popkultur-Dilemmas um. ... dass er damit der wirtschaftlichen Entmystifizierung des Genres selbst zuarbeitet, ist ihm vielleicht sogar bewusst. Es täte dennoch nichts zur Sache. Alle Trveness ist tot. Selbst die großen Musiker dieser Tage können nichts daran ändern. Sie sind und bleiben Kopien und Kopisten einer Epoche, die einzigartig und unwiederholbar ist. Ihr Erbe ist zuweilen angenehm würzig, wenn mit ausreichend Ehrfurcht gereicht ...

  • Elliot
    2019-03-21 01:46

    Originally posted on’s probably bad form to discuss a book in the same way you would an underground record. Typical write-ups consist of comparing a band to a more established act in order to point the reader in the right direction. I don’t think you’re supposed to review literature in that way, but goddamn it if it doesn’t apply in this case.The elephant in the room… ‘Black Metal – Evolution of the Cult’ is far better than ‘Lords of Chaos’. Dayal Patterson makes a polite mention of this in his foreword in order to not step on toes, not to mention sales, seeing as how they’re on the same imprint. I’m going to be more explicit. This book kicks the shit out of ‘Lords’, out of ‘Until the Light Takes Us’, out of any book discussing the formation of a musical genre. Any musical genre.Let’s start at the beginning. The most stunning piece of information from ‘Lords of Chaos’ is given in the opening chapters – “A significant degree of Black Metal’s allure and stature does not derive from the accomplished musical achievements and originality of the artists playing the music. The grisly crimes have contributed as much, and maybe even more, to its appeal.” The main author, Michael Moynihan, has a background in the neofolk/martial scene, so I’m guessing this reflects his own outlook and his own fascination with black metal. He saw it as an outsider, the wacky antics splashed on the covers of glossy magazines. I really don’t think the man had an interest in the artistic merits of the genre, rather he was drawn in by the pagan aspect and the nationalist aspect of it. This is just a guess, seeing as others have written quite a bit on his personal political affiliations and the imagery in his own music. He speaks of the Black Widow’s ‘Sacrifice’ by saying “Today it fetches large sums from collectors, clearly due more to its bizarre impression than for any other reason.” Image is much more important in his mind, and his novel, than his actual subjects. If the interviews were conducted solely for this project, and not over the course of years due to a personal love of the topic, then they would also have a bias.That last aspect does not come into play in Patterson’s expertly researched 600-page book. Most of the interviews came from his own zines, so he’s working with a much fuller palette. The subjects come across as relaxed in their conversations – while in the other book, they’re fully in character. It’s a very logical time line Patterson uses, it’s basically biblical. Venom begat Hellhammer. Hellhammer begat Master’s Hammer. Master’s Hammer begat Mayhem, ad infinitum. It goes well beyond Dead and Euronymous, well beyond Varg, and well beyond Quarthon. It doesn’t dwell on the history of Christian oppression in Scandinavia. It is as in-depth as in-depth gets. And it focuses on the facts of the bands included – there are no leaps trying to connect the ‘Wild Ride’ to the current state of affairs. The only ancient spirits are Sarcófago and King Diamond.The passage of time is also a factor in making this the superior book. In the early 90s, Tom G. Warrior was persona non grata, he wasn’t even acknowledging his own past – never mind other people acknowledging his past. Some distance was required to fully appreciate how the man influenced an entire generation of musicians. Also, if there’s one fact that will be repeated from ‘Evolution’, it will be how KISS trading cards influenced every single fucking black metal musician in Scandinavia. I really never thought I’d see the day that the church-burning, murdering masses would freely admit their connection to the Gods of Thunder. Attila, Fenriz, Dead, Enslaved, Emperor, everyone sings the praises of KISS. It’s odd but really refreshing. No pretense whatsoever. Most importantly, the interviews with Necrobutcher and Manheim go into exquisite detail about the very early days of Mayhem and how they arrived at each stage of their career. Absolutely meticulous.I recently read an article on Slate that was suggested to me, and while I agree with that author on some points, I really have to take issue with Robbins saying Patterson did not do enough to editorialize the sections on NSBM. Read ‘Lords’ and have a look at what a wreck over-editorializing creates. ‘Evolution of the Cult’ is not an entry-level book, I’d imagine. It doesn’t sensationalize, so I don’t know if there’s going to be any crossover with this piece with the True Crime genre. The folks picking this up are not going to be swayed one way or the other. Either they do not care or look the other way at some of the sketchier elements in black metal. They may do their homework and actively avoid the fascism and opt for Pantopicon. Or they actually are the sketchy elements. In any case, it doesn’t make a difference. At all.There are a few chapters that I could have done without, and that’s just due to the fact that I could care less about the history of Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, but I totally understand why they’re in there. I don’t understand the multiple chapters on the introduction of EBM and industrial into black metal. Brevity would have worked better than individual chapters on Dødheimsgard, Thorns, Aborym, Mysticum and Blacklodge. It could be cultural, maybe industrial black metal is a far bigger phenomenon in the UK than it is in the US, but it’s just treading water after Thorns. A chapter on Immortal would serve the book better overall than multiple chapters on a sub-subgenre. Maybe a chapter on modern French bands and not so much focus on Les Legions Noire. That’s just picking nits though.I cannot imagine the level of attention Patterson gave to this project. I mean, fuck… I’ve wanted to stop writing this review about four times since I started three hours ago. My hats are off to this dude for writing this. I’m guessing (and hoping), that music writers use this as a template – give me the history of death metal and crust punk in the same manner and I’m in. Please consider this review to be my recommendation to pick this up. Quickly.

  • Mark
    2019-03-10 02:37

    One of the most comprehensive and readable music histories I've ever read. Patterson has a strange style at times, which is reflective of the idiosyncratic lyrics of most black metal bands. But he also knows how to convey information effectively and accurately describe sometimes minute differences between subgenres. This book is dangerous, in that it's had me hunting down physical copies of whatever cornerstone releases I can find, while searching message boards and forums for obscurities like the Pestes Noires of France's black metal demimonde. This is the next logical step after Lords of Chaos, and is a more evenhanded overview of the genre, without shying away from the ugly reality of metal Nazis and racists. I have the follow-up The Cult is Alive (Vol. 1) on my reading list and will definitely pick up any further additions to Patterson's growing encyclopedia of black metal.

  • Danny
    2019-03-07 02:32

    Excellent book. An authoritative history of black metal bands, musicians, labels, and sub-genres from all over the world. Most of the history is told firsthand by the artists themselves (assembled from interviews over the years). This is by far the best book about metal I've read. It's well-organized (loosely by chronology and country of origin), with all of the most well-known bands and scenes earning full chapters (or multiple chapters). A must-read for fans of extreme metal, and a must-have reference tome for any metalhead's library.

  • Anthony Calisto
    2019-03-06 03:51

    A Must Have For Black Metal FansThis book can be accurately described as a thorough history of black metal and its evolution through the years into different forms and sub genres. It is very detailed and in depth and comes from the artists themselves, not from some outsider looking in who might make a biased opinion.

  • Alexander Jørgensen
    2019-02-28 19:26

    Thorough work this one.

  • Charles Heath
    2019-03-19 00:32


  • Phil
    2019-03-20 03:25

    Unlike a magazine this book is not an actual collection of interviews. The author portrays the history of black metal from its beginnings to today and in the process diffuses sometimes more, sometimes less quotes from – often exclusive – conversations with musicians. The chapters are divided into key bands, in some cases into country scenes as well. The choice of key bands, thus bands who played an important role for the (further) development of black metal, is replicable.Black metal here gets defined as satanic/satanistic or at least nihilistic and misanthropic. Folk/pagan/viking metal gets its chapters too however as it's an important part of the evolution.It's in the nature of such a compilation that some reader might have evaluated differently or might miss one or another band or scene (Germany, Austria, Russia, Australia, e.g., don't get illuminated). One reason for this is space (Feral House didn't want the book to become too big). Many a reader might even be glad that one or another favourite band doesn't get mentioned much or at all so that it can stay in the shadow of obscurity. An example for this is "I." (I purposely don't spell in full), a project that practically would have deserved a chapter due to outstanding music and "ideology".The most noticeable gap is Immortal; Satyricon get addressed only marginally (in the chapter "Ulver and Moonfog"); Mock and (The) Helheim (Society) – for me pioneers of viking and industrial black metal respectively – don't get mentioned with a single word. Meanwhile Satyricon and Mock/Kampfar have been added, not to this book but as part of its recommendable follow-up: "The Cult Never Dies".The author writes in an elegant yet easily understood English. Albeit he loves the word "iconic". (His comment on this remark: "It's an iconic series ;)").The (photo) captions are often formulated with a certain irony – here a light but never disrespectful humour shines through which speaks for the author.Dayal Patterson is at home in black metal unless it gets into the deepest East European underground. Are misspellings like "Gontayna Kry", "Xanatol" and "Temnozer" hints that he isn't really familiar with the Polish and East European scene or mistakes by the printing company? That the old Polish scene stands as a shining example for exemplary underground attitude and poserdestroying black metal extremism, for uncompromisingness and commitment – and for original, great music – doesn't get recognized. Instead there is babble about "NSBM". What is "NSBM"? Such a thing doesn't exist. No Colours gets even identified as an "NSBM label". A definition – what is that? what is "NSBM"? – the author remains short on. This confirms my perspective that "NSBM" is a loose, trendy term that shouldn't be used. Bands who play extreme metal and incorporate National Socialist imagery in an unsubtle way (often with an emphasis on the dark side of National Socialism) such as R-88/Command or Der Stürmer are not black metal for me; I call these "race war metal". Bands like Nokturnal Mortum or Temnozor are without a doubt folk/pagan black metal. However when discussing this controversial topic the author seeks neutrality and realism. Thus "nazis" get neither condemned nor praised, the word "infiltration" doesn't drop, there is no wailing. No "Unheilige Allianzen".Anyway, it would have been more reasonable to feature a chapter about "DSBM" (Depressive Black Metal); in fact the author makes good for it in his second book "Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies Volume 1" mentioned above. The "DSBM" feature alone is worth the purchase of that book.But back to "Evolution of the Cult": There is a lot to read about the origins of the bands. For me for instance the origins of Shining were new. But it prompts questions: How come a 13 y.o. founds his own record label? How come a 13 y.o. enters a studio and records his first single (and releases it himself)? These questions don't get asked let alone answered. Is it just me or is this uncommon?The story of VON gets chronicled as well, certainly worth reading for everyone who loves this band.The outstanding personality in this book for me is not Varg or Gaahl who belong to the more interesting personalities in (black) metal but Thomas Fischer/Tom Warrior who in his polished style once again gets to the heart of things. A true freethinker and misanthrope – the opposite to all the sheeple even black metal is overrun with.Likewise notable – and most likeable as a human – Rob Darken who remains a shining counterexample to all rock stars.Conclusion: I think that even people who already know a lot can profit from "Evolution of the Cult" and be it just the entertainment of recalling the history of this special music genre.

  • Evgeny
    2019-03-02 03:33

    The best book about the history of Black Metal genre.

  • Brandon
    2019-03-08 00:48

    Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult is a non-fiction book which is first and foremost an anthology of Black Metal which is a genre of music rooted in the larger Metal genre. The author Dayal Patterson is someone involved in the Black Metal scene as a reporter, gig photographer (this book includes some stunning shots of the bands and cover work) and publisher. Most importantly though Dayal is a fan first and has spent years listening, and befriending many Black Metal bands and artists. These friendships are very apparent in the way the book is crafted, this book gives a very detailed look at the tumultuous starting of Black Metal with Venom, Bathory and Celtic Frost, from there he takes the readers on a timeline of new acts coming to the scene and pushing the envelope. The book wraps up by reinforcing where Black Metal started, but stressing that for the sake of Black Metal as a genre and movement, progression should be welcomed. This book is not meant for everyone, most of the book is written in a style of the author writing the history of each band he interviews and then the actual interview, the structure can be hard to follow; rewarding after reading the book. What stands out is the absolute direction this book takes, it is not something a casual music fan will pick up and read; if you don’t follow the Black Metal genre he is not expecting you to be a reader, he does not write for casual readers nor are the interviews for casual fans. The interviews themselves are very rewarding for Black Metal fans, hearing from artists that shaped and molded a genre and in some cases released what are considered classic albums can be quite revealing and enlightening. However; readers must be warned neither the author or subjects of the book are ones to pull punches, this book delves into aspects of Black Metal as a culture; including: Satanism, Church Burnings, Suicide, Murder and general Misanthropy. Some of the interviews are not easy to digest right away even for an avid fan of the genre. Dayal Patterson released Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult on Feral House Publishing, they specialize in releasing books and other types of art that are considered subversions of modern culture. Released in 2014, it now has an even more developed 2nd edition, alongside three other books; all covering Black Metal. Those titles are as follows, Black Metal: Prelude to the Cult, Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies Vol. 1 lastly Black Metal: Into the Abyss. You can purchase the book on Amazon online, in some bookstores and at The cost of the book alone is $19.72 on, however on which is Dayal Patterson’ personal website you can purchase a box set with the set of books for roughly $65.00, this set comes with the books which are signed and numbered, T-Shirt, patches, exclusive art and certificate of authenticity all in a deluxe box set with Cult Never Dies logo. Quite a value for an enthusiast.

  • Caroline Åsgård
    2019-03-14 03:36

    A must-have for all black metal fans!I couldn't put it down again after I found it in the store. It took me ages to read it though, it's so long! 50 chapters between 485 chapters.In this you can read about all the bands you can think of that can connect to the black metal scene somehow (though I missed Immortal in this one, I find them pretty important, as they have self-irony and don't take themselves seriously and joke around, which I love. You seriously can't think that you have to be so motherfucking tough and KVLT all the fucking time.)There's also 64 glossy pages of cool pictures in the middle of the book!Every chapter features a band (or several - some chapters future different ''parts'' about a certain country and mention different bands throughout it. Mayhem gets several chapters of course. They're my favorite band, so I don't mind at all, but some may.), and tells us how they started, with who, when, how they got into metal, what equipment they used, how they rehearsed, how they made songs, how they were received by people... Everything you need to know basically about bands you like musically. It goes on to tell about the rest of their carreer and releases, though most aren't ''up-to-date''. The author has interviewed basically everyone for this book, so you will get ''personal insight'', funny stories and quotes and so on.As for how the book is written, I guess that's the reason I'm giving it a 4/5. When he quotes band members, it's very confusing to know which one he's talking about, since it switches a lot. He also writes about himself inbetween, which of course he did with intention, he's just one of many metalheads after all - but I just found it a little weird. And I just didn't feel so ''drawn'' to reading it as I thought I would be. It took me like three months to read it, which is pretty shameful for me, hahah.But nevertheless, it's a book I've wanted for a while, I liked it a lot and will probably read it again (maybe not from cover to cover), and contains a lot of new information!So I definitely think fans of black metal should get this.

  • Isaac Baker
    2019-02-24 22:45

    What a thorough and fascinating read. Dayal Patterson is a master researcher and interviewer, apparently, because this book is fucking massive and packed with information and comments from the people who make the music we all love. This book should live on as the quintessential written work on black metal.Patterson arranges the book by focusing on a band each chapter, starting with Venom, Mercyful Fate and Bathory and proceeding (generally) in a chronological march through the various waves and bands that define black metal. Patterson summarizes songs and albums wonderfully, which is quite a feat considering how difficult it is to describe black metal in words. But he also knows when to sit back and let the musicians speak. My favorite parts of the book are the longer quotes from musicians. They riff about what black metal means to them, what they hoped to accomplish with a particular album, and what their band names, songs and lyrics mean. It’s especially interesting to hear the different interpretations of Satanism and what it means. I’m not really interested in the sensationalized tabloid aspects of black metal mischief, but I’m very interested in how individuals define Satanism. It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and members of the same band frequently define their views about Satanism differently. I love hearing the different comments from members of the bands like Mayhem, Emperor, Beherit, Dissection, Watain, Marduk, Shining. It’s interesting to analyze the different sounds and how they relate to different interpretations of the meaning behind black metal.Anyway, I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it there. If you like metal, or black metal, or you’re interested in the occult, this is absolute must-read. Screw the “Lords of Chaos” stuff, this book will be a permanent part of my home library.