Black Metal

    Black Metal: Evolution Of A Cult Dayal  Patterson 5/5

     It doesn't matter how I approach this review. As soon as you hear the term black metal you've already conjured this 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.


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