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FEN - review
(March 03, 2017)

ISTEN MAG
ISTEN MAG
(16 pages, A4, printed, written in English)

When Mr. Mattila announced a new issue of ISTEN, I was really excited (to say the least) as this zine has always been my alltime favorite from Finland! Unfortunately the result didn't really live up to my expections for the simple fact that it can't really be considered a regular issue, but a 16 pages sort of "extended newsletter" kinda thing (or a "split EP with a couple of extras" as the editor himself prefers to label it). As usual the whole layout looks highly professional, yet reminds me way more on a cool Punk zine rather than on one of the thousands of boring high glossy wannabe magazines. Totally old school, but never amateurish or silly and as usual written in a very good english. So, "organized chaos" might be the keyword here. There's actually not too much of a regular content to be found on the 16 pages... If you take away the front- / backside and introductional page you're left with four pages of NIFELHEIM and three pages of WATAIN (well actually it's just two here, as one of 'em only features a picture). The rest is just filled with quotes from people that most of you might not even know about and therefore probably don't really care... Somehow it seems to me that Mikko is on a sort of psychological journey, trying to analyse why people are (or have been) into Metal. As so often, answers to such questions vary from being really boring and uninspired to highly entertaining (depending on who answers 'em). The zine basically is in black & white, but the extra colour (red) adds a rather sick note to the whole look. Cool idea! So, overall pretty entertaining (not as strong as his other "sideproject" from years back, "Playing With Fire", though), but I hope that there's gonna be a "full-length" issue again sometime in the near future as nowadays scene needs zines like ISTEN more than ever before! You can order a single copy for 3 US $ (5 copies for 15 US $, 11 copies for 30 US $ / 25 Euro) at the following address: Mikko Mattila, Koivistontie 10 E 66, 33820 Tampere, Finland, www.isten.net.

Frank Stöver

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