(268 pages, A5, printed, in English)

Almost exactly 15 years after LORDS OF CHAOS and tons of dead trees smeared with ink about the subject of Black Metal, BLACK METAL: EVOLUTION OF THE CULT was released on Feral House – pretty much the only other serious book about the topic. The author, Dayal Patterson, published a complimentary zine and two more books, and now, in 2017, we have CULT NEVER DIES: THE MEGA ZINE. Pretty much what the title suggests, it is a Mega Zine: mega in size (a whopping 268 pages!) and zine by nature, "inspired by the aesthetics and approach of the print fanzines of the pre-internet era“, as the back cover blurb states. Dayal Patterson knows his trade: he has the ancient art of interviewing down to a science, and this is exactly the strength and the weakness of this volume: no matter how good you are at asking questions, if the other persons has nothing to say, it’s worthless, no matter how hard you try. Each and every interview is more a conversation than an interrogation, and most of them work exceedingly well: the REVEREND BIZARRE and MYSTICUM interviews are among the best I have ever read, digging to the core of it all and touching on subjects far greater than the music of a band. Metalion of SLAYER MAG gets to speak up as well again, this time about HEAD NOT FOUND, his label back in the days – something that hardly ever got discussed. Another interview that really nailed it was the one with NAHTRUNAR: a band from my own country that I had never even heard about. And hey, isn’t that what a zine should be all about – introducing you to the new good shit? Well done, sir, well done! Some interviews are forgettable (such as SLEGEST, BAL-SAGOTH or LYCHGATE), but that might be because I simply don’t care about these bands – and what they have to say does nothing to change this. And then there are some truly bad ones, case in point: ANCIENT, the biggest clowns of them all. OK, "Det Glemte Riket“ and "Trolltaar“ were listenable or even decent Black Metal from the tail end of the 90s, but the vampire imagery and especially the conversion (back) to Christianity are just too much to swallow. And it’s not even the interviewer’s fault, far from it: this band is completely worthless rubbish, ideologoically and as people. If you don’t stand for anything, you know the old saying… but all idiocy aside, this is a great book. Or zine. Or Mega Zine. You name it. And it even comes with a free CD (mine didn’t, though, but that’s OK since I don’t even own a CD player anymore). Snatch your copy at

Thomas Reitmayer

Thomas Reitmayer

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