(300 pages, A4, printed, in English)
If someone drops the words “Doom Metal“ in a conversation, I dare you to not instantly have the opening riff of ‘Electric Funeral’ in your head. Or ‘Under The Oak’. Or ‘Born Too Late’. It’s fucking impossible. Yet, a musical style such as Doom Metal, which has been ingrained in the collective subconsciousness of Metalheads of all ages and all walks of life has not been covered in book form so far, in stark contrast to a relatively young genre such as Black Metal. Up until now. So what I am holding in my hands now is a heavy as fuck (every pun intended) oversized softcover book, not unlike Matthias Herr’s “The Black Metal Bible“ from the late 90s when it comes to content – if anyone still remembers that narcissistic misogynist who loved to pose in fishnet shirts. But unfortunate nostalgia aside, let us focus on this book: the main part is an encyclopedia of – for lack of a better term – more or less “traditional“ Doom bands in alphabetical order, from the very obvious ones like CANDLEMASS, TROUBLE, SAINT VITUS, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, PENTAGRAM and CATHEDRAL to newer artists like CAUCHEMAR, ELECTRIC WIZARD, REVEREND BIZARRE or CHURCH OF MISERY and literally everyone in between. The marriage of Death Metal and Doom has been left out on purpose, so you’re not going to find any PARADISE LOST, WINTER or NORTT in there. Almost 360 bands are being covered here, with biographies, discographies, historical notes, photos, artwork, interview excerpts; and then there’s pages and pages of extras: a CATHEDRAL interview from 2005, a piece about witchcraft and black magic in doom by Sami Albert Hynninen of REVEREND BIZARRE and a very in-depth look on the influence of the writings of H.P. Lovecraft on the genre with examples of the use of uncountable stories as a lyrical foundation – in other words: a veritable tresaure chest for Doom afficionados and beginners alike. Me, somewhere in between, I have found myself scratching my head more often than not. At first, it’s fun – even though the word fun has seldom been used more inappropriate as in connection with Doom, but alas: flipping through the book, reading bits and pieces here and there, pulling forgotten gems from the record shelf, checking out bands I hadn’t even heard before, living the lyrics to ‘Sweet Leaf’ literally… what a great way to spend a few hours! But I have to admit that it gets old pretty soon. There is only so much fuzz, phaser and flanger that I need in my life, and – as with any book about any style of music – there is a whole lot of filler for a handful of killer. There is a number of bands that are being heralded as pioneers and legends for a reason, but for every innovator, there are hundreds of copycats. But hey, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and this book is as essential to Doom fans as vinyl copies of the first six BLACK SABBATH albums on the shelf. www.cultneverdies.com is the publisher and more info can be found at www.facebook.com/lexicanumofdoom.