(218 pages, A4, printed, in English)

Searching in wikipedia for "encyclopedia" I found the following explanation: "Indeed, the purpose of an encyclopedia is to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe; to set forth its general system to the men with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come; and so that our offspring, becoming better instructed, will at the same time become more virtuous and happy, and that we should not die without having rendered a service to the human race." This may be a little bit over the top when talking about an encyclopedia of Swedish Death Metal but the fundamental idea is the same. Nicola Costantini’s "The Encyclopedia Of Svensk Dödsmetall" features basically every, and when I write "every" then I mean "every", Death Metal band from Sweden between the years 1988-1992 and it’s just unbelievable to see Nicola’s attention for details. He’s not only mentioning each band, he includes information about all of their releases during this period (mostly demotapes and EPs) with details about the sound quality or layout explained in a legend at page 6. This makes me imagine that Nicola’s collection might be one of the most complete old school demo collections worldwide. Wonder if he insured that stuff or if he installed an alarm system at his house as a treasure like this simply is unpayable. Next to this ranking the encyclopedia features 53 interviews with ALL the important acts between this period of time from the wellknown names like NIHILIST (the same interview as you can find on Voices From The Darkside), GRAVE, UNLEASHED, NECROPHOBIC or EDGE OF SANITY (awesome interview, cool answers from Dan), to cultacts as TREBLINKA (great interview, too – with some words about the successor TIAMAT) or my dear favourites GOD MACABRE (sorry, its MACABRE END here, we are talking about pre-1993, you know). A band as NOCTURNAL RITES, now not even a tiny bit interesting for the reader here I suppose, was interviewed about their early days playing Death Metal, a DISSECTION interview answered by Mattias Johansson, Thomas Einarsson spoke about his days in EUCHARIST and many more unknown bands as the awesome MASTICATION finally got the opportunity to tell what went on in their heads. One of the best and most underrated bands of this time and place, NIRVANA 2002, is featured with 2 interviews and even Oscar Dronjak from HAMMERFALL was kind enough to show not even a tiny bit of rockstar-behaviour and answered the questions about his former bands DESECRATOR, CEREMONIAL OATH and CRYSTAL AGE in a very informative and likeable way. For me the winner of the book, a guy who knows where his origin is! These names just mentioned are only a little excerpt of what you can read inside and believe me it was not easy to pick out names. If I had to do it again the list would look completely different. Next to these interviews there are plenty of biographies and articles about the remaining bands not interviewed and this makes this book the MEGA MAG Nicola speaks about in his preface. You shouldn’t expect another "Swedish Death Metal" or "Choosing Death", though the clientele who should buy this book is completely the same, "Encyclopedia Of Svensk Dödsmetall" is no book, it’s (once again) THE MEGA MAG as it looks like and feels to read like one huge fanzine. The layout is awesome and fits to this fanzine attitude, the interviews are great and detailed with topics totally outdated (1988-1992) and if you are a Death Metal fan interested in how the most attractive and active period in the history of Death Metal looked like you have to buy this book as long as it is available. As far as I know the first edition is only 500 pieces so better be fast! It’s still unbelievable for me how Nicola managed it to get the addresses of all these persons and even more unbelievable to me that he got the answers to the interviews back. I know it by experience that this is sometimes even harder than figuring out their addresses, haha!! One negative fact I connect with this book and this is of personal nature: Nicola, can you imagine how depressing it is for me to realize that each interview with a comparable Death Metal band I’m going to do in the future is not the same anymore as you always will be ahead of me? Damn! Haha!! Anyway, the book sells for 40€ (Europe) 45€ (rest of the world) which is by far not too much for this tremendous work he did. Considering that most of the money probably goes to printing and postage and the smallest amount of it covers Nicola’s expenses this price is even a joke. Check out www.myspace.com/nicolacostantini for further details or get in touch with Nicola directly at nicola.costantini@gmail.com.

Thomas Ehrmann

Thomas Ehrmann

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