(499 pages, in English)

This is, from my point of view, the third essential book for us, for those who call themselves fans of extreme music and for those who want to know how everything started. The first one I’m talking about is probably the most well-known one, the very famous "Lords Of Chaos". This one as start of this "series" is in my eyes a very interesting book, pretty entertaining and as dealing with the Black Metal hypes the most popular one. The 2nd one is "Choosing Death – The Improbable History Of Death Metal & Grindcore" and, in my eyes, by far the better book. I got goose bumps while reading it and it answers a lot of questions I had and explains retrospective one of the most creative times in the history of Metal. Well, this is just my personal opinion, others would say that "Lords Of Chaos" is the better book, but honestly spoken this is not the point here, simply because both books are outstanding each for itself and because my review shouldn’t deal with "Lords Of Chaos" nor with "Choosing Death". The book I’m talking about right now is unique and special from the beginning to the very end (which are the others, too, by the way!). "Swedish Death Metal" is a book written by a die-hard-fan, Death Metal musician and author of 2 other books (the film books "Violent Italy" and "Swedish Exploitation Cinema") and with this book he raised himself a monument. This book deals with the great days of the underground, where a letter was no letter unless it was 3 pages long. Where tape trading was the biggest activity in our spare time. Where news weren’t spread in blogs or in bulletin boards but through letters or in fanzines, no matter how actual they were. A time where you didn’t download a mp3-file from the homepage of a band, instead ordered their demo or got it through tape trading. A time where a demo was a cassette and not a CD. Everyone involved in this great time will confirm that this was among the greatest time in their lives and that’s the same for me and it feels so great to read all these details about the origin of the Death Metal underground and get a feeling like "Yes, that’s exactly how it was". This book deals about the rise and fall of the underground, the great days when the underground had this Punk / Hardcore attitude where everyone supported each other without requesting anything in return. This book also explains how the underground lost its pride most probably when Black Metal got popular. Still it deals only about the Swedish scene, and to be honest, everything dealed about the Swedish scene back then as they had and still have among the greatest bands. Finland had a great scene back then, too, perhaps that’s why I think that there is actually a person sitting somewhere in a corner in Finland writing a book called "Finnish Death Metal" to fulfil my request, hehe. "Swedish Death Metal" is amazing and the best read I had for a long time and I can only recommend this book to all of you out there who want to know how one of the most amazing phenomenon in the history of Heavy Metal took place. Please check www.myspace.com/tamarapress for ordering details and be aware that this book is pretty expensive. Considering the fact that it is printed on 499 glossy black and white pages with a weight of approx. 1,5 kg you’ll see that it’s value for money. Once more it’s just the truth that postage sucks – a problem the old tape traders had to deal with day by day (back to the roots?)! Buy it before it is too late and let me finnish this review with the words of Orvar Säfström from NIRVANA 2002: "The essential book on Swedish Death Metal for all who missed out on the golden years (and for all of us who were too drunk to remember them!)"! Nuff said!!!

Thomas Ehrmann

Thomas Ehrmann

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