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Review: Belzebubs
Book Review
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Author: J.P. Ahonen
Year published: 2019
ISBN: 1603094423
Pages: 120

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: February 21, 2019
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (1 Vote)

Metal music goes quite well with a lot of things; driving, enjoying a couple of beverages with friends at a show, gaming, summoning evil spirits, etc. What it doesn't always go with very well is humor. Enter J.P. Ahonen and his comic Belzebubs. Belzebubs is a band, a typical black metal group with corpse paint and lyrics glorifying Satan but it is also a family centered around the vocalist and band leader Sløth. He's also a husband and father trying to support his family with his music. Sløth and his bandmates LIVE black metal in that the makeup never comes off. It is truly a lifestyle and that goes for the family as well. You not only get the usual band foibles of trying to find a drummer and writers block, but you also get real-life comedic situations like Sløth and his wife Lucyfer trying to pick the right name for their son ("Not Belphegor! It's so common!") to teenage daughter Lilith falling for a "normal". The fact that these folks just go about their business in an otherwise non-black metal world makes them human, so while some of what they have to deal with is ludicrous (for example, Grandma refusing to bury Grandpa, even though he's dead), other things, like booking a vacation, are completely relatable. There are some laugh out loud scenes (one of the replacement drummers is unique to say the least) while others are less outrageous. The timeline, as the book is put together, isn't completely linear and it makes me assume this is something of a "best of" collection rather than a complete works. Regardless, Belzebubs is a fun read if you like metal music, especially if you grew up on comic strips like Calvin and Hobbes.

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