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Review: Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult
Book Review
Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult
Publisher: Feral House
Author: Dayal Patterson
Year published: 2014
ISBN: 1936239752
Pages: 600

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: March 11, 2019
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult

Rated 4.22/5 (84.44%) (9 Votes)

I can't remember where I saw mention of this book a few months ago, but I'm sure glad I did. Author Dayal Patterson certainly knows his way around black metal and covers it in this book from the early '80s to just before the book was published. He covers the bands that some would consider most influential in the genre and also in "deviations" such as industrial black metal and post-black metal, with the emphasis mostly on the rich Scandinavian scene but without forgetting a few other bands in other countries.

The book doesn't adopt a sensationalistic style, unlike Lords of Chaos, but mostly focuses on a biographical approach that mixes both the author's own analysis and excerpts of interviews he did with various band members throughout the years as a contributor to Metal Hammer. The chapters are, for the most part, focused on a single band though most also touch other bands, be it because of shared band members or because of influences, among other things. So, even though it may be tempting to skip a chapter titled after a band you don't like, I found that there's usually good information that would have been missed by doing that. I'm really not into industrial and post-black, to which several pages are dedicated toward the end of the book, but I still found the content very interesting to read, especially the views of the band members toward black metal in general.

This is really a page turner. It's extremely well written and the author's style makes it an easy, relaxing read. It also made me dig into albums I had not listened to in years, which is always fun. Highly recommended for anyone with even the remotest interest in black metal.

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