|Review: Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries|
|Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries|
Publisher: Bazillion Points Publishing
Author: Jon Kristiansen
Year published: 2011
Review online: April 9, 2021
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries
Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (2 Votes)
I've finally finished reading this huge 744 pages, 8.5x11" hardcover brick. I think I bought it the year it came out, read the first part which contained the issues I didn't already own, and put it aside. Over the past couple of months, I've been reading the rest. It's been a long time since I read the original issues, so most of it felt kind of fresh (my memory sucks).
Slayer Magazine, the legendary extreme metal magazine from Norway was the child of Metalion and a favourite of mine until the final issue "XX" in 2010. This book contains all the issues, including the first couple written in Norwegian, so it's a real gem. The reviews are notoriously missing, but the interviews and articles are in there, and that's really what Slayer Magazine was all about anyway. It's interesting to see the evolution/experimentation of the layout of the magazine, but really it's the trip back in time that takes the cake. This magazine was around when the Scandinavian black metal craziness was happening, so you have interviews and articles about the deaths of such names as Mayhem's Dead and Euronymous, the church burnings, all that stuff, from someone who actually knew a lot of these people personally. Hell, he partied with many of them (the lame movie Lords of Chaos has a couple of shots with Metalion in it). So this "diary" contains a lot of authentic stuff from those years.
Some of the interviews are quite serious but a lot of them are funny, sometimes so goofy as to be kind of uninformative, but entertaining (Sadistik Exukution come to mind—insane stuff!) A lot of the language is bound to offend somebody. A lot of this was written before everyone was offended by everything. Don't say I didn't warn you and come crying. My shoulder is busy. It's impossible to drop names in a review to even cover the surface, as these pages are filled with them. Suffice it to say that this will keep you busy for many, many hours.
Unfortunately, the layout experimentations often went a little too far and sometimes the text is very small or part of it written in a hard-to-read font. That requires some extra effort on the reader's part. I had to forget about the last Death interview because I don't have a magnifying glass. I'll get back to it eventually.
A little extra that is, of course, not in the original magazines is the text in between every issue. This is where Metalion writes about things that went into preparing that issue—anything from the technical stuff to things that were going on in his life or significant events in the metal scene that affected him during the preparation. All very interesting stuff that really puts things into perspective; don't skip it.
It's obvious towards the end that Metalion had had enough with doing the magazine and also wasn't impressed with the proliferation of metal bands, webzines popping up all over, etc. You can feel it in the writing and in many interview questions.
This is good reading for people into death and black metal as well as thrash, and occasionally some other genres. It might actually be too extreme and frank for the easily offended, so if the tiniest things make you go hide under your mom's skirt, this may not be a book for you. Otherwise, this is a great compendium of metal history. As a bonus, being hardcover and so big, you can probably kill someone with this thing. :D
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