Swedish Death Metal

Daniel Ekerot, Author Bazillion Points Publishing $34.95 (447p) ISBN 978-0-9796163-1-0
Death Metal musician and author Ekeroth (Violent Italy) shows a true fan's dedication in this oral history/band index of the thunderous music scene that emerged from frozen, sparsely-populated Sweden in the '80s and early '90s. In his introduction, Ekeroth explains the youth phenomenon that was Swedish Death Metal (it sounds pretty much like you would think) as natural in a country ""generally made up of extremely small and boring towns."" He writes: ""In the small and worthless town of Avesta where I grew up, there were metal bands in every garage, school, and youth center,"" he writes. Without sensationalizing SDM's dark, flamboyant lyrics, Ekeroth traces the movement that produced more than a thousand bands, from proto-genre ""thrash metal"" (more punk) to bastard offshoots like ""black metal"" (more makeup, less fun), through interviews with the musicians, tape-traders and fanzine writers who were there. The furious scene, made up almost entirely of frustrated and disaffected teenagers, would echo the '70s punk revolution in New York and explode with the same powder-keg intensity, before eventually spawning ""ridiculously well established"" years that meant the death of Death. Maybe worth the price alone is the appendix, an ""A to Z of Swedish Death Metal Bands,"" which features brief profiles and discographies (with Ekeroth's opinions) of every known SDM band, from world-famous At the Gates (""all their albums are classic masterpieces"") to Slakt (just one 2005 demo, ""probably nerds""). More than 500 black and white photos and illus.
Reviewed on: 12/31/2007
Release date: 07/01/2008
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