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DAYAL PATTERSON: "Black metal is exploding and imploding in all directions at once"

Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult by Dayal Patterson features over 100 exclusive new and archival interviews with the genre's most central figures. It is the most comprehensive guide yet to this fascinating and controversial form of extreme metal. It is encyclopaedic in length and breadth. From the early 1980s pioneers to its fiery rebirth in Scandinavia through to today's increasingly diverse groups, this epic tome captures the movement's development in unparalleled detail and images through such bands and personalities as Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem, Behemoth, Tormentor, Emperor, Darkthrone, Samael, Gorgoroth, and many dozens of others. Increasingly influential, black metal continues to grow and expand as a musical form as well as the subject of serious and satirical, animated, documentary, and narrative feature films. --- Here's an interview (1 day to 2016 06 06) with the author of the book series, Dayal Petterson, who has been following the black metal scene since the mid 1990s and is a regular writer and photographer for Metal Hammer and Record Collector magazine, having also contributed to the likes of The Quietus, Terrorizer and Classic Rock Presents, as well as penning biographies and liner notes for the likes of Marduk and Killing Joke.

Mindaugas Peleckis
2016 m. Birželio 05 d., 19:16
Skaityta: 687 k.
DAYAL PATTERSON: "Black metal is exploding and imploding in all directions at once"

Arguably the most interesting and visually exciting subgenre of metal and even, it could be argued, music as a whole, black metal has long proved fascinating to both those within its fast-growing community and to outsiders looking in. It brings together not only a variety of extreme and cutting edge sounds and aesthetics, but also previously unheard of levels of controversy, including anti-religious actions, radical politics and worldviews and criminal activity including church burnings and even murder. Despite this it has breached the mainstream to the extent that it is recognized within publications from Metal Hammer to Vice to broadsheet papers, and has become Norway’s biggest cultural export, earning it support from the government itself.

Offering an unparalleled level of detail, and spanning about 215,000 words and several hundred pictures, Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult captures the progress of the genre, from its infancy in the early eighties through to its resurrection in the nineties and onwards to the fascinating scene we see today. Telling the story through the exploits of some of the most influential bands, with numerous asides to other groups and artists from the genre, the book combines interviews with the key individuals involved with editorial insight and examines the artistic, musical, spiritual development of the genre and the creative work, ideologies and often colourful lives of some of its most significant bands including:

Venom, Mercyful Fate, Bathory, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Sodom, Slayer, Kreator, Destruction, Vulcano, Sarcofago, Blasphemy, Samael, Rotting Christ, Necromantia, VON, Tormentor, Master’s Hammer, Beherit, Mayhem, Vomit, Thorns, Darkthrone, Burzum, Thou Shalt Suffer and Emperor, Gehenna, Gorgoroth, Trelldom, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Mütiilation, Vlad Tepes, Belketre and the Black Legions, Dissection, Watain, Marduk and Funeral Mist, Shining, Graveland, Infernum, Behemoth, Enslaved, Satryricon, Isengard/Storm, Ulver, Windir, Negura Bunget, Hades, Primordial, Arcturus, Manes, In the Woods..., Ved Buens Ende, Fleurety, Sigh, Dødheimsgard, Mysticum, Aborym, Blacklodge, Amesoeurs/Alcest, Fen, Wolves in the Throne Room, Lifelover

Included throughout the book are a wealth of images, many of which are previously unpublished, and in some cases, never seen before, with unseen images dating right back to Mayhem's Deathcrush sessions in the eighties.

Alongside archive interviews, Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult includes extensive and exclusive interviews with:

Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski (Behemoth)
Alan ‘AA Nemtheanga’ Averill (Primordial)
Attila Csihar (Mayhem / Tormentor)
Benny ‘Cerastes’ (Mysticum)
Conrad ‘Cronos’ Lant (Venom)
Dani Filth (Cradle Of Filth)
Edmond ‘Hupogrammos’ Karban (Negura Bunget)
Eirik ‘Pytten’ Hundvin (Producer for Emperor, Gorgoroth, Mayhem)
Fabban ‘Malfeitor’ (Aborym)
Frank ‘The Watcher’ Allain (Fen)
František Štorm (Master’s Hammer)
George ‘Magus Daoloth’ Zacharopoulos (Rotting Christ / Necromantia)
Gerald ‘Black Winds’ (Blasphemy)
Greg ‘Damien’ Moffit (Cradle Of Filth)
Gylve ‘Fenriz’ Nagell (Darkthrone / Dødheimsgard / Isengard / Storm)
Hans ‘Mortuus’ Rostén (Marduk / Funeral Mist)
Håvard ‘Mortiis’ Ellefsen(Emperor)
Ian ‘Tjodalv’ Åkesson (Dimmu Borgir)
Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved)
Jarle ‘Hvall’ Kvåle (Windir / Vreid)
Jason ‘Venien’ Ventura (VON)
Jon ‘Metallion’ Kristiansen (Slayer Mag / Head Not Found Records)
Jonas ‘B’ Bergqvist (Lifelover)
Jonas Åkerlund (Bathory)
Jørn ‘Necrobutcher’ Stubberud (Mayhem / Kvikksølvguttene)
Jorn Tunsberg (Old Funeral / Immortal / Hades)
Kai ‘Trym’ Mosaker (Emperor / Enslaved)
Kim ‘( )’ Carlsson(Lifelover)
Kim ‘King Diamond’ Petersen (Mercyful Fate)
Kjetil ‘Manheim’ (Mayhem)
Kjetil Grutle (Enslaved)
Kristian ‘Gaahl’ Espedal (Trelldom / Gorgoroth / Gaahlskag)
Kristoffer ‘Garm’ Rygg (Arcturus / Ulver)
Lee Barrett (Candlelight Records)
Marko ‘Holocausto’ Laiho (Beherit)
Michael ‘Vorph’ Locher (Samael)
Mikko Aspa (Clandestine Blaze)
Mirai Kawashima (Sigh)
Morgan ‘Evil’ Hakkansson (Marduk / Abruptum)
Niklas Kvarforth (Shining)
Ole ‘Apollyon’ Moe (Aura Noir / Dødheimsgard / Immortal)
Paul Ryan (Cradle Of Filth)
Peter Tagtgren (Producer for Dimmu Borgir, Marduk)
Preben ‘Prime Evil’ (Mysticum, Aborym)
Rob ‘Darken’ Fudali (Graveland / Infernum)
Robin ‘Graves’ Eaglestone (Cradle Of Filth)
Robin ‘Mean’ Malmberg (Mysticum)
Roger ‘Infernus’ Tiegs (Gorgoroth / Borknagar)
Rune ‘Blasphemer’ Eriksen (Mayhem / Aura Noir)
Saint Vincent (Blacklodge)
Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ)
Shawn ‘Goat’ Calizo (VON)
Simen ‘ICS Vortex’ Hestnæs (Arcturus / Dimmu Borgir)
Snorre Ruch (Stigma Diabolicum / Thorns / Mayhem)
Steffen ‘Dolgar’ Simestad (Gehenna)
Svein Egil Hatlevik (Fleurety / Dødheimsgard)
Sven ‘Silenoz’ Kopperud (Dimmu Borgir)
Sven-Erik ‘Maniac’ Kristiansen (Mayhem)
Terje ‘Tchort’ Vik Schei (Emperor / Carpathian Forest)
Thomas ‘Pest’ Kronenes (Gorgoroth)
Tom ‘King’ Visnes (Gorgoroth / Ov Hell)
Tom ‘Warrior’ Fischer (Hellhammer / Celtic Frost)
Tomas ‘Samoth’ Haugen (Thou Shalt Suffer / Emperor)
Tor-Helge ‘Cernunnus’ Skei (Manes)
Vegard ‘Ihsahn’ Tveiten (Emperor / Thou Shalt Suffer)
Ville ‘Shatraug’ Pystynen (Horna / Behexen)
Willy ‘Meyhna'ch’ Rousell (Mutiilation)
Yusaf ‘Vicotnik’ Parvez (Dødheimsgard)
Zhema Rodero (Vulcano)

For those interested in venturing deeper into the subject, this is a limited collection of black metal interviews by Dayal not included (or mentioned only briefly) in Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult. Some were made for the book but never made it into the main text, others date back ten years to the publishing of Dayal's first zine Crypt, and plenty inbetween. The collection is presented in the fitting format of an old school fanzine. (Includes MAYHEM, ARCHGOAT, CLANDESTINE BLAZE, TAAKE, GORGOROTH, IMPALED NAZARENE, BEHERIT, 1349/SATYRICON, MANIAC/SKITLIV, ENTHRONED, HORNA/BEHEXEN, SIGH, MARDUK, HADES and more).

Marduk and Dayal Patterson

Interview with Dayal Patterson (1 day to 2016 06 06).

Your books about Black metal are really very important for the investigation of modern music, more precisely, for the metal genre, especially the darkest, most mystical and heaviest one (not to consider death/grind metal). How came that You wrote the book. What/who inspired it?

Thank you for the kind words. The first book (Black Metal: Evolution Of The Cult) was inspired by two things I suppose - the obvious driving force was a fascination and passion for black metal and the other less obvious motivation was the fact that so many people were writing about black metal but not doing talking to the people who made it happen. It seemed like all these books, articles and films seemed to be distorting the picture a bit because they were only really interested in the Burzum/Mayhem/Darkthrone/Early 90s Norway story, and I wanted to try and explore the bigger pictures and look at how all the various strands of black metal were connected and talk to bands from various eras and countries, be it Venom, Master’s Hammer, VON, Rotting Christ, Samael, Emperor, Sigh, Tormentor, Blasphemy, Hellhammer, Marduk, Primordial, Ulver or Thorns - as well as the more obvious candidates of course.

I still haven't read the book and the review is yet to come, so i wonder - what where the criterions for You to write about Black metal? Which bands were "worth" and which not to be written about?

The first book was really about looking at how and why black metal was created in the 80s and how it evolved into the genre we know now during that decade and the 90s. So the bands that I focussed on were mostly chosen because they were very influential, but some I used to highlight different extremes (ie. those bands taking influence from folk music, industrial and so on) to show how varied the genre became and why that happened. The two books that followed (The Cult Never Dies Vol. One and Into The Abyss) are there to expand the story and look at other bands that I deemed influential and/or worthy of inclusion due to the quality of their work, examples being Satyricon, Manes, Xantotol, Mastiphal, Sacrilegium, Furia, Blaze Of Perdition, Strid, Silencer, Forgotten Tomb, Hypothermia, Trist, Deinonychus, Helheim, Urgehal, Tsjuder, 1349, Mystifier and many more.

Black metal began in England (Venom), became popular in Scandinavia and later became a world wide movement, even in "hot" countries like Greece. How could You explain Black metal phenomenon? Is it really a one genre or several distinct ones? What unifies Black metal bands?

Actually it was exploding all over the world from 1991 onwards, having been fairly sporadic during the eighties. It is a very diverse genre indeed (and always getting more diverse) and one defined by a plurality of musical approaches, aesthetic choices and philosophies on the part of its creators. I think that is one of the things that makes it so fascinating really. In my opinion the thing that unites all these strands of black metal is the emphasis on feeling or atmosphere. Whether you play fast, slow, primitive, technical, etc, there is always this feeling there that you don’t normally find in, say, death metal, something sinister, serious, powerful… a sense of there being something bigger than yourself maybe.  

Was it difficult to interview Black metal musicians? Your most interesting interview, things that You will never forget while writing a book (maybe even mystical).

I wouldn’t say I find it difficult, although done a few hundred black metal interviews since I started in 2003, and obviously your approach develops and improves over time, like anything else. But it was often hard to locate these people in the first place because a lot of black metal musicians aren’t inclined to give interviews. In fact some of the interviews are with bands and musicians that had never given interviews before, such as Strid and Silencer and so on.

To answer the second part of your question I would say that almost every black metal musician interviewed for the series made for an interesting interview, and I think that is because black metal in general attracts strong characters. Very few people join black metal or become involved in the genre in a casual way - generally speaking it involved quite a lot of dedication and is a reasonably hidden thing with few opportunities for fame and money and the other things that draws some people to making music.

And this is another reason why I say black metal interviews are not difficult. Strong and dedicated characters usually voice strong opinions and give their perspective on things fairly clearly because they are passionate about the subject, so although it might take more effort you are likely to get something very good in the end when it comes to their answers. I could list a lot of bands that were enjoyable and educational but a few standout interviews would include Satyricon, Blasphemy, Mysticum, Mayhem, Thorns, King Diamond, 1349, Beherit, Vemod, Mystifier, Sacrilegium, Behemoth, Venom, Darkthrone, Rotting Christ and Loits.

Satyr and Dayal Patterson

Tchort and Evolution of the Cult

Sacrilegium's Nantur and Dayal Patterson

Gaahl and Dayal Patterson

As a Lithuanian i wonder - did You write about Lithuanian Black metal, also about our neighbours' Latvian and Estonian one? If yes, what bands did You choose and why them?

At the moment I have not really reached this part of the world with the book series and there are a few countries I need to write about first (Greece, Sweden and so on) before I really get a chance to look indepth at the scenes there. But the new book, Black Metal: Into The Abyss, has a chapter devoted to Loits from Estonia and that chapter also discusses the history and character of the local scene, so this of course has compelled me to look further into the subject.

What is Your conclusion in the book? Is Black metal now a) alive and well, but stagnant, b) going through progress of post- genres (by the way, what do You think about postblackmetal. shoegaze/atmospheric-blackmetal?), c) dead and not progressing at all?

I guess I would say none and all of these are accurate. Black metal is defined by these conflicting impulses, this wish to experiment and try something new and on the other hand a sense of traditionalism and desire to expand on what has come before. In a sense, black metal is exploding and imploding in all directions at once - every subgenre that has surfaced has been championed whether it be old school 80s first wave black metal or contemporary post black metal. The internet allows people to find out more obscure acts from whatever scene and era appeals to them most and today people can pick and choose what bands they want to focus on, be it Blut Aus Nord, Sacramentum, Vulcano, Watain, Vlad Tepes, Hypothermia or Blacklodge.

What are Your favourite Black metal (and other kinds of) bands?

It’s hard to name a favourite black metal band to be honest, I guess the books will give you some idea of my tastes in this genre, every band included I have been a fan of to a lesser or greater extent. That said, the last two books have mainly focused on Norway, Poland and depressive black metal, but that is because I am working scene by scene, so I think people might get the impression that I’m only listening to these genres recently. Speaking more generally, music is probably my biggest interest and I listen to almost all forms or music to a greater or lesser extent.