FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A lot of people have e-mailed me with questions and comments about the book and its contents. Since time is limited, I have put together a list of questions and answers, that you won't have to ask me by e-mail! If you do ask them, I will simply refer you to these "frequently asked questions"!

Are there still books available? If not, will there be a second edition? This is a legitimate question to ask before placing any order or sending people your money for an item on sale. However, I can assure you that the moment all my encyclopedia's have been sold, I will mention it on this website! That will also be the moment that all ordering-info will be deleted, to avoid any miscommunication!

So, in short: YES, THERE ARE STILL BOOKS AVAILABLE!

A second edition of the book is always an option, but I'll not be putting in the same amount of ca$h I did for the first one... Who knows where it'll wind up in the future.


What are the criteria for bands to appear in the book? The book is called The Encyclopedia of Dutch Black Metal, so the first criteria are right there:
(1) the bands should be from the Netherlands (or at least part of the band), and
(2) they should play black metal (or a style that is a hybrid of black metal, or an offspring of the genre, or tightly related but still different as long as it makes sense)...

Because today the definition of black metal seems to be different for everyone, I have looked at it from the widest possible angle, and most of the time let bands themselves decide whether they are black metal or not. I have taken this objective and academic approach to make the book as versatile and extensive as possible. Whether you agree on the inclusion of some of the bands or not, is totally up to you. I have deliberately ignored my personal feelings about certain bands, and decided to lay them out for you all to evaluate...

The bands in this book are all a step up from being only an idea though, so they have all materialised in one way or another. Some bands have long discographies, while others have only rehearsed or played live once or twice. Theoretic and unborn bands will therefore not be included in the encyclopedia.


Is it possible to trade some of the music mentioned in the book? I am not an active "tape/cdr/mp3-trader", and I will possibly turn down most of the offers made concerning trades. Of course I am always willing to think about a decent exchange. On the other hand, you might be asking me for music that is not in my possession. I do not own all the music that is listed in the book; sometimes not even the music I've reviewed!

Trading a copy of the book for a copy of your music is sometimes possible - certainly for Dutch bands, but also from abroad. The offered release should at least be an original, and from there on we will negotiate a possible deal...


What is your own definition of black metal? Though not at the top of this list, this is the most frequently asked question of the bunch. And even though I am reluctant to share this with all of you, I will do so, because I don't want to be bothered with it anymore...

First of all, I am not a follower of statements such as "black metal is defined by musical elements" (or way worse, its "visual elements"). Black metal can almost sound like anything, if its message is true to the following concept, and still has a link to metal music.

Black metal is a Satanic metal genre in essence, with less direct side branches: the negative side of occultism (so Wicca is out of the question too), the adversity towards established positive religions (ones that pride themselves being the only good versus all other bads) such as Christianity, the Islamic, and Hebrew faiths, etc., and anything that is a direct consequence or derivative of these two.

On a more detailed level...
I think there is no viking black metal, only viking metal; there is no pagan black metal, only pagan metal; there is no christian black metal, only white metal, etc... (Naturally a debate can be launched on e.g. viking metal with a negative occult approach; and I'd say that could be filed under black metal!)
On the subject of nihilistic and misanthropic topics, things are more shady, since both can spring from the occult, but they can also spring from death, war, or human emotions. Suicidal black metal, however, is almost always spawned from human emotions and should be called "emo".
On the subject of politically charged black metal, I am balancing on a razor's edge, since politics are essentially here to do good for a certain population, which generally would not fit the black metal profile, but politics can also be an instrument of tremendous evil to another group of people, which would force it back into the boundaries, if only marginally. I remain undecided on this particular one.


Why have you put Christian bands in a black metal book, if your definition of black metal is Satanic? As mentioned above, I wrote the book in an objective way, and bands that classify themselves as Christian black metal - however wrong that is in my opinion - have been included. They are also included to show people the reality of 'the outside world penetrating the scene'. By expanding black metal into the mainstream (courtesy of Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, and today even smaller bands), the doors have been opened to anyone, and ignoring that is stupid. In this day and age, information is power!


Is black metal the only genre you listen to at home or are there other genres you like? Black metal is one of the genres I listen to, but as with all existing genres, there is only a limited amount of bands really sticking out of the crowd. This can be because of their music or because of something completely different!
My tastes vary quite a bit and lie inside and outside metal, depending on my mood. Naturally there are things I really cannot stomach (outside and inside metal)...

Favorite bands? I guess that totally depends on my mood of the day!


What's your personal opinion on the Dutch black metal scene? And on the global scene? The answer is basically the same as the one mentioned above. Every scene has its rare gems, a group of good bands, and a shitload of things that disappear underneath one's personal tolerance levels! Still, the Dutch scene is quite diverse and has lots of sounds different from the mainstream of black metal... And that's a positive thing!

Worldwide, the scene is largely overcrowded with bands, and that weakens the scene at its core! And the reach of the internet is not helping! It's a huge shame, but it's reality. If things go well, you will read my thoughts on black metal as a whole in my follow-up book Black Metal Is Dead! Long Live Black Metal!.


I see you've included death metal bands like Asphyx and Centurian. Why have you not put in other death metal bands? I know the death metal output of the Netherlands was pretty big in the late 1980s and early 1990s (up until the boom of the black metal scene, I guess). The Dutch death metal scene has given us some really great bands and classic releases.

I will give you a few examples...

Pestilence was one of this country's finest early death metal acts. However, Pestilence had no link to black metal at all; they could not even be classified as Satanic death metal. The same can be said about Gorefest, whose Mindloss album is a quality work, but nowhere near black metal. When black metal began its rise in -let's say- 1992, this band even expressed its dislike towards the genre. The Gathering might have debuted with an album that is somewhere comparable to all those early atmospheric keyboard bands, but that won't get you on the list... I can give you a whole list of bands that did not make it in the book in this context, but I won't.

In the process I have added more Satanic death metal bands, like Lier In Wait, Thanatos, and Zi Xul, but time will tell if there will be more... If you have some serious suggestions, do give them!


Why have you written this book in the English language instead of the Dutch? This choice has everything to do with the pride for my local scene. I have been writing the book for the international black metal market, so that everyone will be able to learn more about the versatile face of Dutch Black Metal, instead of keeping things small and going for a local publishing. I think we have a scene to be proud of, and the world will certainly miss out on bands if nobody cares to make them known to it.


I have ordered the book and found quite a lot of wrong information. How come? I am aware that the book offers some wrong information (and not to mention rather poor English at times). During its making I have really tried to keep up to date with the facts, but some bands just drifted out of view or became unable to reach. This way some information did not get a double check by the band, or could not get checked at all by anyone. Back in those days the internet was not as informative on Dutch bands as it is today. You might not realise it, but we are spoiled fucks by now!

Some say there are quotes in there that give people the wrong idea of the band. Nevertheless, all quotes I used are taken from interviews I have done with people from those bands. In hindsight they might not be glad with the answers they had given, but they are what was handed over to me. I just put them in there for everyone to see.


Which bands are left out and purposely did not make the book, despite being described as black metal (hybrids)? From the band p.o.v.:
There are a lot of bands around that are trying to make a name in the metal scene. Being upfront as a band about the styles you've chosen as your main influence is a good way to get honest support, but there are bands that call themselves black death metal (for instance), while only one of its musicians likes that style (and probably only Dissection) and once in a while comes up with a guitar riff that has a black metal feeling. Looking for a broader audience, this band might choose to list black metal as one of the styles the band has assimilated. Sure, not everyone will swallow it, but by then the damage has been done.

From the audience p.o.v.:
A lot of people are into metal on a very superficial level, enjoying pounding drums and grunts or buzzing cold guitar riffs, and they are often feeding the internet information that's unbalanced. People might hear Cannibal Corpse play a few open chords in succession, and think "well, they've discovered black metal". This kind of misinformation comes together in a lot of places, and in the virtual realm of reposts it's often "everyone says it, so it must be true". That's why all pop stars are brainwashed illuminati slaves these days... In the case of classifying black metal, it's always "hearing is believing" not "reading is believing".

These are bands I left out:
Black Nocturnal Darkness (no verifiable information despite many releases), By Toutatis (heavy metal), Celesterre (doom metal), Clan Of Chaos (death metal), Darkdayrising (death metal), Dark Ritual, Deathrage (thrash metal), Desolate Fields, Endymaeria (gothic metal), Grasp Of Sense, Mister Monster (thrash metal), Helgor (death metal), Jötnar (folk metal), Maelstrom (death thrash metal), Monuments (doom metal), Morvigor (little black metal in there), Nachtval (folk metal), Nuclear Devastation (thrash metal), Octagon (dark death metal), Passion (death metal), Pestilential Sanity, Plague (death metal), Sepiroth (death metal), Shackles For A Clown, Slaughter Towen (necrocore), Soulecy (doom metal), Stench Of Death (death metal, despite once being called Mergelgraaf), Tapetum Lucidum (belgian despite earlier information), Teuton (no verifiable information), Troep (two guys jamming once, they have forgotten the recorded tape themselves), Turbo Torture, Villainy, Winter Siege (death thrash metal).

Surely, any of these can prove me wrong, but they'll have to bring along the music and a musical and ideological backstory.


I will undoubtedly add more f.a.q.'s when time goes by...
If you still have questions, you can e-mail me on
info@nlbme.nl.