Black Metal Is Dead! Long Live Black Metal! cover

Black Metal Is Dead! Long Live Black Metal!
The upcoming book, that took about a decade to finalise - although it's probably never finished!

In August 2010, six years after I published The Encyclopedia of Dutch Black Metal, I felt the urge to contribute to the scene again. Because I had already done the "objective collection" with a "local focus", I needed to take the opposite road this time. I combined some of my short articles and essays from the 1990s and 2000s, and started with a highly subjective review about the entire black metal scene.

Since I had no intention to end up with the same old shit that's all over the internet (I don't dissect the Euronymous murder, and I only brush past all the ideological stuff about Vikings and other ancient pagans), I started with a (probably inept and small) selection of occult music from the centuries before Venom conjured up the term Black Metal in 1982. And I end up in the present tense. Here's how I structured it all:

  1. The first chapter deals with all sorts of occult sounds up until Venom's Black Metal album, starting with Paganini and Tartini, going through the blues of Peetie Wheatstraw and Robert Johnson, psychedelics of Bruce Haack and Jacula, but also incorporating AC/DC, Van Halen, and The Eagles, concluding with punk and the earliest years of New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

  2. The second chapter I have tried to paint the versatile face of black metal in the 1980s, when the whole concept was still ideological only, starting with the classic Venom album, and when Mercyful Fate was as black as Possessed; the period now called the First Wave of Black Metal. On the other hand, I just had to cram Mötley Crüe in there somewhere as well!

  3. In this chapter I have linked the First Wave with the Second Wave, by focussing on Satanic death metal and bands like Blasphemy and Beherit, which were a sign of things to come. Odd sidetracks in there are paragraphs about Satanic doom metal and Satanic grindcore - which both stretch a bit beyond the late 1980s.

  4. The next chapter features the well known and widely covered Second Wave of Black Metal, that peeked in the early 1990s in Norway, and brought (in)fame to the extreme underground. I have also incorporated some stuff from the countergenre - you cannot ignore Horde, even if you want to - and stuff from the political corner: NSBM vs RABM.

  5. The chapter after that looks at the commercial explosion that followed in the mid 1990s and the years that followed, but also other commercially inclined music with a Satanic edge; even Marc Almond makes an appearance here!

  6. The Third Wave of Black Metal that emerged somewhere in the 2000s, is both a step back to Second Wave primitivity as well as the versatility and crossbreeding of the First Wave, and I have included a lot of occult bands in here that are hardly black metal. Hell, a lot of black metal is hardly black metal anymore, so why the hell would I be careful?

  7. Concluding the book is an obligatory "what will the future bring us?" piece, and since it's a review I have to rate it all at once!

All of this is intertwined with my personal ideas about the different interpretations of black metal (both good and bad, both 'black', 'brown', 'grey', and 'white' ideologies, both ideologically and musically centered, etc.), the schizm between non-commercial and commercial music with an occult message (let's say from the outskirts of Enbilulugugal to depths of Slipknot) and the connected generation gap, the use and misuse of terms, the invention of moronic subsubgenres, various other annoyances, lots of references to Dutch bands that have made their mark (or should have), and memories of shows, tours, video's, people, my old bands, and anything I found relevant to the narrative. To give the whole thing more weight, I used lots of illustrative and reference footnotes, and quotes from a varying bulk of sources (old and new, true and false, pulp lyrics and scientific literature, rational and conspirational, pro and anti, in and out of their context, readable and watchable), without steering clear from mean streaks of sarcasm and/or balancing on the edge of political (in)correctness...

To top it all off, I include a 666 song playlist for your (dis)comfort, to make clear what the Hell I mean at times. (MP3 DVD-R not included; I don't own the rights!)

In short, it will probably offend as much people as it will entertain, but I just had to get it off my chest!

I am fascinated beyond belief, where can I find it?

My idea was that I wanted to publish the thing after I felt it was ready, but somehow I kept tripping over new stuff I just had to include... I realised it would hardly ever be ready, so I started to think about another way to work around that. Is it to be a paperback book, hardcover book, e-book, glossy magazine, old-school xeroxed black/white magazine, internet blog, audiobook (still don't own the rights to the songs, and I don't have a great speaking voice for something as long as this), or printed on rough ass-skinning toilet paper?

Years ago I started with a blogged introduction - but not in the way I have written the book. I have decided to cut it up into several small pieces and items, name them, and blog them more or less at random on You can leave comments (only smart ones will survive) and maybe they'll be worked on in the book. I hope someone will be willing to publish the thing in due time...