Extreme Metal: Blood, Fire, Death: The Swedish Metal Story by Ika Johannesson and Jon Jefferson Klingberg (2018)


Blood Fire Death: The Swedish Metal Story
by Ika Johannesson and Jon Jefferson Klingberg
240 pages, Feral House, $19

As we get past the glory years of underground metal — roughly 1987 to 1994 — more histories are emerging such as Blood Fire Death: The Swedish Metal Story which came out two years ago and presented itself as a history of Swedish underground metal. It achieves that and more, but falls short of its ultimate mission, which is to explain Swedish death metal and black metal, world-renowned for their intelligence and intensity.

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finiteCell – Liquor Store (2019)

Sometimes creativity emerges best from a limited palette, and finiteCell by generating its sounds via custom programming on an original Game Boy and then sampling the result, adding breakbeat percussion, and editing the outcome into songs, demonstrates the possibilities found by experimenting in a sandbox of restricted options.

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Creature – Ex Cathedra (2020)

Metal needs a new sound and a new imagery ecosystem. 1970s metal had doom and warnings of the apocalypse, 1980s metal warned of collapse from within through choppy fractured sounds, and 1990s metal brought a fluid structuralism that emphasized pattern and order while embracing the evil that 1970s metal warned of and the chaos of the 1980s.

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Castigu – Castigà (2020)

History will not remember war metal well, since it took aspects of black metal and intensified them but in doing so, missed the point of the atmosphere and sense of a world changing in parallax, where it drifts backward as time thrusts us forward, that black metal captured.

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