Monday, 12 March 2012

Swedish Death Metal by Daniel Ekeroth

Sweden is a remote country in the freezing northern Europe, with less than nine million inhabitants and a reputation for Volvos, hockey players, cheap furniture, vodka, and blonde women. Since the late 1980s, however, Sweden has produced over a thousand extreme heavy metal bands, creating one of the most respected regional music scenes in the world. This is the improbable history of how a marginalized teen movement crawled from Sweden's small towns and suburbs, and found a lasting place on the world stage. Daniel Ekeroth captures the epic tale with enlightening detail, beginning with Sweden's violent loss of innocence in the 1980s, through the metal's virtual chokehold on the country during the 1990s into the lasting legacy and influence in the turbulent 2000s of the Sunlight guitar tone, the "Gothenburg Sound," and the countless offshoots of Sweden's most lethal cultural export.

It's nice to see an indepth book like this written by someone who is an actual fan of the music and understands what its about as opposed to some mainstream magazine trying to hype up whatever flavor of the month trend, or by someone with a political agenda trying to write a sensationalist piece (Lords Of Chaos). The second half of the book contains an alphabetical discography of pretty much every swedish death metal band, including the more obscure demo-only ones, which is an invaluable reference source. I have no idea how this would read to anyone who isn't familiar with the bands discussed here (or death metal as a whole, for that matter), but genre fans really couldn't ask for a better resource on one of the most creative scenes in death metal's history.

“Ekeroth knows of what he writes…5 of 5 stars” — Revolver

“A sprawling epic of a book…basically the perfect read for extreme metal fans.” — Bravewords & Bloody Knuckles, 9.5 of 10

“Death Metal musician and author Ekeroth shows a true fan’s dedication” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review/Pick of the Week

“Daniel Ekeroth has impressively balanced a high level of raw data with a loving, subjective tone. Aspiring authors of such future volumes are advised to approach their subjects with the same care and passion.” — Metal Maniacs

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