Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Over the course of history there have been irreplicable moments of creativity that quickly disappeared leaving an amazing legacy of art or writing, or music, or whatever in their wake. Paris between the wars, London in the 60's, New York City in the 70's etc. Well in the 80's and 90's, Sweden had it's own musical rebirth with the death metal scene. Bands like Entombed, At the Gates, Dismember, Grave, Macrodex, etc. all made of up crazy kids with the idea that howling ferociously about gore and guts was an awesome idea, came together and created a body of music that will endure in to the future. Only a few people were really able to experience this scene first hand due to the fact that Sweden is far the fuck away from everything and most of the bands were broke and didn't travel too far for a long time.
Well, if you're like me and didn't get the chance to hång out in Stockholm in the mid 90's, Dan Ekeroth of Insision, Dellamorte, and Diskonto's new book (conveniently titled), Swedish Death Metal, gives you the straight dope on what happened. This book is basically like having the gnarliest hesher older brother with a funny accent who introduces you to metal and buys you beer when yer in high school.
The book is written super conversationally so if you're in to the whole "academic music literature" thing then fuck off to somewhere else, this ain't it. Ekeroth probably uses the words "brutal" and "heavy" a thousand times in the course of the book and most of the judgements are pretty subjective (especially in the encyclopedic listing of Swedish Death Metal bands that makes up the last 1/3rd of the book) but once you realize that Dan knows what the fuck he's talking about it's all good. I read it over the summer in about 2 days when I was in Finland and it was a great book. Right up there with Our Band Could Be Your Life. Beats the shit out of Lords of Chaos that's for fucks sure.