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True Norwegian Black Metal

4.46  ·  Rating Details ·  553 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
In the last two decades, a bizarre and violent musical subculture called "Black Metal" has emerged in Norway. Its roots stem from a heady blend of horror movies, heavy metal music, Satanism, Paganism, and adolescent angst. In the early-mid 1990s, members of this extremist underground committed murder, burned down medieval wooden churches, and desecrated graveyards. What st ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by VICE Books (first published 2008)
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If it weren't for the intriguing and sometimes confusing documentary "Before the Light Takes Us" I'd never have an interest in Norwegian Black Metal.

This collection of photos showcases some beautiful scenery only to be marred by a bunch of middle aged idiots wearing ridiculous "corpse paint" makeup lots of leather and spikes. They look like a bunch of gay leather daddies gone hardcore goth. I just want to shout at them to cut their hair, long greasy and stringy is not the look for older men. Bu
May 10, 2016 Katrin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
i finally got my hands on this one. i loved it from start to finish. its mostly photography with some background info, mostly of metalion, who also provided some pages from his metal zine to the book, as well as international press of the murder and arson trials. but this is more or less the smaller part of the book, the biggest being peters photography. i love how he tried to capture it all. norwegian landscape, the iciness, the solitude, then also metal fans, the protagonists when on stage, ba ...more
Jun 03, 2008 Owen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Metal enthusiasts, photographers, artists
This has a lot of great photos documenting the Norwegian black metal scene from a variety of view points beginning around 2000. Peter Beste also made the documentary by the same name (True Norwegian Black Metal) which focused primarily on Gaahl and Gorgoroth, so there are plenty of images from that as well. There's also some history of the early black metal scene concerning Euronymous and Varg Vikernes, but that's really better covered in Lords of Chaos. The book also includes a pretty well deta ...more
Gary Lee
Jun 30, 2008 Gary Lee rated it it was amazing
No matter your feelings about Black Metal (the music, the movement, the make-up, etc.), this collection has some photos that will leave you impressed, inspired, enraged, awe-struck, and perhaps breathless.

It gets a bit spotty once the color photos come into play, but all in all this is a brilliant book.

I'd gladly place this one on my coffeetable if I could afford it.

"Black is the night, metal we fight
Power amps set to explode
Energy screams, magic and dreams
Satan records the first note.
We chime t
Sep 16, 2013 Javier rated it it was amazing
Contar todo lo fastuoso, grandioso, satánico, maravilloso, caótico, ridículo, exagerado, oscuro
y brutal que es el black metal noruego, se necesitan más imágenes que palabras.

Nadie captó esto de mejor manera, que el estadounidense Peter Beste.

Un must-have para todo fan del género. El formato es una maravilla.
"Beautiful" may sound like an odd word to describe black metal and the aesthetic of it, but that's precisely what this book is and I think that is exactly what makes it so excellent. The photographs work on several levels - not only are they visually stunning, but there is so much that lies beneath the immediate surface. Whether you want to call it a mood, a mindset or another abstract concept... it is the soul, the essence of this art form captured through an atypical approach. Looking through ...more
Brandon Torres
Jan 12, 2013 Brandon Torres rated it really liked it
This book was an overall spectacular collection of photography that captures every aspect of Black Metal, starting from the very start of the dark Inner Circle. Hand written controversial letters from members of Mayhem discussing Dead's suicide to profile shots of the members of Gorgoroth and everything in between, this book gives the reader a well rounded history lesson for the most uneducated person on this topic to understand. Making this book even better, it has no photos or information rega ...more
Feb 22, 2009 Brett rated it it was amazing
I've been kind of into black metal for a little while, but lately I've gone whole hog into loving it. This book is really well done - featuring some excellent quotes (H.P. Lovecraft, Albert Camus), and features not just the elaborate misanthropy of the black metal look but plenty of evocative photos of Norwegian wilderness that is so integral to the music. Pretty much an essential coffee table book if you're into this sort of thing.
May 06, 2009 Maggie rated it liked it
The pictures are nuts. Crazy! I think the book does a really good job of showing the reader an unfortunate universal phenomenon: it's mainly just a bunch of confused teenagers getting sucked into a subculture that is not very life-affirming. And oh man --maybe it's because English is not their first language or maybe it's because the essays are poorly translated -- but geez, the writing is just ghastly.
Oct 24, 2009 Gabriel rated it it was amazing
I served as production assistant on this book-- mainly scanning the archival materials at the back-- and also designed the poster of band logos included with the deluxe edition. So I'm biased when I say it's great. But it is.
Mar 22, 2011 Brady rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rock-criticism
Jun 06, 2010 Jason rated it really liked it
Great picture book with a cool time line of twisted events and original articles and drawings in the back that document the black metal movement in Norway. Great deal on Amazon, also!
Mar 02, 2011 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good photographic collection, although I disagree a little regarding the 'true norwegian' tag, some of this is run of the mill radio friendly black metal. Otherwise good.
Dave Hofer
Jun 13, 2009 Dave Hofer rated it really liked it
Badass photo book I picked up used at work.

I'm not the biggest black metal fan, but the imagery sure is pretty/unique/brutal/evil.
True Norwegian Black Metal is an art book about the weirdly intense but fascinating subculture of black metal, mostly of the period of the 90's last century. While I am a metalhead -and fervent lover of all sorts of music genres- I don't consider myself a true black metal fan. Not musically, spiritually, nor philosophically. Yet I have always been interested in this extreme culture. It's just so different from mainstream culture and "normal" appropriate behaviour. It's all about the ego, individ ...more
Mar 11, 2014 Rain rated it liked it
i'm not american so dont know if american apparel sell this as a part of coffetable piece? its huge and heavy, can hold shitload of beers and plates on it if needed for a smaller crowd meeting.

on serious note, my version was 5th press, 3500 printed that time, if Dead were alive he would of killed himself 6 times now probably. yeah its a nice book with pretty pictures with grown up men wearing war paint, ready to battle against christianity in world 4th richest country, but its scene explotation
Jack Thornsberry
Jul 07, 2008 Jack Thornsberry rated it really liked it
For whatever reason, I was drawn to the Norwegian black metal scene in the late 1980's and early to mid 90's. It's not that it is particularly "good" musicianship but you have to look at the whole package. Church burnings, nihilism, chaos, screaming, double bass drums, desolate forests, cold weather, etc all are components of this weird movement. A very nice coffee table book, but I would remove it whenever your in-laws come over.
Dec 12, 2014 Steef rated it really liked it
I wanted to own this book for years. I finally treated myself to this book, and it's very much worth it. Being interested in both photography and (black) metal (and Norway), this certainly feels like the best of both worlds. Lovely large book with huge pictures, some text with surprisingly new content and a really good look into this niche world.
Aaron Hall
Nov 23, 2013 Aaron Hall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was awesome. The pictures were some familiar ones being album covers or tshirt designs and there were a few I had never seen before. The inclusion of the Kerrang! And Slayer articles at the end was a nice touch.
Jul 14, 2011 Kristin rated it it was amazing
Although this book is not for everyone, you don't have to be into Black Metal to enjoy these photos. My favorite part is the juxtaposition in many photos of day to day images next to scary looking guys in full makeup. But I do like strange things....
Jan 19, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Black Metal music
Recommended to Amy by: Clifton Reintzel
Hands down, the BEST photography I ever seen! Loved the look back on the beginnings of Norwegian Black Metal and the fanzine & magazine article reprints. This book should be in every black metal fan's library.
Dec 31, 2009 Craig rated it it was amazing
Excellent photography book.
Tom Schouteet
Feb 12, 2016 Tom Schouteet rated it really liked it
Very interesting book if you like black metal off course. Images of black metal artist and the lifestyle
(mostly darkthrone and gorgoroth).Still a very nice book
Jul 30, 2008 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: many, many people
Recommended to Daniel by: many, many people
what the flying fuck? that's all i have to say. this book turns my semen black...
Dec 01, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
unending grimness
Ben Valentine
Mar 13, 2013 Ben Valentine rated it it was amazing
First edition, first printing, signed by the photographer. spectacular photography.
Jun 14, 2008 Augie rated it it was amazing
I mean really. Church burning, murder and make up. What is there not to love?
Dec 09, 2008 Jamil rated it it was ok
Shelves: photo
i'm totally not metal enough for this book.

"There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night." - Camus
Oct 13, 2013 Charlie rated it it was amazing
Intense. Will one day own.
Kari Husa
Kari Husa rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2011
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