Рецензия: JEAN “VALNOIR SIMOULIN” – Analogue Black Terror: A visual history of Black Metal Demotapes Radicalism

Year of release: 2019
Released by: Nuclear War Now! Productions
Rating: for underground freaks only

Today I bring to your attention a small review of the book - more precisely, the artbook that will be released by NWN at December, 1st. The initiator, designer and editor of the project is the famous French artist Metastazis, the designer of TOD HUETET UEBEL "Malicia" album, as well as dozens of more boring releases - such as albums of ALCEST, BLUT AUS NORD or PARADISE LOST. Unlike Jean’s elaborate artwork, the idea and realisation of “Analogue Black Terror” is as simple as a stick. This is the drawback of the artbook: the book is simply a collection of high quality scans of demo cassette inlays. No more, no less. No preambles, descriptions, explanations. Each set of scans is accompanied by a concise signature, such as “DARKTHRONE Thulcandra 1989, Norway”. You will not find any other printed text here. The selection of releases in the book is, of course, elite. 260 pages are occupied by legendary names: BURZUM, MAYHEM, MORBID, BLASPHEMY, ISENGARD, ROTTING CHRIST, EMPEROR, XANTOTOL, NIFELHEIM, GEHENNA, GRAND BELIAL’S KEY, MOONBLOOD, DEATHSPELL OMEGA... too many to mention all of them. Almost any important Black Metal band from the sacred analogue period (mid-1980s - 2000th year) that comes to your mind has been lit up somewhere in this artbook.

This is how it looks like

This is how it looks like Nevertheless, there are some retreats. Firstly, there is an exotic stuff, like the band URANIUM 235 from ... Monaco, which I, for example, have never heard of. It turns out that it recorded its only demo album in 1995, and the only member of the band later played in KRISTALLNACHT. Well, let's note the educational function of the artbook. Secondly, although the subtitle claims to be “A visual history of Black Metal Demotapes Radicalism”, there are bands in the book that are definitely not considered Black Metal these days. And I have doubts that at the time of the release of these demos they were considered Black Metal as well. Offhand - NOCTURNUS, POSSESSED, CENTURIAN, APEIRON. Thirdly, the impressive list of bands still lacks some names, and it is difficult to explain why. The reasons for lack of HORNA, NOKTURNAL MORTUM, JUDAS ISCARIOT, (BLACK) WITCHERY, ILDJARN are beyond my understanding. Are they not enough black / analog / radical? I understand that such collections are rarely perfect, and around them there is always a cloud of dumb questions, starting with the word “where”. However, I insist that the aforementioned bands nevertheless deserve a place on the pages of the artbook - the place that is now occupied by useless shit like KEEP OF KALESSIN and MOONSORROW. But with respect, I note that the author did not hesitate to include OHTAR, THOR’S HAMMER, EVIL, TEMNOZOR and other right-wing bands in his book. Even our ŠTURM is presented. From BBH, there is only VARGLEIDE here, but this can be understood - the original inlays to the early recordings are almost impossible to find.

It’s hard for me to answer the question if you should buy this book or not. Even for myself, I have not decided yet, although I am inclined to the fact that it is worth taking. This release is for manic underground fanatics who either caught the era of tape trading or grieving that they were born too late for that. If the demos presented were provided with at least a brief historical background, the art book would have gained a wider readership. But all that remains is to read hand-written / typewritten texts on the scans, examine pictures and try to catch the spirit of a bygone era in the smell of printing ink. Studying the presented inlays can stille be quite informative, however, it requires a good knowledge of the Black Metal scene and the English language. Therefore, the release turned out to be quite narrowly targeted.

Post Author: F1sher16

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