I love black metal in all its aspects. It has not ceased to amaze me this far. Extreme metal in itself is a rich outlet, with art, image and philosophy always intertwined with the art itself. No one documents that better than Cult Never Dies in a stunning series of books and merchandise.
Recently the organization moved in new directions, to make products that don’t directly fall in the original line of books about black metal that they’ve been releasing. Since I normally write about the books I read in particular book blogs (here, here, here and here) (and here too). I felt that these new releases deserved to have their own little bit on Stranger Aeons, so here’s to the latest writings of Cult Never Dies/Dayal Patterson.
Dayal Patterson – Owls, Trolls & Dead King’s Skulls: The Art Of David Thiérrée
This book is an art book with a biography of a remarkable artist. David Thiérré is a craftsman, who works with a sense of reality and almost tangible eye for detail. His works are very well known and respected in the extreme metal world, but to just place him under that banner does little justice to his creativity. Thiérré seems to breathe life into nature, the way folklore and old tales do. It’s only logical that by 2017 his work appeared in a book form, presented to those who love and embrace the otherworldly quality of his work.
Cult Never Dies is well known for the metal-related productions, but this is a new venture and a daring one at that. Not only is the metal community a niche in itself, when you add the filter of art to the mix, you’re bringing something that might not find the broad appeal you’d hope. But that’s exactly what Cult Never Dies has been doing, capturing a scene that defies definition and putting it to paper, boldly presenting it to the world. The work of David Thiérré has a similar mythical quality and to capture it, without choking the life out of the gentle pencil strokes and layered washes of paint shows mastery on the publishing end as well.
The book contains the story of the artist. It’s not full of drama, but it gives in insight into the connective tissue that binds Thiérré to his art. A feeling of what meaning and love go into it. This book should not be missing from your book shelves
Sven Erik ‘Maniac’ Kristiansen – Ultra Damaged: Damage Inc. Zine Anthology 1987-2017
Before Maniac became one of the most feared and insane live frontmen the world has ever seen, he was mainly a massive music geek. Yeah, sure… back then we didn’t call it that, but this production clearly shows his massive love and passion for extreme music displayed for the world to see. Probably a bit surprising to many people actually, but the man knows his Japanese hardcore, underground black and death and much more. Only two editions of his Ultra Damaged zine came out back in the eighties, but specially for this release they have become available once more. Maniac is also starting his zine anew, with a love for the physical product and the handwork that goes into it.
In Cult Never Dies it seems that old zine makers have found a company that can put this together as a cool product, relevant in todays age of internet fluidity. Reading this zine, you become aware of the peculiar beginnings of black metal. The music is not known as such yet it seems, by the choice of words by Maniac. He talks about music that is evil, brutal and insane, with an uncanny passion. The interviews are not overly polished, the language is often riddled with mistakes, but the pure passion behind it is tangible. What I like most is how you really trace the development of something new and exciting through the words of Maniac and their ever subtle shift from zine 1 to zine 2. These zines are not high literature, but pure chunks or original black metal passion and history.
Exciting news, there’s two new titles available. A combination of zines, titled Ultimate Darkness and the amazing Doom Metal Lexicanium by Aleksey Evdokimov.
These things don’t just happen, they take a lot of work and investment. If you’re excited about this (as I am), make sure to grab some of these titles or maybe a cool new t-shirt (great quality, trust me). Keep the cult alive!