Tag Archives: cult never dies

Books: Cult Never Dies edition

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

source: CND website

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

source: CND website

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.

New titles

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!

The Reading of Books # 24

So, another series of books devoured, this time Bernie Sanders, Matt Taibbi, John Scalzi and Dayal Patterson’s work was in my sights.

Bernie Sanders – Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In

source: Goodreads

I became aware of Bernie Sanders quite late during the campaign, but something about this Vermont senator struck me quite soon. It’s that unabashed honesty, hard-working mentality and no crap attitude of the man that truly humbles anyone who follows what he does. Bernie is not for sale and Bernie genuinely worries about the people he represents. This book is therefor not some hollow rhetoric by an establishment politician. I would even argue that Bernie might nog have even put his face on the cover if he could avoid it. Sanders wanted to talk about issues, about change and about a grassroots movement that was looking for something new. This is something rather close to my own politics and I felt strong affinity to the Sanders campaign after reading this.

The book is part diary, where Sanders really describes his own experiences and life in a rather sober manner, the way the man is when asked about himself. Sanders focusses on his politics, even when its persona and that makes him such a specific specimen. He rarely pats himself on the shoulder and when he does, he always includes others. It’s  a pleasant read of a straight talk politician. The other half is his politicas and vision, so a more manifesto like article. In this part Sanders also takes all the time to really explain those views in detail. I’ve had bad hopes for the future, but the succes of Bernie’s campaign, the grassroots movement and these good ideas make me feel that we can sort it all out. A great book for those interested in finding out more about what is happening in the United States among real people. Worth your time for sure.

source: goodreads.com

John Scalzi – Redshirts

Imagine that you are living your life the way you feel it should go, only to realise that all of it was leading up to the inevitable and horrible death of you in a situation that screams irrationality. Imagine that you realise that going on a mission with the officers of your star ship leads to an almost certain death. Well, that’s pretty much the world that the characters of Redshirts live in. It is surprising that when officers come in looking for members to go on a ‘away team’, a lot of the crew disappears. That is not even the weirdest stuff that happens, There’s even a box that goes ping and solves complex, scientific mysteries. It only works in the nick of time though, as if to provide Dramatic effect. A very peculiar situation indeed.

This is an interesting and highly entertaining read by Scalzi. A group of redshirts realise that they are… redshirts. It creates a strange series of stories, where reality becomes the most trivial part. Real or not real, people are dying because of bad script writing. That is the main theme of the book, but the way Scalzi takes that and runs with it is just amazing. The characters really become real and every cliché is present in a hilarious journey. What I liked best about this book is actually the added parts, where characters from the story reiterate their experiences from their perspectives. It leads to philosophical, but also very human passages, that show science fiction is more than just fun and still holds interesting aspects for our reality. This is by far one of the most fun books I’ve read in a while, so this is indeed highly recommended.

Dayal Patterson – Cult Never Dies: The Mega Zine

source: goodreads.com

I was a bit puzzled by this choice to do a Mega Zine, for a bunch of reasons. First of, the word magazine always makes something more contemporary, more fleeting and less urgent, where I like that Patterson works on a continuous series of works on documenting extreme metal. Secondly, it results in a cover that looks less fitting in my  collection. Now, after having read it I also have to say that it really downplays the fact that is is very close related to the previous titles. Actually it’s a great addition with bands that simply don’t fit the regular categories you imagine with the black metal genre. In this book Patterson interviews some of the most peculiar groups from the grand and intriguing black metal scene.

Interesting fact is that the author adds other interviewers to this book, doing the work he’s pursuing with more knowledge and experience with certain bands. It makes the titanic work of documenting the scene more managable, but creating a matching format and form of expression does become more daunting. There are no problems with that though in this book, with bands lik Reverend Bizarre and Slegest to the strange organ sounds of Lychgate. The includees in this book do feel slightly random, but it’s what you get with the strange and the weird. Another great book for the lovers of the dark and heavy music genre.

Matt Taibbi – Insane Clown President

source: goodreads.com

It seems like an easy title, but Matt Taibbi really followed the tornado of madness that ravaged America in 2016. Taibbi is a writer for Rolling Stone Magazine, who has indeed been on the bus during the elections in the United States. Watching the burning car wreck of a result that this created, Taibbi looks back at those elections and gives his critique, but not without taking part of the blame himself as member of the writing press, who are definitely part of the rise of Trump thanks to their hungry camera lenses and continuous interest in the most maddening campaign the elections in the States have ever seen. Taibbi looks at the history of writing in the political business, of media attention and previous campaigns to find out about a disturbing path that all of this has been following for a long, long time.

It was never jus about Trump, it was about the victory of the spectacle over content. Outrage triumphing over decency and one-liners before truth. It’s a monumental power switch from the elite to the uneducated, the disenfranchised… People picking instead of a sort of semi-decent system, a completely abyssal insanity as their future. Why the fuck did Trump appeal to these people? Well, he definitely didn’t charm them alone, he was the most remorseless, insane and outrages candidate of 16 terrible options.  This book is filled with great essays about different stages in the electoral proces, which are filled with venom and wit from experienced writer Taibbi. It’s the postmortem of the American dream, the end of equality and the start of the  white nationalist dark ages. God save us all from the clown car’s master… but worse, from ourselves. This book is really for you, if you like the black humor of the time and age we live in. Enjoy.