In the mid 1990's, the general public associated Norwegian black metal music with murder and setting fire to churches. However, the origins of this genre in which Norwegian bands are world leaders, are ten years older. Nowadays, Norwegian black metal bands tour all over the world and sell hundreds of thousands of discs. Norwegian black metal has been house-trained, the greatest bands have topped the Norwegian album chart, and black metal bands have also taken part in the annual Norwegian version of the Eurovision Song Contest. Music journalist
Harald Fossberg goes behind the headlines, into the history of the development of the genre. Several of the most important participants tell the story in their own words. They begin at the beginning, when boys in their early teens became pen pals and swapped cassettes with each other prior to forming bands, and go on to describe how the music scene developed.
’What makes this book really exciting are the accounts given by the many different people involved … Shades of Black is also a fascinating account of the coming into being of an underground milieu which had to face both catastrophes and severe criticism in its formative first years.’
’a unique close-up of the birth of the genre.’
’A solid book about the course of Black Metal’s development and spread from village to town … The book succeeds very well in humanising the genre and the milieu, with good pirate-stories and pitch-black humour of the best Spinal Tap variety.’
’… a superb introduction to the roots of the genre, from Black Sabbath to Motorhead to Venom to Bathory to Mayhem, and a brilliant insight into a culture far beyond the norm’
’Fossberg takes the musicians seriously, and tells the story of Black Metal in their terms.
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