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Patterson, Dayal
Black Metal-Into The Abyss (Book Review)
September 2016
Released: 2016, Cult Never Dies
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Dayal Patterson is starting a build a mini-self-publishing cult and the cult is alive! Patterson first came to wider recognition with the publication of his first book, BLACK METAL:THE EVOLUTION OF THE CULT back in 2013. Since then he has written another three books on the topic of Black Metal building quite the dark catalogue. His newest is called BLACK METAL:INTO THE ABYSS.

Essentially INTO THE ABYSS is 21 interviews with various Black Metal bands with additional commentary from Patterson. It is a bit of a diversion from the path he started with his earlier books and he comments on this in his introduction. This is meant to be the launch of a new series of books that will run parallel to his ‘cult’ series consisting of PRELUDE TO THE CULT, EVOLUTION OF THE CULT and THE CULT NEVER DIES-VOLUME ONE.

This book is a 298-page paperback printed in black and white (of course!) no colour anywhere and that is the way we want it, and a generous number of pictures. The purpose of the previous series, “…should showcase different facets of this hugely diverse genre. And as much as I’m excited to start properly telling the stories of say, Greek, Swedish, Finnish, or American Black Metal there was far too much left to say…” (P. 9). He also says he wanted to have a bit more of a fanzine style and have a true, unedited question and answer interview format and the result is INTO THE ABYSS. What all this means is that this is almost like the appendix, a companion to his first series the deep underground, the abyss if you will. I would say he has succeeded as a good many of the bands I was not familiar with or don’t have any albums in my collection. The book certainly does have more of a fanzine look.

My review of INTO THE ABYSS will not as extensive because it is essentially a collection of interviews, but important interviews, with bands that seldom get interviews, in fact many of them probably don’t WANT to be interviewed. I think Pattersons credibility in the scene helped get some of the more recalcitrant members of the underground to participate. Apparently, it was Mystifier who were the most challenging to arrange an interview with! Each interview is preceded with a brief history before the Q & A format. The questions are insightful as are the answers, each digging deep into the history of such fine bands as, Black Altar, Kholdbrann and some bigger name bands such as 1349 and Tsjuder.

I can’t say much more than if you enjoyed any of his previous books this is an excellent addition to your library and works just as well as a stand alone book as well. When it comes to books about Black Metal there is none so black, none so grim.

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