Released: 2016, PowerChord Press
This book could be the start of something very special. Martin Popoff was (well, still is to a degree) one of the main writers at Brave Words magazine (now webzine) from 1994 to sometime around 2007, when BW & BK went all-digital. People have asked him time and again about his interviews he has compiled over the years. By his own estimation readers saw approximately 25% of the interviews he did for the mag in that time-frame. Doing the math that means there is a HELL of a lot of unreleased material in his archive. Hence the title POPOFF ARCHIVE!
Essentially Popoff has open the vault / archive of his interviews and self-published on his own PowerChord Press his first (of likely to be many books) collection of interviews. An interesting choice, Popoff choose DOOM as his first genre specific collection of interviews. What is also cool is that 99% of this material has never been seen before, he is not retreading his quotes/interviews from his other books.
The book itself is a standard paperback with a cools shot of Candlemass on the front but there are no other photos. It’s nicely laid–out, easy to read and has a collection of 37 interviews with various members of Doom bands of various stature. I almost didn't want to break it down statistically to reduce it to a numbers game, lest you get the impression it is ‘just’ another collection of interviews, but it really is so much more. Martin digs through the dusty ol’ memory banks (some of these interviews are over 20 years old!) and he prefaces each interview with a brief blurb about when, where and how the interview took place. He has a fairly standard set of questions, but these are classic questions and sometimes these ‘go to’ question about…say, spirituality for example, lead to some very interesting points.
There are so many great little highlights! I got a semi-morbid chuckle when back in 1996 Peter Steele said a book about him would not sell! I understand Jeff Wagners book about him SOUL ON FIRE (also reviewed on this site) is doing very well in terms of sales! Another cool thing I learned about was the existence of a ‘holy grail’, a rare, unreleased album. Originally, apparently the 1998 Candlemass album, DACTYLIS GLOMERATA was supposed to be an Abstract Algebra album and there is another version in the vaults! I must hear this! The book is loaded with intriguing information and all the great bands are interviewed from Witchfinder General, to Trouble to Cathedral, My Dying Bride and some groovy lesser-known acts such as In Ruins and Solace. I was surprised (but not really) how many bands cited Venom’s BLACK METAL and Black Sabbath’s ‘Hole In The Sky’ as a big influence and how man doom guys work crappy day jobs! I guess Doom doesn't pay.
DOOM METAL is the beginning of a beautiful thing, he has already released POPOFF ARCHIVES 2: PROG ROCK. This specialized title is a pretty limited run so you will want to grab your very quickly from his website. Some of his other older books are going for huge dollars on E-bay and the like so if you are a Doom fan, jump (into the void) now and peek into the Popoff Archives!