TERO IKÄHEIMONEN – The Devil's Cradle: The Story Of Finnish Black Metal
March 29, 2018, 11 months ago
Man, talk about an engrossing book; Tero Ikäheimonen's walk through the history of black metal in Finland absolutely makes the reader feel like they are right there watching the events unfold. And with main players such as the freakies in Beherit and Impaled Nazarene, how could this not be completely entertaining? But it's not at all sensationalistic, Ikäheimonen writing with an obvious passion and love for the music, this 556-book being a (really) big love letter to the genre. I dig how the book is structured, with several of the important bands in the history of Finnish black metal getting their own detailed chapter walking the reader through the group's history. From bands that we all know but could really stand to learn more about, like the aforementioned duo, to bands I really just knew nothing about in the first place, Ikäheimonen gives chapters to, among many others, Horna, Thy Serpent, Darkwoods My Betrothed, Satanic Warmaster, and Saturnian Mist.
In between those chapters are smaller parts devoted to other segments of the history of Finnish black metal—for example, an interview with an engineer, a look at some important tape-traders in Finnish black metal history, and an examination of Finnish black metal and national socialism. This is an extremely impressive book that is the result of tons of time researching, interviewing, and writing; as far as books that document particular sub-genres of extremity go, it's an essential. Reading it, I often felt myself sucked in and completely transfixed, brought back to a different time and place; considering I've never been to Finland, that shows the strength of The Devil's Cradle. The English isn't always great, which leads to some awkward writing and turns of phrase, but Ikäheimonen still manages to get the job done with much success here. A fantastic documentation of a scene well worth documenting.