Book Reviews

Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries
Jon Kristiansen
Bazillion Points
Street: 07.19
This beautiful, 744-page monster compiles all 20 issues of Norway’s legendary Slayer Magazine, as well as editor Jon “Metalion” Kristiansen’s early forays into the world of fanzines. Even though Kristiansen was around in the nascent days of Norway’s black metal scene, the most interesting parts of this collection are Kristiansen’s introduction to each issue of Slayer, as he recalls the events of his life and his continually evolving musical taste. Included are interviews with Slayer (of course), Darkthrone, Bathory, Cradle of Filth, Marilyn Manson, Nifelheim, Destruction and many more, though most readers will be drawn in by the numerous interviews with the infamous Mayhem. Kristiansen was very close with Mayhem’s Euronymous and recalls him fondly in his writing (every issue after Euronymous’ death features a tribute to him), though he writes very little about the darker aspects of Mayhem’s history. Kristiansen is definitely much more of a fan than a journalist, and there is very little hard criticism to be found inside the pages of Slayer Mag, but it is refreshing to see a non-cynical take on a style of music often clouded by darkness. –Ricky Vigil

Snowflake Obsidian: Memoir of a Cutter
The Hippie with Anger Issues
Street: 12.15.10
The anonymous autobiography of Utah native, The Hippie, this book is a delicate story woven together with markedly personal and raw aspects of the human experience. A candid and honest revelation of self, the tale is a complex evaluation of some of our most basic human interactions, dealing with teenage angst, Mormon angst, guilt, puppy love, real love, ideological and philosophical musings and, quite possibly by accident, an insight into the guilt-driven place that most people raised in religions with a punitive god tend to live in. As someone with personal experience within the Mormon religion in particular, the struggles were easy to identify with, and it’s always interesting to see how someone else sorted it out for herself. The Hippie seems likable enough—concerned with spending the time to look within and find the dark places to illuminate. At times, though, it’s clear that guilt and judgment are still a permeating force in her existence. Nevertheless, this is a soul-baring book by a talented writer—you won’t be worse for having read it. –P.Buchanan

So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band: 20 Years on the Road
Nikki Van Noy
Street: 06.07
As the title of a book accounting the awe-inspiring story of the Dave Matthews Band, So Much to Say is an understatement. In just over 200 pages, journalist and avid DMB fan Nikki Van Noy takes the reader on an engaging, informative and at times, heart-wrenching journey of DMB’s 20-year career, told from the viewpoint of adoring fans and the band members themselves. Perhaps the most remarkable chapter is the second, “Getting Started,” which portrays the beginnings of DMB as unlikely, awkward and, for lack of a better word, perfect. Noy reveals how grassroots marketing and word-of-mouth from college campus to college campus helped propel DMB—emerging during the lo-fi era of Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana—to mainstream success.  Quite simply, So Much to Say is, as Noy herself puts it, “a love story about a band and its fans.”  –Chris Proctor