Metal History Through Fanzines

Author Archive

I Came From Darkness #4 (Finland) February 1996

 I Came From Darkness #4 (Finland) February 1996. Editor: “NorthWind”

 

Early zine from long-time Sinister Flame operator/writer NorthWind, whose keen insights into the darker arts interpret the transitional mid-90s period of black metal (and emerging affiliated/obscure sub-genres) with both disdain and anticipation. Well-written and idiosyncratic, a true gem of the era. Features interviews and/or review-features with Bethzaida, Azhubham Haani, Burzum, Hammer of Damnation zine, labels like Entropy Productions, Necromantic Gallery Productions, Malign, Setherial, Helheim, Necromantia, Mortiis, Septic Flesh, The 3rd and the Mortal, Solistitium records, Lowland records, Misanthropy records and more. Thanks very much to Matin V. for scanning, from the personal archives of sir Risto. PDF up in downloads.

 


Phoenix From the Crypt #4 (England) 1984

Phoenix From the Crypt #4 (England) 1984. Editors: “Middie” and “Pek”

First, apologies for the lack of updates; its been a hectic year, etc., however it is still my long-term intention to keep this archive alive and keep adding new zines.                                                         So, once things get back to normal, more frequent updates will occur! – Jason

Today’s entry is a mostly Punk/crossover zine with a healthy affinity for some metal. These guys were in Disattack at some point, along with a young Bill Steer (later of Carcass and Napalm Death). Also features 80s Finnish punkers Mellakka, a pretty cool Metallica interview (between Kill em All and Ride the Lightning), Depression, Dirge, Inferno, Aussie cult act I Spit on Your Gravy, zine and music reviews and more. PDF up in downloads.


Deprived #2 (Ireland) 1994

Deprived #2 (Ireland) 1994. Editors: “Antoinette Flynn” and “Brian Taube”

 

Irish zine focusing on early 90’s atmospheric, doom, avante-garde and related subgenres. Features Afterlife, Anathema, Catacomb, Anthropomancy, Cenotaph (Italy), Corpsecandle, Cradle of Filth, Cruachan, Crypt of Kerberos, Disabled, Exomortis, Endermic, Hinfamy, Morstice, My Dying Bride, Fifth Dominion, Oxyrius, Solemn Assmbly, Primordial, Salem Justice, Sad Whisperings, Synapse, Sinister Bloom, Traumatized, tons of reviews and more…

 

 

 

 


Live Wire #13 (Germany) Aug-Sept 1988

Live Wire #13 (Germany) Aug-Sept 1988.
Editors: “Jörg Schnebele“, “Jürgen Both”, “Peter Kirchner” and “Manni Rothe” (auf Deutsch)

 

Long running German zine/magazine that was total metal in the golden age…I have a ton of these but to get started here is issue #13. Why? King Diamond that is why! If you dont sprechen zee deutsch, no matter, its still packed with tons of cool pics, some which I have never seen before in English mags. Also, thanks to Leslie Dávid for the contribution, and he also got an interview with zine editor Jörg Schnebele, here are some excerpts below…this issue features interviews, write-ups and more with Angel Dust, Alice Cooper, stories from Berlin, DRI, tons of demo reviews/reviews, Exodus, Forced Entry (GER), Helloween, King Diamond, Kingdom, No Remorse Records, Overkill, Queensryche, Sanctuary, Scanner, Coroner, Slayer, Zed Yago, Znowhite and more…

Back, at the early ’80s, when the metal scene started getting bigger, Germany became very soon the biggest part of the metal community. A lot of bands and fanzines started popping up from Teutonic soil. One of the first, German language fanzines was Live Wire and the editor Jörg Schnebele was so kind enough to speak in detail about this legendary ’zine. Enjoy! (intv. By Leslie Dávid)

So Jörg, how did you discover music and hard rock/heavy metal music particular? What did you find so exciting in this music?

Well, I was born 1960 in a countrified little town, far away from world affairs. I was always interested in music, but in the 60s and under the influence of conservative parents, I heard only German pop songs. In the 70s we had in Germany a music show called „Disco” on TV, and there they showed actors from Germany as well as from UK and the States… „Disco” brought me in contact with the Glam bands, who I liked very much: Slade, Sweet, T.Rex, Alice Cooper etc. One day Deep Purple played „Fireball” and this was key moment for me, to search for harder music. The rampant energy of Purple was fascinating impression, which I follow till today..

Were there any record stores in your area, where you could get or buy magazines, vinyls, tapes etc.?

In the early 70s there were only one record shop in our town. Advantage was, that they played the records, if you wanted to hear the music. So it made decisions really easy, to buy or not. Magazines, as we know from the 80s, fanzines etc didn’t exist at this time. Only one teeny magazin, which is still existing: „Bravo”. They brought a lot of stories about international bands, but not really informative. But they showed, what went on in the big wide world. Mid of the 70s I discovered the magazine „Music Express” which merged with „Sounds” later on.

At which point and how did you turn into the underground world?

For me (and my parents) even Slade and Sweet was already „underground music” 😊 For me the next step into the underground world started, when I finalized school and started studies in Bonn. There I found music store not only with a lot hard and heavy music, but also fanzines: Aardshock, Rock Hard…. At this time I heard by accident about british magazine, Kerrang. Some years I subscribed this „master information mag”.

At which point did the fanzines enter in your life? Do you still remember which fanzines did you get in your hands for the first time?

As I said before, first fanzines I could hold in my hands were Aardshok, Rock Hard, and some more smaller mags. Live Wire developed from club magazin of the in Bonn located „Hard Rock Club”. I was member of this club, lost later on little bit the contact and met some of the guys during a concert. They told me, that they have started the club mag under the name Live Wire. Some years it was publishd with subtitel „Fanzine of Hard Rock Club Bonn”. For number 5 (1985) they asked me to write story about at that time existing metal scene.

How and when did you end up joining Live Wire fanzine? When did the Live Wire start exactly?

Live Wire started 1984; my official start was with number 6 (1985) as free employee; 1986 I became part of editorial office and more or less 1988, I took leadership in the team

Did the name refer to the Mötley Crüe song on the Too Fast for Love record or…

No, not Mötley Crüe, but AC/CDs song „Live Wire” was responsible for the name.

Was it clear for you to write German instead of English? Why did you choose your mother tongue?

At this time not all of us spoke English; and the others such bad, that it was nearly impossible, to do interviews. It was a horror for us… But we did it. So this was one reason, that we never thought about doing our mag in another language. On the other hand our market was 95% Germany, 5% BENELUX, Switzerland and Austria.

In your opinion, were the German bands easily distinguishable from each other in terms of songwriting, producing, sound etc.?

They didn’t want to copy the British bands and created own way to write and produce their music. At this time you recognised from the first seconds of the songs, if it was German or British root. At this time very often a blemish, cause the German bands wanted to sound international, but were detected directly as a German band. Even Scorpions are a good example, how negative it could be, to be recognised as German band. The language, pronunciation etc. BUT, the criticism came predominantly from Germany, less from other countries.

How were they sold and distributed/promoted? Were all of the issues sold out?

We sold our mag exclusively in record stores. So we browsed endlessly phone books, to get telephone numbers to contact the shops. No internet, no mails, just telephone. And at this time every call costs a fortune, depending, which city we called. As soon as print company finished new issue, we sit together with friends, parents in law and other helping hands, packing the mags and took it to the post office.
This was the part of our business, we didn’t like too much… But had to be done. Of every issue we sold approx 80-90%; some issues were sold out very soon as well.

Why and when did you stop doing/going on Live Wire?

1992 we had to make decision, to take professional distribution on board, going on as we did last years or stop it. Distribution brought problem, that they demanded quantity of 30000 pcs for the first year and afterwards every year 10000 pcs more. On the other hand they gave us no insight in their operation method and distribution process. So it was for us a view in a crystal ball. Financial risk only in our hands. To go on as we’ve done before was no option; at this time more and more small fanzines went the way with distributor or stopped the mags. There was barely no scene between. So, in fact, that I leaded the mag on legal aspect alone (cause my partners didn’t want to keep any risk), I had to make my decision. At this time my daughter was born and I had responsibility for a family. This brought me to the hard decision, to stop Live Wire. 1992 Live Wire died.

Did you go on writing for other fanzines/magazines? If so, in which magazines/fanzines did you take part?

Parallel to Live Wire I wrote even for a big magazin called „Shark”; but Live Wire had priority. For many year´s I stopped writing and doing pictures from the front row, but 2011 fever came back and I liked to shoot pictures in concerts again. Some old contacts were still alive for example Weiki from Helloween or Gaby Hoffmann, management of Accept. I asked them for photo passes and it worked. More and more I came back in this business and three years ago a frind of mine, living in my town, started webzine Hellfire (hellfire-magazin.de). I joined after my friends partner, with whom he started this, left the small team. And actually we’re really successful. Great to be back; and much easier, cause you publish more or less by copy/paste.

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Blasphemous #2 (Greece) 1992

Blasphemous #2 (Greece) 1992. Editors: “Morbid”, “John”, “Stephan” and “Photis”

Second issue of this cult Greek zine, overflowing with exaltations and inebriations most foul and horrendous! with Abysmal, Lemegethon, Acheron, Amorphis, Winged, Ancient Rites, Edge of Sanity, At the Gates, Afflicted, Black Prophecies, Tormentor, Blood, Bolt Thrower, Solitude, Cartilage, Ceremonial Oath, Emperor, Crematorium, Demigod, Putrid Offal, Demoncy, Obsecration, Desultory, Nocturnal Death, Enslaver, Epitaph, Mutation, Excidium, Fester, Decay, Impaled Nazarene, Mourning, My Dying Bride, Necrophobic, Order From Chaos, Nergal, Possessed, Bestial Summoning, Sadist, Profanatica, Sentenced, Chorus of Ruin, Sinister, Enslaved, The Gathering, Armoured Angel, Thergothon, Tiamat, Abruptum, Unholy and more…again, thanks to the Profane swamp goat for sharing!

 

 


Blasphemous #1 (Greece) 1991

Blasphemous #1 (Greece) 1991. Editors: “Morbid”, “John”, “Stephan” and “Photis”

 

Received this fantastic early 90’s gem directly from the source (thanks for sharing Swamp beast!); a bit uneven in parts but the ambition is undeniable; pretty much a ‘who’s who’ of both black and death metal circa 90/91, from the demo reviews to the articles and interviews. Now out bound in book form from Fryktos! Features Abbhorrent, Transgressor, Blasphemy, Alastis, Desecrator, Sentenced, Atrocity, Baphomet, Beherit, Mortify, Darkthrone, Noktunral, Deadhead, Convulse, Deceased, Sigh, Entombed, Horrified, Septic Flesh, Messiah, Misanthrope, Mortuary Drape, Mystifier, Necromantia, Nocturnus, Septic Flesh, Pentagram (MEX), Phlegethon, Rotting Christ, Bolt Thrower, Necrofist, Sadus, Sargatanas, Sarcofago, Ripping Corpse, Satanas, Necrophobic, Sextrash, Vader, Varathron, Vital Remains, reviews and more….

 


Charontaphos #1 (Netherlands) 1993

Charontaphos #1 (Netherlands) 1993. Editor: Ndizi Na Nyama

Dutch zine with a wide range of early 90s underground notables. Interviews with Absu, Apator, Belphegor (that old logo!), Belial, Burzum, Dark Tranquillity, Ceremonial Oath, D.A.B., Decayed, Elbereth, Gorgon, Gorement, Inverted, Wombbath, Katatonia, Malefic Oath, Spina Bifida, Nuclear Death, Mordor, Necropsy, Cartilage, Nembrionic Hammerdeath, Momentum, Nightfall, Gutwrench, Pyrexia, Sentenced, Sigh, Throne of Ahaz, Witches, Sathanas, a Norwegian Scene report, reviews and more…this was a submission, but after some research, it appears it was originally scanned and shared to Asmodian Coven by Pawel (so thanks for preserving the history Pawel!)(Also interesting, the editors ‘nom de plume’-“Ndizi Na Nyama” -is actually Swahili for “bananas/plantains and meat”). PDF in downloads section.