The Black Montanas Of Thy Septentrio #1 (United States, TX) October, 1993. Editors: “Equitant” and “Proscriptor”
A massive volume representative of everything mystical and ethereal about the early 1990s black metal underground. Based in Texas and produced by Equitant & Proscriptor from Absu, this zine is a document of an era; packed with not only interviews, but also with tons of newsletters and pages and pages of fliers (many of which were circulating the underground at the time, and some I have never seen before). Thanks to Equitant for scanning this and sending it over. Features, interviews, fliers with Zemial, Necromantia, Agatus, Rotting Christ, Varathron, Twilight, Grand Belial’s Key, Mortuary Drape, Ancient Rites, Chris Moyen, Lemegothon, Impaled Nazarene, Beherit, Divine Eve, Countess, Absymal, Vital Remains, Ungod, Emperor, Darkthrone, Enslaved, Burzum, Abruptum, Immortal, Master’s Hammer, Moonspell, Samael, Sarcofago, Celtic Frost, Liars in Wait, Sigh, Profanatica, Incantation, Thou Shalt Suffer, Occult, Blasphemy, Absu, Equimanthorn, Order From Chaos, Demoncy, Osmose Productions, Deathlike Silence, Decapitated Records and much more…
Pure Fucking Hell #2 (FIN) 1994. Editor: “Pete Ilvespakka”
Zine from former Depravity (among other acts) bassist ‘Pete’ Ilvespakka, features a number of highly regarded early 90s underground icons, including No Fashion Records, Enslaved, Emperor, Varathron, Deranged, Merciless, Mortuary Drape, Occult, Order From Chaos, Pungent Stench, Tormentor (HUN), Beherit, Ancient Rites, and much more. Credit and thanks to deathmetal.org and original scanner/owner.
Petrified #2 (USA – Florida) Winter, 1993. Editor: “Thorns (Sentis)”
Another one from Full Moon Productions’ zine extension (courtesy of the scanning work from Tezcat from the NWN! board – many thanks/gracias) This one is also very timely, packed with tons of interviews/features/reviews from the pivotal underground year of 1993, including Absu, Behemoth, Black Crucifixion, Carbonized, Skeletal Earth, Cradle of Filth, Emperor, Equinox, Gorgoroth, Impaled Nazarene, Immortal, Mortiis, Necromantia, Occult, Pan-Thy-Monium, Opeth, Primordial, Profanatica, Sinister, Necrony, Typhon, Blod, Unholy, and more…
Fucker Zine #3 (Poland) 1992. Editor: “Maciej Fluder”
We are reflecting again on the Polish scene of the golden years, with another contribution sent over from reader Pawel Wojtowicz. This time it is the “Fucker” zine that had such an impact on him at the time, and it features reviews and interviews with numerous Polish underground bands, along with Hellwitch, Mortuary Drape, Blasphemy, Sinister, Thanatos, Thrash Em All mag, and also one with Ivar Peersen‘s pre-Enslaved (?) band ‘Inoculate Injure‘ from Norway. If you can read Polish, you are again in luck, if not, use your imagination…!
Here are also some additional comments from Adam Stasiak of Necroscope zine):
SBMS!: The Polish scene at the time, in the early days, seemed quite vibrant and alive. From the zines I have seen from there at the time, there were many bands in Poland, who were only known inside of Poland. Was there a sort of thriving underground there during those years that many people outside the country never knew of? Were there a lot of local shows and did any “foreign” tours ever come to Poland in the early days?
“Yes, the Polish scene was quite vibrant and active back in the early 90’s. We had a lot of zines, distributions and bands especially. On the other hand, the activity of those people was focused on the Polish scene only, it’s my impression at least. I mean about bands especially. There were many killers, such as: IMPERATOR, BETRAYER, CHRIST AGONY, PANDEMONIUM, VIOLENT DIRGE, HAZAEL, DAMNATION, ARMAGEDON and many more. believe me, those bands performed music, which deserved bigger attention from foreign scenes, however it never happened. I think because people involved in those bands didn’t know (and did not want to know) about promotion too much. Their idea was to give material to a label (CARNAGE rec., for example) and then to wait for some foreign, “commercial” success to appear. When it never arrived bands started to split up (ARMAGEDON< BETRAYER) saying some bullshit about their labels, or changing their musical styles (CHRIST AGONY, PANDEMONIUM or HAZAEL). Another matter regarding “foreign attention” -from my viewpoint, this old Polish scene, underground was and is much respected in many various countries, although when it comes to the pure underground and maniacs only… Yes, we had some foreign tours back in the 80/90’s, some big, mainstream and underground festivals. And even if there weren’t so many gigs, shows as it is nowadays, I think we couldn’t complain of the lack of Metal live performances. Actually, almost of all from most important bands from death/thrash metal scene were playing in Poland back in those days! So it wasn’t just a desert on the European map. Concluding, I think Poland had one of the most active scenes in Europe and I can not agree with opinion that it was known inside of Poland only, maniacs interested in the real underground knew very well what the Polish Hell was all about.
Slayer Zine #10 (Norway). 1994. Editor: “Metalion” (highlights)
This is a massive issue, 75+ pages of (nearly all) black metal, featuring almost every major name in the scene at the time. Printed on thick paper, with a red cover, it ushered in yet another step in great quality from this long running Norwegian zine. Also check out the Bazillion Points Press of the “Slayer Mag Diaries” -out now. Highlights include VERY early interviews with Opeth (even before Timo Ketola masterfully reworked their logo) and Dissection, right after the release of The Somberlain. For dark humor, I suggest the great answers provided in both the Nifelheim and Sadistik Exekution interviews. And well, for all the black metal history buffs, this one is just stocked with it (check out the prison interview with Thorns) . Also of note is the fantastic Bathory retrospective.
Diabolical Noise #6 (Poland) 1993. Editor: Jaro Szubrycht
This zine out of Poland was photocopied and folded together, with no staple, yet still super cool with great outlines, borders, and a nice sense of humor. The obvious drawback is the super small type (but that can be fixed by ‘zooming in’ on the pages/jpegs as needed with or without your browser), but beyond that there is demo-era interviews (or articles about) Cradle of Filth, Enslaved, and (a tiny) one on Behemoth. Additionally, there are some excellent scene reports from the UK and elsewhere, inties with Thergothon, Immolation, Inverted, Cannibal Corpse, Unleashed, Corpus Rottus, and much more.