Metal History Through Fanzines

Thanatos (NL)

Agonia #3 (Poland) 2001

Agonia #3 (Poland) 2001. Editor: “Filip Jesion”

Polish zine of epic proportions (later to be built into the record label of the same name). Some blurry scans in there, sorry, but for the most part, a nice look at the underground in its post-millennium form. Interviews and more with Abhorrence (Brazil), Antaeus, Arkhon Infaust, Astriaal, Averse Sefira, Bestial Mockery,  Bloodthorn, Dreams of Damnation, Death SS, Deceased, Denial of God, Krieg, Grand Belial’s Key, Manilla Road, Melechesh, Necrophagia, Nunslaughter, Open Hell festival, Pentacle, Sathanas, Slugathor, Teutonic, Thanatos, The Forgotten, Throneum, Usurper, and more…Thanks Pawel.

 

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Battlefield #7 (GER) 1987 (auf Deutsch)

Battlefield #7 (GER) 1987. Editor: “Armin Nolzen” and “Bernd Backhaus” (auf Deutsch)

Leaning even more towards hardcore and grind, but still with plenty of metal….with interviews, live reviews and features on Atavistic, Chronic Fear, Extreme Noise Terror, Corrupted Morals, CPD, Cyclone, Death of God, Darkness, Living Death, Destruction, Heresy, Heibel, Guillotine, Napalm Death, Overkill, Helloween, Thanatos, The Accused, Prong, Soothsayer, LSN, tons of record reviews and more. Thank Bernd B(!).

 


Vital Wound #2 (Lithuania) 1992

Vital Wound #2 (Lithuania) 1992. Editors: “Sarunas Sabaitis” and “Mindaugas Lapinskas”

Interviews and features with Altar (SWE), Anathema, Ancient Rites, At the Gates, Balance of Terror Zine, Devastation, Edge of Sanity, Norwegian and Polish scene reports, Impetigo, Meat Shits, Nuclear Death, Rot, Seance, Thanatos, Fear Factory, Extreme Smoke and much more…


Battlefield #6 (GER) 1986 (auf Deutsch)

Battlefield #6 (GER) 1986. Editors: “Armin Nolzen” and “Bernd Backhaus” (auf Deutsch)

Speed/thrash/crossover classic zine from Germany, a mid-80s DIY beast with interviews and write-ups on many great bands in their demo-days/first album-era – including Detente, Death, Onslaught, Heresy, Concrete Sox, Holy Terror, Lethal Aggression, Assassin, Poison (Ger), Excel, Desexult, Kreator/Destruction/Rage live review, Negazione, Sacrifice, Schizo, Voivod, Heathen, Raw Power and more (THX B.B.!).


Holocaust #5 (Poland) 1991

Holocaust #5 (Poland) 1991. Editor: Tomasz Krajewski”

Classic  zine from eventual Pagan Records (Poland) founder Tomasz Krajewski. Features an interesting editorial on the prevalence of trendy death metal people inhabiting the scene at the time, as well as an article on the occult called “The Voice of the Dark” by a fellow from Mexico named Alberto Vorkt Jimenez. The cover and back cover establish a brilliant, minimalistic touch, setting a great mood as you move through the text within. Has interviews and features with Afflicted, Possessed, Benediction, Imperator, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Revenant, Samael, Sindrome, Unleashed, Thanatos, and many more.


Blackthorn #4 (Denmark) 1986

Blackthorn  #4 (Denmark) 1986. Editors: “Esben Sorensen and Henk Leviathan”

Ahh, Nasty Savage in full Technicolor on the cover! This issue was limited to 2000 copies, and is printed on the “A4” size standard (I think) in Europe at the time, stapled, with a nice original full-color pic of a young Mille from Kreator on the back (taken live in Copenhagen by a guy named Peter Markham). Highlights for this issue include an insightful Voivod interview right around when “RRROOOAAARRR” came out (coupled with intimate photos taken by Monte Connor, who later would become a dude at Roadrunner Records), features on demo-era Sepultura, Legacy (Testament), Holy Terror, Annihilator, Massacre,  interviews with Canadian tyrants Exciter and Razor, as well as Netherlands’ Thanatos, and a number of reviews on rare and long forgotten underground releases. LASTLY- there is a Megadeth merch order form circa “Killing is My Business…” !

 


Fucker Zine #3 (Poland) 1992 (In Polish)

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.