Metal History Through Fanzines

Voivod (CAN)

Brain Damage #1 (USA – CA) 1984

Brain Damage #1 (USA – CA) 1984. Editors: Vadim Rubin” and “Ron Nieto”

Out of Long Beach, CA with help from Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel) and others, this zine features some rare photos, insights and  playlists from the very pivotal year of 1984. Interesting also Slayer is called “black metal”- just shows you how interchangeable all the terms were at the time (before certain sub-genres separated themselves)…check out the reviews as well for Mantas’ demo, among others…[Thanks to the original scanner, this was forwarded to me by a supporter of the archive]. Features and interviews with Hirax, Destruction, Dark Angel, Death Angel, Celtic Frost, Jag Panzer, Mercyful Fate, Omen, Overkill, Possessed and Voivod.


Raise the Dead #1 (Germany) 1984

Raise the Dead #1 (Germany) 1984. Editors: “Timo Weber” (auf Deutsch)

Lots of history packed in this one. Whether you can read German or not, it is still worth a gander for the original artwork from Away (Voivod) and the early Death feature…one of the earliest I have ever seen (on their first Death by Metal demo). Also interviews, info and/or features with Acid, Iron Angel, Overkill, Tankard, Celtic Frost, Destruction, Exciter, Hirax, Liege Lord, Sodom, Metallica, Motorhead, Nasty Savage, Artillery, Venom, Overdose, Mania, Vortex, Sons of Satan, Steel Assassin, Whiplash, Zoetrope, and more… [PDF up in DL section]


Blackthorn #2 (Denmark) Aug-Sept 1985

Blackthorn #2 (Denmark) Aug-Sept 1985. Editors: “Henk Leviathan” and “Esben Slot Sørensen”

Second issue of this cult Danish fanzine. Highlights include King Diamond interview discussing his departure from Mercyful Fate and a brief Carnivore chat with the whole band, plus interviews and/or features with Bathory, Voivod, Slayer, Sodom, At War, Monolith, Bulldozer, Kim Sixx, Onslaught (UK and US), Mayhem (GER), Poison (GER), Siren, Sons of Satan, Overkill (GER), Ghostrider, Blacktask, Vicious Barreka, and more….[Thanks to Tawfik from Zombi Danz for the contribution]

 


Blackthorn #5 (Denmark) 1987

Blackthorn #5 (Denmark) 1987. Editors: “Henrik Kjaer” and “Esben Slot Sørensen”

This Danish zine was quite popular back then (3000 copies pressed) and you can see why: Interviews and tons of write-ups from perhaps the most compelling year of both death and thrash metal = 1987. With Infernal Majesty, Deathrash, Hallows Eve, Sadus, Possessed, Voivod, Morbid Angel, Legacy (Testament), Soothsayer, Mefisto, Aggressor, Heathen, Criminal Christ (Messiah Death), Nuclear Death, Doomwatch, Rotting Corpse, and much more… [Thanks to Tawfik from Zombi Danz for the contribution]

 


D.O.D./Decibel of Death #9 (France) 1987

D.O.D./Decibel of Death #9 (France) 1987. Editor: “Laurent Ramadier/Ramses”

French zine written in English, with cool demo/album reviews (check out his reaction to the Terrorizer demo), interviews with Cremains, Voivod, Soothsayer, Armoros (Jed Simon), Hellbastard, Death Angel, Fratricide, Deathrow, Infernal Majesty, Massacre (Chile), Outburst (France), an early one with Pestilence, Rancid Decay, and more. Thanks Bernd B. for the contribution.

 


Speed Attack #2 (Germany) 1985 (auf Deutsch)

Speed Attack #2 (Germany) 1985. (auf Deutsch) Editors: “Michael Trengert and Peter Zohren”

Second issue of this German zine featured last month, released in the year of 1985. Again, one of the editors was Michael Trengert, who went on to be one of the Summer Breeze Festival (GER) organizers and also a former European manager of Metal Blade Records, and recently passed away. Just a great layout, very readable (if you can read German) and featuring both underground German favorites as well as future stars, including Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus, Slayer, Destruction, Zoetrope, Enforcer, Hallows Eve, Iron Angel, Mercyful Fate, Monolith (Italy), Avenger, Omen, Possessed, Sacred Rite, Steel Vengeance, Tankard, Overkill, Voivod, and 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.!).


Phoenix Militia #7 (UK) 1987

Phoenix Militia #7 (UK) 1987. Editor: “Bill Steer”

Many thanks to Bernd B. again for a great contribution! This time it is the mega-classic from Bill Steer’s teenage years  –  be sure to check out the sincere and insightful editorial (btw this issue was photocopied and stapled 3 times from the front, which made it a very delicate operation to scan without splitting the pages, so some page-scans are unfortunately right on the border of the text). This issue features Bill’s influences heavily, stemming from both crossover/punk and metal, such as a very early demo-era incarnation of Napalm Death (before Bill was in the band), Hellbastard, an early interview with Jason Newsted (right after joining Metallica), Rapt, Desexult, Larm, Poison (GER) Anthrax, Discharge, Mace, Cryptic Slaughter and Extreme Noise Terror, plus write-ups and reviews on many others.

[edit Sept.27, 2016,  a note from a reader: just to give proper credits..Bill originally did a zine called “Violence & Force”, probably only 1 issue circa 1985. Pheonix Miltia/FTC was Pek and Middie’s creation..which they started in 1983 as a H.C. Punk zine but started covering Metal from the 5th issue on, Bill joined them at this point an maybe contributed the most in the later issues, but he didn’t start this fanzine.]


Metal Forces #21 (UK) 1986

Metal Forces #21 (UK) 1986. Editor: “Bernard Doe”

[Once more, it’s a given that Metal Forces was certainly not a fanzine, yet it still deserves archival status. As previously stated, the importance of the magazine for the development of the global underground and all ’extreme’ genres can not be understated – they covered many notable bands before any other press did, and were a reliable go-to source for news in the pre-internet era.]

Here I have issue #21, all 47 pages- it’s a good mix of speed and thrash (heavily on the rise at the time), along with the token glam rock sprinkled throughout (posers!!!??)…I wonder why they even bothered with the glam rock then, because if you check out the “Readers Album Chart”- its all thrash and speed?! Lots of cool reviews though with the essential “Demolition” demo review section (Nuclear Death!), pen-pal and fanzine addresses etc. One thing I question however is the “78” review for Fates Warning’s Awaken the Guardian …come on!? And Zebra gets a 91? Anyways, reader mail, plus killer live reviews of Deathrow (plus intie), Overkill, Whiplash, Metallica, Voivod, Possessed and more, as well as features on Anthrax, English Dogs, Attacker, Crumbsuckers, Dark Angel, Helstar, Steeler, Voivod (again) etc.


Totentanz #2 (Germany) 1988 (auf Deutsch)

Totentanz #2 (Germany) 1988 (auf Deutsch) Editor: “Arno Brettraeger” (+Mitarbeiter: Thomas Hanzen)

A nice one from Germany (thanks much to B.B. for this great classic from the late 80’s!). If you can read German, you are in luck, if not, still some great content..check out the early Nuclear Blast ad for example, back when the label was punk (!) Features/interviews with the likes of Assassin, At War, Coroner, Deathrow, Solitude, Living Death, Revelation, Rage, Poltergeist, Tanakard, Voivod, and much more…


Blowing Thrash #3 (Chile) Sept/Oct, 1986

Blowing Thrash #3  (Chile) Sept/Oct, 1986. Editor: “Anton Reisenegger

The third issue from 1986 (#2 is below), also put together from Anton Reisenegger of Chile’s cult early death metal outfit Pentagram (and currently in Lock Up). His first in English, it features another mini-Chilean national report, KILLER interviews with SOD (Scott Ian), Detente, Sepultura and more interviews and/or (mostly) features on COC, DRI, Massacre, Morbid Angel, Watchtower, Wehrmacht, Master, Anvil Bitch, Holy Terror, Cryptic Slaughter, Death Angel, Agnostic Front, Voivod, Necrophagia, Volcano, Overdose, Blood Feast, Deathrow, and 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…” !

 


Brutal Torture Zine #1 (Ontario, CAN) 1986

Brutal Torture Zine #1 (Ontario, CAN) 1986. Editors: “Ray and Stam.”

Humorous zine out of Canada that focused on a mix of hardcore and death metal, as well as bands from the Ontario scene. Cool live shots, and early interviews (again, with a humor approach) with Possessed, Death, Slaughter, Sacrifice, Gang Green, Hirax, Exodus, and more.

 


Brain Damage Zine #1 (California, USA) 1984

Brain Damage Zine #1 (California, USA) 1984. Editors: “Vadim Rubin and Ron Nieto”

Here is classic from Long Beach – straight from the dawn of the underground. Thanks to Adrian at Pest Webzine for sending these scans over and helping me get a post up despite me being away from home for another 10 days. This issue has write-ups on Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Overkill, Omen, Destruction, Hirax (interview), Death Angel, Celtic Frost, etc.

 


Deathcore #2 (Ontario, CAN) 1986

Deathcore #2 (Ontario, CAN) 1986, Editor: “Glenn Salter”

This was more of a crossover and hardcore-centered zine out of Ontario in the mid-eighties, and the content and interviews are very light, humorous, and brief. Still, very early interviews with Voivod, Sacrifice, Slaughter, Cyptic Slaughter, Celtic Frost, and a four-line “interview” with Kreator. Plus,  a pre-Cynic write-up for Seaweed! Lastly a cool global crossover-report…among other things…Cult!

 


Out of the Underground #1 (NJ, USA) 1989

Out of the Underground #1 (NJ, USA) 1989, Editors: “Anne Hernandez” and “Debbie Sellnow”

This is the first issue from New Jersey’s OOTU. Notable for not one, but two female editors, they put together this cool photocopied and stapled zine (I think) when they were still in high school, and it features interviews with Voivod, Henry Rollins, Dark Angel, Vio-lence, Blood feast, and Hades, along with a handful of reviews.

 


The Book of Armageddon #1 (NY, USA) 1986

The Book of Armageddon #1 (NY, USA) 1986, Editor: “Ed Farshtey”

A few weeks back, I put up BOA #4 with commentary from Ed Farshtey. This week, I have a super-rare copy of BOA #1 from 1986, and it features VERY early and cool (yet brief) interviews with DEATH (Evil Chuck when he was out in California – and hey I forgot he jammed with DRI drummer Eric Brecht then) , POSSESSED (Lalonde), CELTIC FROST (Warrior), DARK ANGEL (Hoglan-right before signing to Combat Records), a long interview with Quorthon from BATHORY (On recording “THE RETURN:” I was drunk every second during the recording…we had a great time“, live reviews, and several cool ads for DEATH‘s Mutilation demo, and a back cover ad for pre-CARCASS band “DISATTACK“.

 


The Book of Armageddon #4 (NY, USA) 1989

The Book of Armageddon #4 (NY, USA) 1989, Editor: “Ed Farshtey”

This week I have the fourth and final issue of Ed Farshtey’s “Book of Armageddon.” Ed was entrenched in the New York metal scene throughout the 80s to the 90s, from ‘heavy’ metal, to thrash, to death, and even ended up working at Roadrunner when they were signing all the classic death metal acts around 1990. This issue features Armoros  (who had a pre-Strapping Young Lad Jed Simon), as well as a lengthy interview with Dark Angel right as “Leave Scars” dropped. Speaking of Dark Angel, there is a review of the classic “Ultimate Revenge 2” show in Philadelphia…poor Raven!!!(among numerous other great live reviews). Also,  interviews with Gargoyle, pre-“Beneath the Remains” Sepultura (where they discuss their 7-album (!) deal with Roadrunner), Voivod!, and the underrated Prime Evil.

I had a chance to catch up with Ed this week, so here is a bit from him, in his own words…also check out the interview with him from Metalcore zine here.

“I started the Book of Armageddon in 1985 with my friend Mark Sokoll. Back then we just began contacting different bands we were into, like Death, Celtic Frost, Bathory and Dark Angel, just for the hell of it. Then, when a bunch of them actually got back to us, we decided to put out the zine. The Book of Armageddon was available around the city, in places like It’s Only Rock and Roll, Bleecker Bob’s, Venus Records, Butterfly, Slipped Disc on Long Island, Generation Records, etc, and I would also send them out of state, to places like Ace’s Records in Tampa and Wild Rags in LA.

I would sell them at shows, like back in the day at L’Amours in Brooklyn. We would show up there at like twelve in the afternoon, hang out all day and meet the bands. We would bring copies of the zine, and hope to sell them fast, because if we had to hold on to them all night they would end up getting ripped up. Nearly all the metal shows at the time would go through L’Amours, but there were a few other places like Studio 54, The Ritz, and Irving Plaza, and even CBGB’s would sometimes do a metal show. But at L’Amours it seemed every week there was a big metal show coming through.

By early 1990, I stopped doing the zine when I began working at Roadrunner Records. That was the best time to work at the label. I knew half of the bands that were getting signed then, like Malevolent Creation, Suffocation, Immolation, Sorrow and Gorguts. Those were excellent times, meeting bands like Pestilence and Sepultura, and getting to work with them too! ” – Ed Farshtey