Apart from a 15 page discography, this is a 170 page, visual-filled tome of loosely connected essays (from various authors) surrounding non-traditional views of “black metal.” What that term means to various people seems to be defined by time/era and location, all of which are presented throughout the book. Certainly doesn’t dwell on the best known bands, nor era (early 90s Norway), but goes a few layers deeper, complete with black and white, photocopied old flyers/photos, etc. Some artsy landscapes are included, as well. Like The Wizard Of Oz, about half way through, color is injected, although the primary hue remains b&w. The format of each writer is slightly different, some attempting to right (perceived) wrongs or neglect, interviewing musicians from yesteryear. As a nearly 50 year old, teacher of mathematics, trust me when I say it’s often haughty/ pretentious, pseudo-intellectual and reads like a graduate dissertation (and just as “interesting,” note sarcasm), which means most of the fanbase will be put off. Interesting academic attempt to equate the isolation and nature loving writings of 19th century Romanticism authors like Emerson and Thoreau (if you’ve read their work) to black metal aesthetics and the obviously e-mailed Q&A interviews with Slayer mag’s Metalion (who chronicled the rise of Norway’s top bands, in real time), as well as a fabled logo artist, while insightful, just scratch the surface of their contributions. Sometime the questions are reprinted, others, just their answers, without any transitional prose. Sometimes, the choices seem just plain odd, like affording the singer/founder of Latvian band SKYFORGER three pages to recount their (non-black metal) history, or ending with a lengthy expose on the imagery (corpse-paint, weaponry, forests, etc.) surrounding the genre. Definitely not for the neophyte, not even the casual fan.