What's more cult than reading a black metal-packed fanzine by candlelight while blasting a copy of the accompanying 12" of rehearsal-room deathrash from Norwegian legends Morbid? Why, taking an evil dump at the same time!
Yes, it's black metal bathroom reading time, with the latest (and according to the zine's introduction, possibly final) issue of Slayer Magazine, one of the longest-running publications to claw its way out of the bowels of the metal underground. Slayer XX is an incredible read, put together by Metalion, a long-time Norwegian metal maniac. First published in 1986, it's most famous for its early 90s issues, which documented the spectacular emergence of his country's groundbreaking black metal movement.
Issues of Slayer have become increasingly sporadic, released basically whenever Metalion feels like it rather than on a set schedule (issue 19 was published in 2004!), but issue XX makes up for the long wait by being more of a book than a fanzine. It's hardbound, with glossy, thick pages and professional print quality. However, despite the stunning presentation (including some awesome graphic design from Watain frontman Erik Danielsson) the writing style is totally in the style of a fanzine, with the editor interjecting his opinion and of course his unique sense of humor into each feature. The layout for many features is in the old-school cut and paste style -- you can even see razor marks on the pages.
This down and dirty approach befits the bands featured -- you will find no slick mainstream garbage here. There are interviews and articles about Watain, Destroyer 666, Pagan Altar, Sadus, Nifelheim, Funeral Mist, Whiplash, Sunn O))), Grotesque, Kreator and many more, including remembrances of dead black/death metal pioneers Quorthon of Bathory and Jon Nodtveidt of Dissection. The quality of the interviews is generally top-notch, with the bands really taking the questions seriously, something that you don't really find in some zines. Since Metalion is a die-hard death/black metal fanatic with roots stretching back to the very beginnings of the extreme metal movement, he garners a lot more respect for his subjects than some snot-nosed kid making fly-by-night zine in his bedroom. To top it all off, a 12" record of unreleased Morbid material from the mid-80s is included with each copy, Morbid of course being the first band of legendary black metal suicide Dead of Mayhem.
All in all, Slayer XX will keep your eyes glued to its pages while your ass is glued to the toilet seat for many, many BMs to come. Two plungers up!!!
(Apparently this is sold out from the publisher but poke around in distros in the coming weeks and you will probably will be able to find it -- 2,000 were printed so they should be around)