Most Decibel readers are fiercely passionate about the music we write about here, and this passion extends to learning all about the backstories of individual styles, scenes and bands. To that end, people like our own Albert Mudrian and Dayal Patterson have given us great tomes of extreme metal learning with their respective work on death metal and black metal. Ah, but I can hear the bearded, denim-vested dude in the back, “what about doom metal?!” Decibel has, of course, put out an issue especially dedicated to the 100 best doom metal albums of all time. But what if you wanted to dig deeper to get a truly archival set of knowledge of this spooky sub-genre?
Lucky for you, author Aleksey Evdokimov has taken it upon himself to gather this knowledge into a massive 300,000 word monster called Doom Metal Lexicanum. Much like the back-section of Daniel Ekeroth’s Swedish Death Metal, the book comes complete with the stories of the bands and select discographies, along with artwork by David Thiérrée. The bands featured include obvious favorites like Electric Wizard, Candlemass, The Obsessed and Saint Vitus, along with dozens of lesser-known heroes. Aleksey says the inspiration came from the absence of a book dedicated to doom metal:
There are books about black metal, death metal, heavy metal, and legendary bands have their own books, but why did no one write a proper book about doom metal scene since 2003? This thought haunted me constantly.
After seven years of writing for different blogs and e-zines, I had done enough interviews and reviews about bands representing this scene. And when my buddy brought me the book Bible Of The Devil, the self-released rock encyclopedia of Italian enthusiast Alberto Bia, I knew that I should do. Actually we even tried to start it with Alberto himself, but different methods of work and language barrier prevented this collaboration.
He went on to tell me about the styles of doom the book focuses on, and how he came to work with Dayal Patterson’s Cult Never Dies imprint to put the book out for a wide audience:
Lexicanum should be a guide for doom metal scene, more accurately for traditional doom bands and bands rooted in this genre. I understood that the extreme doom genre deserves its own separate tome, so I pushed it slightly aside and I still keep this in mind today. I spent almost two years listening and re-listening to albums, reviewing some of them, interviewing the bands and so on. I stopped on 330 names, then this list grew to 360 names. And if I didn’t meet Dayal Patterson probably I would continue to work on it. By March 2017 I had about 85 percent of the text done, and a mountain of time wasted on trying to reach an agreement, or rather understanding, with three other publishers…Cult Never Dies become a real salvation, because here I met the man who shares the same vision and knows how fulfill it professionally.
This clarification was helpful, as I was puzzled when I found My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and (early) Katatonia missing from the book’s exhaustive list of bands. But if Aleksey can make such a monstrous work about the traditional styles of doom, I can only imagine what he could accomplish for the forms that blend in death and/or black metal (not to mention what he’d do with bands like Acid Bath or the Melvins…or riff-heavy space rock like Turn Me on Dead Man). For his part, Dayal had this to say about putting out the book:
I am very proud that Cult Never Dies and Crypt Publications is releasing this book, as it is the largest and most comprehensive book on the doom metal genre to date. Aleksey has put plenty of blood, sweat and tears into creating it and in fact, the whole book is so sizeable – by far the biggest we released so far with some 300,000 words and 300 A4 pages – that there were many long days and nights editing and laying everything out. But the finished work is more than worth it and is the sort of book you can either dip in and out of, checking bands of interest individually, or lose yourself in for many hours at a time.
Awesome. The book comes out on December 1, but you can pre-order it at Cult Never Dies.