American documentary photographer Peter Beste who visited Norway thirteen times in seven years while working to develop the definitive photodocumentation of Norwegian black metal scene for his book "True Norwegian Black Metal" held a signing session during the opening reception for his photo exhibition on May 9 at Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City.
"True Norwegian Black Metal" will be issued on May 15 via Vice Books.
In the last two decades a bizarre and violent musical subculture called black metal has emerged in Norway. It has its roots in a heady blend of splatter movies, heavy metal music, Satanism, Pagan mythology and adolescent angst. In the early-mid 1990s, members of this extremist underground committed murder, burned down medieval wooden churches, and desecrated graveyards. What started as juvenile frenzy came to symbolize the start of a war against Christianity, a return to the worship of the ancient Norse gods, and the complete rejection of mainstream society.
Peter Beste has spent the last eight years working in the milieu of this insulated and secretive community. Beste's access and insight has been absolutely without precedent, resulting in an amazing photographic journey. Beste has earned the respect and trust of this impenetrable, suspicious and often elitist community. With each visit Beste saw more, photographed more and eventually accumulated enough material for this book. "True Norwegian Black Metal" is a visual testimonial to this subculture. Peter Beste and editor Johan Kugelberg have created a unique photographic narrative that explores black metal from a truly visceral perspective.
With extensive contributions from the personal archive of Jon "Metalion" Kristiansen, publisher of the original Norwegian black metal publication Slayer magazine, a unique opportunity is here presented to see original artifacts and ephemera from this secluded rock community, and to read accounts of these events in the words of the people who were actually there at the time.
"True Norwegian Black Metal" offers confrontational live performance photographs of a savage subculture set alongside the stark beauty and natural allure of a landscape often shrouded in darkness.
The book is comprised of:
* 160 pages of photographs of the following bands/individuals: Nocturno Culto and Fenriz of DARKTHRONE; Necrobutcher, Hellhammer, Blasphemer, and Maniac of MAYHEM; Samoth of EMPEROR; Frost of SATYRICON; ENSLAVED; Abbath of IMMORTAL; Gaahl, Infernus, King, and Kvitrafn of GORGOROTH; Nattefrost of CARPATHIAN FOREST; 1349; DIMMU BORGIR; ILDJARN; AURA NOIR; and many more
* Interviews/quotes from Frost (1349), Abbath (IMMORTAL), Fenriz (DARKTHRONE), Gaahl (GORGOROTH)
* Essay by authors and Jon "Metalion" Kristiansen, publisher of the original Norwegian black metal publication Slayer magazine, including 32 pages of original artifacts, photographs, ephemera, and personal accounts by black metal's key figures from Krisiansen's personal archive."
For more information, visit www.peterbeste.com.
Peter Beste on Norway's NRK talking about his black metal pictures: