Ever since publishing Black Ivory Tower in print form, I’ve adopted the habit of hoarding metal fanzines. By now, I have collected and read enough of them to offer you, the honourable reader, a bit of insight into this wacky world from the perspective of a zine publisher.
Below is a list with every zine I’ve obtained so far. Click on any zine to view more info, images and a small review of the particular issue I own.
Finally, if you wish for your zine to be featured here, you can send it to me and it will be featured, guaranteed. Mail to blackivorytower[AT]gmail[DOT]com for more information.
All reviews by Degtyarov
A magazine from Finland that has a great lay-out, but is not all that interesting in terms of its actual content. Its editor is not the greatest author out there (primarily due to language issues) and he fails to break the boundaries of the expected when it comes to his style of questioning. A rather bare-bones effort that is dragged down further by its edgy politically correct posture.
With over 150 pages worth of content, glossy paper and an interest in established acts over underground bands, Atmosfear is a professional magazine rather than a fanzine. Why is it included in this compendium, you ask? Because Degtyarov writes stuff for it. Is it still cronyism when you’re giving yourself a break?
Black Ivory Tower
The magazine published by ourselves. Contains in-depth reviews of various underground bands, mainly from Eastern Europe. Also features the occasional rambling in the form of an editorial. Issue #1 contains no interviews, but subsequent editions might.
Black Metal of the Americas
A new but prolific fanzine that honours its name by focusing near-exclusively on metal from the US. Apart from interviews with various underground bands, the zine also contains interviews with people who relate to the black metal scene by other means than musicianship, such as scholars and other metal writers. May contain trigger warnings.
By This Axe I Rule
This interview-oriented zine has a design that heavy alludes to Conan the Barbarian. That alone makes it alright in my book. And in my magazine.
Call From The Grave
An amazing zine that offers thoughtful, unconventional interviews with a wide range of artists, including Rome, In Solitude and Vemod. As far as interview-oriented zines go, Call From The Grave is the cream of the crop. The editor’s Christian outlook makes for some unconventional, even exciting interactions with the traditionally blasphemous black metal scene.
A magazine from Lithuania that unleashes new issues with a fair degree of regularity. It has a broad focus that does not limit itself to metal music, but also touches upon topics such as cinema and even motorcycles. The only problem for international readers is that the magazine is written entirely in Lithuanian…
One of the most well-known contemporary zines. With thoughtful interviews and a design that is solid in its sobriety, Kaleidoscope mostly lives up to the hype. But in spite of what some might allege, it is still not the best zine out there.
This new zine of Scandinavian origin is compact, but still manages to offer a fair amount of content.
The daddy of all metal fanzines needs no introduction. Maybe Metalion was not the greatest writer out there on a technical level, but he stood at the centre of the black metal scene like no other author before or after him. His contribution to the mysticism surrounding the Norwegian scene remains unmatched.
War On All Fronts
This Northern Irish publication arose from the ashes of Northern Blaze and has seen 2 editions so far. One of the few zines apart from Black Ivory Tower that gives reviews the attention and thought they deserve. It is no coincidence that Degtyarov will be contributing to the upcoming third issue.
With most of its material published in the nineties, Witchcraft Magazine was recently resurrected to show us newbies how zine publishing is done. Apart from its many interviews, zine index and NWN catalogue, Witchcraft sticks out for its superior design, which even makes professional magazines pale in comparison.