Warning: This book contains lavish tales of long dead creatures and reading it may trigger an unexpected consuming impulse for a whole new set of bizarre knowledge as well as causing a severe addiction to heavy music.
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This book deals with the amalgamation of science, arts and popular culture, and more specifically the author dives headfirst into paleontology, heavy metal and reconstructions of long dead things. Swedish Paleo Metal Professor Mats E. Eriksson provides ample examples of how he has managed to combine his life-long love affairs with these subject matters and discusses the benefits from a personal as well as societal point of view. With a witty sense of humor Eriksson describes “the good, the bad and the ugly” excavated from the fossil record and places those ancient organisms in an unorthodox and novel setting.
Thus, the book includes tales of a bizarre traveling exhibition on fossils named after rock stars, as well as unconventional ways of creating music with paleontological connotations (while in the process revealing their impeccable fit). Furthermore, Eriksson addresses the music business and its unexpected close ties to ancient life, how God and Satan are connected to paleontology, why a fossil free world is unwanted, and he makes a convincing case of why Swedish biology superstar Carolus Linnaeus (1717–1778) was in fact a “metal head”. You will get completely unnecessary information on fossil heavy metal worms, weathering-resistant dinosaurs, stage diving antics at natural history museums, peculiar anecdotes on, and unique photographs of, Lemmy Kilmister, King Diamond, Accept, Wolf, Seance, and many others, all taking place in a “paleo setting”. Strange? Yes! Exciting? You bet!
The book is subdivided into two main chunks: beginning with a brief introduction to all things dead in the first part, and their subsequent, metaphorical resurrection, by means of arts and music, in the second part. As opposed to the current era that seems to be largely affected by “fake news” and “alternative facts”, this nonfiction book is based on research. Moreover, for the science-minded, fact loving person it also includes an extensive reference list spanning almost 2000 years’ worth of relevant literature, extending from the year 77 up until today.
The full color book is beautifully printed in a limited, hard cover edition of 2000 copies worldwide, and features 18 chapters, 462 pages, and contains more than 150 unique images. The latter include original artwork by, for example, Joe Petagno (Motörhead, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin etc), Dan Lerner (Slayer, Ghost), and John Sibbick (Bolt Thrower, and tons of paleo art); never before seen photographs by, for example, Paul Bossenmaier (King Diamond, Motörhead, Arch Enemy, among many others), Joe Kleon (Mastodon, Gwar), Adam Wallacavage (Gwar), and Dionysis Partheniadis (Rotting Christ); and original sculptures of long dead organisms, made and photographically captured by extraordinary craftsman Esben Horn (of 10 Tons, Copenhagen, Denmark). The book also includes a chapter of in-depth interviews with Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse), Snowy Shaw (Snowy Shaw, ex- Mercyful Fate, ex-King Diamond, ex-Dimmu Borgir, and many others), Karl Sanders (Nile), aforementioned Joe Petagno, and, last but certainly not least, Tim “Metal Tim” Henderson (CEO/President of BraveWords).
Do yourself a favor and pick up your copy of Eriksson’s unique book. You will not be disappointed!
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