Extraits de l'ouvrage biographique de NECROMANTIA

C'est avec plaisir que nous vous annonçons la sortie pour le 17 Mars prochain de la biographique du groupe culte de Black Metal grec, Necromantia. Cette sortie se fera via Pagan Records et en partenariat avec Scholomance Webzine. L’ouvrage se décline en trois versions différentes : la version Die Hard, disponible en 100 exemplaires numérotés et uniquement sur la boutique en ligne de Pagan Records, la version limitée et la version normale.

Après le décès de Baron Blood et l’album d’adieu du groupe, le livre biographique de Necromantia est enfin dévoilé. Intitulé The Serpent and the Pentagram: The Official Chronicles of Necromantia, il a été écrit par The Magus, co-fondateur du groupe Necromantia, et Aris Shock, auteur de l’ouvrage Rites of the Abyss. Il retrace entièrement l’histoire du groupe et relate son voyage audacieux à travers trois décennies de créations sombres et uniques. Le livre s’appuie sur les souvenirs personnels de The Magus, dont bon nombre sont révélés pour la première fois. Le récit débute dans les années 1980 en décrivant la formation du noyau de Necromantia. Il révèle des informations fascinantes sur tous les enregistrements, toutes les paroles, les reprises, les influences, les recherches occultes, les inspirations du groupe et bien d’autres détails. Cet ouvrage raconte également l’investissement de The Magus et de Baron Blood dans d’autres groupes et projets, dans la production de musique et dans des fanzines, ainsi que leur travail sous plusieurs labels (Thou Art Lord, Rotting Christ, N.A.O.S., Raism, Terra Tenebrae, Soulskinner, Storm Studios, Blasphemous Mag, Black Lotus Records et plus encore). En outre, The Serpent and the Pentagram contient des commentaires exclusifs des musiciens qui ont collaboré avec Necromantia et des citations d’autres personnes estimées de la scène metal extrême internationale. Le livre s’ouvre sur une préface pertinente rédigée par Kostas Chronopoulos, rédacteur en chef du magazine Metal Hammer Greece.

Un mot de The Magus de Necromantia : « Le temps est impitoyable et cruel, mais permet également de guérir et de pardonner. L’heure de Necromantia n’était pas encore venue, mais la cousine du Temps, la Mort, en a décidé autrement et a emporté Baron Blood il y a quelques années. » Le groupe a donc écrit son dernier chapitre en sortant l’album « To the Depths We Descend ». Ainsi, l’écriture du livre s’est achevée. Celui-ci est dès à présent disponible en version imprimée. « Il s’agit de notre biographie intégrale et officielle, qui raconte notre histoire depuis nos années d’école jusqu’en 2021. Elle contient des photos rares qui décrivent notre parcours dans l’univers de la musique extrême chère à notre cœur et au vôtre, le black metal. Nous avons toujours été fidèles à nos principes, vous en aurez la preuve en lisant ce livre. En plus, nous vous offrons en cadeau un enregistrement très rare de nos débuts. Grâce à vous, nos chers fans, nous resterons éternels. Je vous salue. »

Pagan Records et Scholomance sont heureux de vous présenter les premiers mots de l'ouvrage :


"Turn from the light and live for eternity' declare the lyrics of Scarlet Witching Dreams. And if we can be sure about one thing only, it’s that the works of Necromantia are not endangered from the ravages of time. Concerning this book, I'm thrilled to move to the next pages like any other reader holding it in his hands for the first time. This is because I have not yet read what follows next and I wish to experience, through ink and paper, the band’s passage to the abyss. Now that the band has closed its creative cycle by sealing their path with the last chapter, the amazing album To the Depths We Descend, it is the right
time to read their official biography.

I do not want to tire you. All I have to write to you here is that while read ing the following pages, some facts are worth keeping in mind. And what do those facts say? The uncompromising creativity of Necromantia gave birth to new pitch-black horizons in the global phenomenon of black metal.
There is no doubt about it. Every knowledgeable musician among their peers knows this and justifiably expresses his admiration for the band. The innovation of Necromantia, which surprised us as listeners in their early years, was first a mental process and then a musical one. For the band, black metal was first a way of thinking and then a musical expression. That's why they easily ignored any fake limitations, barriers or boundaries in their musical expression. That is also why their aesthetics did not limit themselves. Necromantia cared to express themselves artistically to their listeners, but not to do anyone any favors. That's how they started and that's how they ended their journey. Were they justified by this attitude? Of course they were, if you ask me. And this is the reason why even today one is wondering how far ahead of their time their first works were but also how much darkness and erebus their next works had. And if all this alone was able to give them a mythological status in the global underground, it is also important that the mystery which surrounds the band was never removed; even in the modern times we are living in. By choice, they made sure to stay in the shadows, without a lot of spotlights on them. From beginning to end they spoke through their works, with their music, with their albums; whenever they had the time and the personal will to do so. If this is not called a mature artistic attitude, I do not know what the hell it’s called... I'll stop here and let the great story unfold in the following pages."


"The name of Necromantia derives from two ancient Greek words, νεκρός (dead) and μαντεία (divination). The word νεκρομαντεία was used in the Hellenistic period, following the previous word νέκυια and both of them (including the subsequent Latin word necromantia and the English word necromancy) meant the magical practice that had been known since ancient times as divination of the dead. The legendary band called Necromantia, which is the focus of this book, were formed in 1989 by The Magus (then using the alias Morbid) and Baron Blood.
The Greek black metal scene was just taking its first steps during that period. Although Necromantia had some extra members to join them on recordings, The Magus and Baron Blood were the core of the band. Necromantia never played live throughout the -more than three- decades of their existence, but their music offerings on demo, EP and album format remain unique and their cult status is recognized worldwide. The early passing of Baron Blood in 2019 was destined to put the band to rest, but not before The Magus offered a final album in his memory and the official biography of the band, accompanied by a 7"EP with a rare unreleased version of a song from the past, which you are holding in your hands.

The book started from a discussion I had with The Magus in 2021 and we agreed to work together and complete this project. I had snail mail correspondence with The Magus from the early 90s and I met him a couple of times; once at Go Underground store and once at the Athens concert of Rotting Christ with Samael in 1994, in which he played keyboards as a member of Rotting Christ. Needless to say, I have been a fan of his music with Necromantia and his other projects and an admirer of his work and
unique personality until today. So, I was honored and excited to work with him on what I hope is the definitive story about the band and himself as a musician and a person. This book is based on his memories and his views and also covers his music with other bands and side-projects, his work as a sound engineer, his adventures as a label owner and his efforts in the publishing arena. The other half of Necromantia, Baron Blood, will always be remembered as a milestone figure of the Greek metal scene and I hope he would approve of this effort recording the chronicles of the band. To whoever reads this book, I hope you'll enjoy the dark gospel of Necromantia according to The Magus, one of the pillars of the Greek and international black metal scene.


"Greece is located in Southeast Europe and started to open up to the world of metal music in the late 70s-early 80s. Several heavy/speed metal bands were active in the country from the mid 80s and soon after some thrash/death bands also appeared. However, many of them either didn't last long or didn't reach a wide audience. For fans of metal music, finding albums was not so easy at first, while concerts of foreign metal bands were very few and playing music was even harder. The resources were few, the recording studios and labels even fewer and metal music was still marginalized. The Magus shares his memories from his childhood years and how he got into metal music: "I was born and raised in the neighborhood of Hymettus and Dafni of Athens and I went to school at the 7th primary school of Dafni. The first time I got in contact with hard rock and heavy metal music was when I was twelve and there's an interesting story about how that happened: there was a storage room at my grandmother's house and it had a lot of old stuff that she didn't use. When you are a kid, storage rooms are interesting places. Adults think they only contain old things that can't be used anymore.

But for a kid they are like places to be explored, because they can hold small treasures. In that storage room I found one official music tape, albeit without a box or cover, of Black Sabbath's 1972 album Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. I asked my uncle, who was staying there at that time, if the tape belonged to him and he replied that it belonged to his cousin, Tasos. He was from Northern Greece, he stayed at my grandmother's house for a few days when he visited Athens and he forgot that tape there. That was in 1982. I took the tape to our house, I put it in the tape player and pressed the play button. In the beginning, it sounded kind of odd to me, because I hadn't listened to music that was so heavy before. After listening to it a few more times, it started growing on me and especially the title track. I found the vocals of Ozzy quite unique and I worshiped him later. I love both Ozzy and Dio and each one has his own identity. Of course Dio has much better vocal abilities and he can sing everything. Ozzy, even if he isn't that great in terms of abilities, has a distinct timber in his voice, which makes him unique. Therefore, Black Sabbath were my first experience with hard rock/heavy metal music and I was impressed, but I didn't pursue it any further. I was just a sixth-grade primary school student, so I didn't have the chance or the money to go to record stores and buy albums or tapes. I was too young for that.
Next year, my cousins who lived in the USA came to Greece for holidays and they were four or five years older than me. They brought tapes with them, because tape was king in those early years. There weren't any mp3 players or memory sticks you could take on a trip with you. The only way was tapes and you could listen to them on a tape player or a Walkman.
Thanks to my cousins, I listened to Def Leppard's Pyromania and the first Bon Jovi album from 1984. Of course they were not so heavy, compared to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but still they were hard rock stuff. That was in summer, one exactly year after the Black Sabbath tape in the storage room. From then on, my personal journey into music started, because I was one year older and I could save some money from my allowance, in order to buy music. I remember that the first vinyl albums I bought were by Scorpions and Deep Purple. There is a funny story regarding Deep Purple's album Live In Japan, which happened in 1984. I was talking with a friend one evening while we were sitting under a lamp post. When we said goodnight and each of us was ready to head home, I stared down and I saw a record on the pavement. It was the double LP version of Deep Purple's Live In Japan, which we hadn't noticed before. It seems someone had lost it or forgotten it right there, next to the lamp post. It was strange, because we were there for about twenty minutes, but none of us saw that album. So, I was 'what the fuck is that?' I confess I grabbed the record without worrying about finding the owner first. It really wasn't easy to buy albums those days and it was like a gift from the sky. After that, I bought more albums, but I didn't have a record player.

I would go to my aunt's house and record them there on tape, so I could listen to them back home. Then I bought the first album of Fastway, together with Motorhead's Another Perfect Day. There was no metal music on the radio and I remember I had only seen a video clip of Iron Maiden's Where Eagles Dare on a show of public Greek TV called Μουσικόραμα ('music vision' in Greek). That show was playing pop and rock music and only occasionally included some metal music..."

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