lunedì 27 novembre 2017

Deadhead 'zine (6th number, 2015, Afterlife Productions; 2017, Schattenmann Publishings)

Title: Deadhead #6 (The Sixth Devilry)
Genre: Fanzine
Year: 2015 (Afterlife Productions);
2017 (Schattenmann Publishings)
Pages: 154 in A4
Rating: 85/100

The second appointment with the fanzines here on Timpani allo Spiedo is now about Deadhead, a literally monumental 'zine ran by Wan Syamsul, a Malaysian guy owner of the small label Afterlife Productions. If I say correctly, the very first issue of Deadhead was released even in 1997, so we are talking about a long-term 'zine. What I hold in my hands is the 6th issue, released in 2015 but recently reissued by the German Schattenmann Publishing for the European market after the great success of the first pressing. Personally, I bought it 2 months ago from Dunkelheit Produktionen for the "modest price" of 14.90 Euros but, said frankly, all that was money well spent!

At first glance, what impressed me about this 'zine is the fact that it is really monumental. In fact, we are talking about 154 pages in A4 format whose main point is surely represented by the interviews. These ones are mostly dedicated to old bands/zines/labels like Venom, Slaughter, Poison (the REAL Poison, not the glam band!), the legendary Morbid Mag or Paragon Records. But all of them are stormed by a series of questions so incredible that the one focused on Alan Moses (the Aussie maniac that ran Buttface 'zine from 1987 to 1989 and, then, also the Morbid Angel's fanclub "Covenant of Death" during the early '90s) contains even 200 questions per 20 pages! The nice thing is that Wan, during these articles, give a very good importance to the human side of the people interviewed, so he loves to ask about personal issues, also surprising them because Wan is a guy full of informations!

Unfortunately, sometimes the answers are too short (for example, was there really need to do a double interview to Samhain/DesExult?) or they are like "No, I don't recall" (Merciless Death). In addition, there is need to put a better attention to the sense and usefulness of the questions, because it happens that Wan ask about something already said or told during the interview, so he receives, for example, "See answer at question number 11". But, in general, the interviews of this 'zine (done sometimes by collaborators of Wan coming even from Poland), are amazing!

To the contrary, the music reviews are short (sometimes TOO short, like the one about Gortal) but always very serious, and they are divided in 3 sections according to the format used for the music (CD/vinyl/tape). Obviously, you'll read also a ton of fanzines reviews, and I happy to finding on these pages the Italian 'zine Mefisto.

In addition, there are various and curious articles. For example, there is one focused on the origins of thrash metal through a text taken by the book "Thrash Metal" written by the English journalist Malcolm Dome. But there is also a funny article where Wan tells us his quest in discovering whoever's behind the name Ed, the mysterious editor of the Malaysian 'zine Sangwitok (and really, after reading this one, I looked for this 'zine through FB, and I even found the personal profile of Ed!). Finally, there is an article full of curiosities about the Malay metal scene with its many missed opportunities.

So, as you can understand, Wan give a good room to the scene of his country, interviewing and reviewing many local bands like the legendary Vulga, the Malaysian Venom.

But unfortunately, as a good Italian guy what I am, I realized that in Deadhead there are very few Italian bands, also if there is a nice interview to Bulldozer. Let's me say that I've found funny when I read the review about the band Vultur where Wan ask himself why they claim to be Sardinians and not Italians. Now let me tell you a secret: it's obvious that Sardinia belong to Italy but it's also true that this very particular region has a small Secessionist movement that wants that Sardinia become a Nation completely independent from Italy. So, I've solved this dilemma about the words of Vultur!

In brief, Deadhead, enriched also by some pin-ups, is truly full of interesting infos and articles and I think it is a must have for every extreme metal maniac still and rightly loyal to the old-school of our music. After this, I will surely buy also the 7th issue, and I hope it will be even more monumental than the previous one!

Feel free to make a donation to Timpani allo Spiedo 'zine through the PayPal button at your right. Thank you very much!

Afterlife Productions:
Schattenmann Publishings:

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