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Terence Hannum - The Unholy Bow(booklet) [5nakefork Records - 2012]

"The Unholy Bow" is a small 45 page book (or 'zine') created by Terence Hannum of atmospheric black metal band Locrian.  I'm a fan of Locrian's music and "The Crystal World" was one of my favorite albums of last year.  This book, one of several by Hannum, is dedicated to the rhythmic 'headbang' movement practiced by metalheads worldwide whenever they hear good metal.

The printing is black and white, and mostly black.  It has a smeared, low resolution look to it.  A faint silhouette of familiar looking 'metal' hair occupies the middle of most pages.  The printing is bad enough that it's not obvious if these are photos or drawings.  If I wanted, I could go out to any local metal show with a cheap camera and take a bunch of blurry pictures of metalheads' hair waving about, and the result would be comparable to this.

One or two pages are occupied by geometric, hieroglyphic shapes, also very simple, looking a bit suprematist.  I wish there was more of this kind of thing, and that there was more detail.

The lone poem in the book is stilted and unmemorable.  An excerpt: "Profane genuflections / That in low light / Display the glory of these manes / In submission with unholy bows / To sonic veneration".  The subject matter is all too obvious, and the word choice rather clumsy.  There seems to be no particular rhythm to the words.

I'm not disagreeing with Hannum's reverence for the headbanging motion, rather with the execution of the concept.  This book just seems so simple, just devoid of substance.  There is more artistic merit in the cover image of Locrian's "The Crystal World" than in this entire book, and then some.  As often as I take LSD and listen to otherworldly atmospheric black metal (and if that doesn't make you grim, then what does?), I still can't manage to hallucinate interesting artwork into these pages, mostly occupied by featureless black.

Rating: 1 out of 5Rating: 1 out of 5Rating: 1 out of 5Rating: 1 out of 5Rating: 1 out of 5

Josh Landry
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