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Stark, Janne
The Encyclopedia of Swedish Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Volumes I & II (Book Review)
July 2003
Released: 2003, Premium
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: JP

I’m reviewing these encyclopedias as a set and because the quality and consistency was fully maintained between Volume I and Volume II both receive the highest grade possible. My comments pertain to both interchangeably but be advised Volume I is out of print and Volume II will likely go quickly.

This is the finest example of a hard rock and metal encyclopedia I have seen. These gorgeous hard covers have it all and them some! Each Volume has…

-An introduction

-A forward

-An essay about Sweden music scene (which is fascinating)

-Lists of compilations

-Lists of records label

-Internet links

-Lists of demos

-Lists of compilations

-A musician index for handy cross-reference

-Hundreds of photos and album covers

-A CD packed with rare and unreleased material.

-And most importantly an alphabetical entry for each band with discography, (with serial numbers, dates etc) line-up, websites, comments/history, and even what town they are from!

Volume I is a massive 400 pages and Volume II filled in the gaps from Volume I AND added all the new material from the bands that were still active from Volume I. It clocks in at a whopping 450 pages. The presentation is well designed with easy, readable font, good-sized B&W pictures all over the place and countless anecdotes and light-hearted comments. Volume I has entries on over 700 bands and Volume II has 660 bands plus updates on many from Volume I. Yes, you did the math correctly, almost 1400 Swedish hard rock and heavy metal bands of every genre, from 1970 to today. Exhaustive and comprehensive to say the least!

Author Janne Stark has created a masterwork. Easily the world’s foremost authority on Swedish rock and metal, these books are an invaluable tool for fan, collector and academic alike. Janne Stark cut his teeth in the early days as a member of the band Overdrive. He continues to make music today with his band Locomotive Breath. Look for my review of his CD, HEAVY MACHINERY in August of 2003. The real treats are the rare tracks on the bonus discs. Incredible music by incredible bands! There is even a 54 track triple CD listening companion available for sale!! For ordering information contact You won’t regret it!
Track Listing

Volume I Bonus CD Track Listing:

1. Europe-Rainbow Warrior
2. 220 Volt-Disappointed
3. Yngwie J. Malmsteen-Aftermath
4. November-Nobody’s Hand To Hold
5. Radioactive-Remember My Conscience
6. Clawfinger-Better Than This
7. Electric Boys-Shake That Rattle
8. Talisman-Love’s gone
9. Candlemass-Dark Are The Veils of Death
10. Neon Rose-Come On Everybody
11. Trash-Back From The Bottom
12. Spellbound-Paradise Ride
13. Therion-In The Desert of Set
14. Zanity-Time Out Of Mind
15. Treat-I’m Better Off Without Your Love
16. Crystal Pride-Find The Way

Volume II Bonus CD Track Listing:

1. Europe-Blame It On Me
2. Damage Done-Losing My Religion
3. Motherlode-Rabiatha
4. Yngwie J. Malmsteen-Amadeus Quattro Valvole
5. Neon Rose-Woman From My Tribe
6. Lion’s Share-Judgement Day
7. Mustach-Log
8. Freak Kitchen-Ugly Side Of Me
9. Therion-Revelations (live)
10. AB/CD-Cracked and Wacko
11. Dan Swano-Lucretia My Reflection
12. Talisman-Rainbow’s End
13. Locomotive Breath-Sacred Alien
14. The End-Mourn





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