Reviewed: February, 2021
Released: 2021, Rare Bird Books
DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS is the creation of Jeremy Saffer. A professional photographer by trade, he is like the Mark Weiss of the modern Metal era. Saffer’s photography has been seen in Kerrang, Revolver, Metal Hammer, Guitar World and many more.
The Foreword is penned by the ever-eloquent Dani Filth and if you have ever seen his book THE GOSPEL OF DARKNESS, you will know why he is a perfect choice to contribute to this tome. Up next is the Introduction, written by Randy Blythe, equally eloquent in his own way. Blythe, a long-time friend of Saffer writes a very nice testimonial to the skill and style of Saffer. Finally Saffer gets his say in the Preface. Saffer tells us that he is a Black Metal fan and all of the models are as well. He grew up to listening to Black Metal and looking at many Black Metal album art with semi-clad women, (pretty much everything on Napalm and Necropolis in the early days) and the imagery resonated. The idea evolved from his love of the genre and his professional career as a fine art nude model photographer. A match made in heaven…or hell. The result was this gorgeous book, DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS.
What I found to be a curious decision is that Saffer decided to ignore conventional sets and backdrops, the ones you might see on an Black Metal album cover, graveyards, churches, icy wastelands etc, and went with a very stripped down (pun fully intended) set, no props, it is about primal as you can get, naked chicks in corpse-paint.
That is the crux of the book. As mentioned by both Filth and Blythe, the book is more than just that. Each model designed her corpse-paint. Some of the designs are mind-boggling, each a testament to the model own personality, style and creativity. I think I had more fun looking at the corpse-paint than the girls!
Many of the photos are ‘in-your-face’, stark, brightly lit, very up-close and personal with an emphasis on the face. There are a few nature shots but for the most part the background is irrelevant. Tattoos, piercings, body art, scarification and tons of skin, sans–filter, are the main theme. I noticed an interesting juxtaposition between the bright colourful tattoos on the models and the corpse-paint. Many models have tattoos of flowers, birds, butterflies, hearts, loved ones, poetry or phrases, which often seemingly contradict the harshness of the imagery. Many of these women are beautifully scary (looking)…they are truly the daughters of darkness.
I’m not going to even bother talking about the whole issue of sexuality/nudity aspect of this book, it is not even relevant to what Saffer has created. I questioned myself by asking, ‘Would I still enjoy this if the models were fully clothed in full Black Metal regalia and battle-gear, and the answer is, Yes. The fact that all the models are young, fit, beautiful and naked is, as a male, just a fringe benefit of the experience.
I have a friend who says ‘judging art is stupid’, and even though I have written thousands of Metal CD/DVD and book reviews, I still tend to agree with him. Judging art and photography is very different than judging a movie for example. In a movie review you can discuss, dialogue, plot, characters, acting sets etc. Trying to review a single photo is much harder. Either you like it or don’t, it is hard to articulate. I know I do like DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS, Saffer has created something unique and special and that is not easy to do these days.
Jeremy Saffer online:
Rare Bird Books online:
There are various versions available as well.
Daughters of Darkness will be available in four editions: Standard Edition Bundle [Signed] ($60), Blood Edition Bundle [Signed w/ Slipcase] ($100), Extra-Bloody Edition Bundle [Signed Limited Edition] ($150) and The True Daughters of Darkness Deluxe Box Set [Custom Hand-Sewn w/ 24 Extra Photo Pages Not Included In Any Other Edition—Exclusively Limited to 25 Copies Worldwide] ($666). For additional details on each package and for pre-orders, visit www.daughtersofdarknessbook.com.
The Standard Edition Bundle includes the book with standard cover, a Daughters of Darkness tote bag, five 4×6 Daughters of Darkness metallic mini prints, two Daughters of Darkness corpse paint guitar picks, three stickers, one Daughters of Darkness phone-pop, and an Introduction by Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe and foreword by Cradle of Filth’s Dani Filth.
The Blood Edition bundle includes everything from the Standard Edition Bundle, plus a Blood Edition exclusive slipcase, five 8×12 Daughters of Darkness metallic prints, two additional Daughters of Darkness corpse paint guitar picks and three Daughters of Darkness and Rare Bird stickers.
The Extra Bloody Edition bundle includes the book with a hand-numbered slipcased limited-edition “Blood” cover not available in stores and adds a corpse paint make up set, a total of six Daughters of Darkness corpse paint guitar picks in a custom tin, a Daughters of Darkness woven back patch, a Daughters of Darkness T-shirt and two Daughters of Darkness and Rare Bird enamel pins to the Blood Edition bundle.
The True Daughters of Darkness Deluxe Box Set bundle includes the book in a custom hand-sewn version limited to 25 copies worldwide with a hand-numbered slipcased ultra–limited edition alternate cover not available in stores. The package also includes a custom handmade Daughters of Darkness wooden box, a crushed velvet alter throw, a signed and numbered Certificate of Authenticity, two black candles, a corpse paint make-up set, a Daughters of Darkness tote bag, ten 8×12 Daughters of Darkness metallic prints, twenty 4×6 Daughters of Darkness metallic mini prints, a Daughters of Darkness woven back patch, a Daughters of Darkness T-shirt, a Daughters of Darkness hoodie, a custom tin with six Daughters of Darkness corpse paint guitar picks, three Daughters of Darkness and Rare Bird stickers, two Daughters of Darkness and Rare Bird enamel pins and one Daughters of Darkness phone-pop.