Reviewed: March, 2022
Published: Crypt Publications, 2021
Russian Aleksey Evdokimov is back with his second doom Encyclopedia. Has it really been four years since Part I graced our bookshelves? I wrote a fairly long review of the first DOOM METAL LEXICANUM, back in early 2018 so if you wish to get more background information I recommend that you go read that review.
DOOM METAL LEXICANUM II is much like the first. It has been published again by Crypt Publications, the publishing arm of Cult Never Dies. The cover art is again by David Thierree and there is a nod to last edition with a similar wizard-like figure on the front. Overall, the layout and design is much the same. It is a superb looking coffee-table book running well over 300 pages long.
The first edition came with many introductions. This time Evdokimov pens a brief Foreword but instead we are treated to no less than five interviews of well-known doom musicians, producers and label owners. There is a wealth of information in these interviews.
The format is much like last time with one primary exception. Evdomikov has expanded the definition of Doom. The first book was more of a ‘pure’ doom book. This one includes many Doom-death and gothic-doom type bands. The author references this in his foreword. After the publication of Part I he eventually got tired of getting asked the question ‘Where is band X?’ (My Dying Bride for example). It was only a matter of time before he knew he had to write Part II and expand the scope.
In an odd sort of way, this book feels a bit more…mainstream. There were many bands that originally, early in their careers skirted the fringes of Death and Doom and evolved and went onto much greater fame after evolving away from their original sound. I’m referring to bands like Amorphis, Anathema, Katatonia, Lake Of Tears, Paradise Lost, The Gathering, and of course My Dying Bride. Evdokimov focuses primarily on the doom influenced albums and will give the briefest of synopsis of the band career as they moved onto different soundscapes.
There is no shortage of lesser-known bands to discover. I was delighted to see bands like Paramecium, Enchantment, Mael Mordha and Elbereth get some love and affection. It was also good to see the author acknowledge newer bands like Heathendom who carry the torch to this day. I was also pleased to see some borderline bands that walk the line been traditional Metal and Doom, acts like Memento Mori and Memory Garden. Inclusion could be debatable by purists but I’d glad to see them get a well deserved nod of recognition.
Bands from far and wide, new and old are all covered with equal enthusiasm and energy. Evdokimov adds some quotes, interviews and even lyrics to give a flavour of each act. He shares his opinion but not in an overbearing way. His treatment is balanced and fair, which is what any good encyclopedia should be. Each band comes with a select discography as well. The only complain I could possible make is that the book is in black and white. There are so many pieces of amazing album artwork, it would be great to see them in glorious colour!
DOOM METAL LEXICANUM II is a very worthy successor to Part I. With this pair of books, Evdomikov has cemented his place as the undisputed world Doom expert.