Like many pioneers, Hellhammer took their lumps from everyone, including its own members. They were hobbled by geography and underdeveloped talent, but they built a great mystique around themselves as they toiled to spread their malodorous gospel, only to be sent back to the drawing board after every recording session and demo release. This unlikely but glorious book celebrates their restless existence and enduring influence. It all goes to prove that history—this little slice of history, anyway—is written by the victors.
Rob Hughes reviews the new Hellhammer photo/history book, Only Death Is Real, released recently by Bazillion Points.