Confessions of a Heretic is, again, another example of me being a fan of a person before I appreciate them as an artist.
After purchasing copious memoirs about the black metal community, I picked up this book because Amazon recommended it. I was vaguely familiar with the band, though I had never heard their music. I had no clue who Adam Nergal Darski was. Nevertheless, I purchased and read promptly.
Upon opening the book, I was confronted with something for which I was not ready. This was not your normal memoir. Instead, it was a compilation of interviews between Nergal and friends/family/associates.
Topics within the book ranged from Nergal’s upbringing to his strong opinions about the Polish church to dating a Polish Pop-star to his recent fight with leukemia.
The unique manner in which this book is written made it an easy and a quick read. There was never a sense of ‘I have to finish this chapter before I put this down… or I won’t remember tomorrow.’ I could put down and pick up the book at any time and still remember what was being discussed. The Q&A format also gave the book a more intimate feeling. I could almost hear me asking the questions and Nergal responding to me.
Because I am a monster (when it comes to books and reading), I found myself jumping around within the book. While the book is set in a particular timeline like fashion, it wasn’t perplexing when I would skip ahead and then move back. The book features candid photos from Nergal’s life, including pictures taken during his treatment for leukemia.
But perhaps what is most compelling about the book is how brutally honest Nergal is. As a reader, I felt a close kinship to the man I’ve never met because of his views on politics, religion, and the world.
This is another book that will never win a Pulitzer Prize, but it does open the reader’s eyes to the depths of the Black Metal Community and the man, Nergal Darski. Many within the Black Metal community are viewed as drunken half-wits. Nergal combats this stereotype by showing the complex depth and intelligence that he possesses.
Bottom Line: There is intelligent life out there.