They Do What They Want. Do What They Tell You.
Holy Mountain Printing’s New Magazine WDW3 Erupts From The Grave
Need a soundtrack for dungeons deep and caverns old? Look no further. Your quest ends here.
In the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, while I was up late and doomscrolling, I learned about and quickly purchased MÖRK BORG. Look, I’ve been totally on board with tabletop roleplaying games since birth, really was curious about the concept of OSR, and was super eager to dungeon delve into “pitch-black apocalyptic fantasy.” The only problem was that I didn’t have a real anchor to metal music, the other pillar of the game.
Here’s the thing. There is a good chance that I am simultaneously the best and worst person to write a review about a magazine like We Do What We Want (WDW3). I don’t listen to heavy metal. I don’t really know of or are familiar with any metal bands. I know the words to “Enter Sandman” and that is honestly about it. How positively embarrassing.
The good news is that I’m completely new to genre, a blank slate, and totally open to the possibility of discovering new music outside of my comfort zone of downtempo, chillout, acid jazz, and electronica playlists. Plus, I am absolutely a fan of what Holy Mountain Printing is trying to accomplish as they take a heretical stab at a print publication.
The Trve MÖRK BORG Discord has a lot of great doom/black metal fans who daily toss out Spotify links each day. But, I needed some real concrete grounding, some context, and I wanted to hear it from the mega-fans themselves who live, breathe, eat, and sleep this stuff for a living.
I was first drawn to Holy Mountain Printing from seeing Alexis Ziritt’s fantastic inks for Issue One’s cover art. Ziritt’s art has a decidedly strong point-of-view. It’s brutal and unapologetic. As a fan of small press artists like Tom Scioli, Ed Piskor, and Noah Van Sciver, Ziritt’s style had me at jump street. After I spent some time on the HMP website, joined the Facebook groups, downloaded the podcast backlog, and immediately signed up for the mailing list in eager anticipation of the first issue’s release.
What arrived in the mail was absolutely what I was looking for to be a genuine gateway into the metal genre. WDW3’s inaugural issue did what it set out to do. I’m hooked.
Make no mistake, the magazine is a marketing strategy and another revenue stream for the company. But whatever business aspects exist all serve the goal of promoting artists, band, and creatives. Holy Mountain Printing literally does what they want in this publication and they’ve brought all of their friends, allies, and co-conspirators with them.
It is hard to say that Issue One would be as engaging as it is without the inclusion of the spellbinding art of both Hugo Silva and Mark Reddick. Longtime Marvel Comics and DC Comics artist Mike Chen also gets great coverage here. From line art to the fine art, John Felix Arnold III and Chris Mussina balance out the first third of the issue with their evocative and consequential pieces.
Full of Hell, Frozen Soul, and Of Feather and Bone are all given short features via interviews. These quick hits accomplish exactly what they what set out to do: give a band spotlight to entice the reader to pursue the music. Dwid Hellion/Integrity and veteran Mortiis are given larger features about midway through the issue. In my mind, these two long-form articles serve to highlight two artists that, based on the writing, are innovators of the genre. I’ve been listening to Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume and Spirit of Rebellion since the issue dropped and there is no looking back now. Musically, Issue One also covers record label Maggot Stomp. If my overall zeal is any indicator, my digital cart on the HMP website is loaded up and filled to the brim as you read this.
Rounding out the issue is a retrospective with four creatives about ROM, The Space Night. Each comments on the significance of ROM’s toys, art, comics, and science fiction. It’s a solid feature and I would really like to see more of this type of offbeat/retro spotlight. Also, Stereo Skateboards are spotlighted in the final article. At 39, I’m not much of a skater, but this feature is definitely emblematic of the reverence that the team at Holy Mountain Printing has for all the creatives and their mighty work that is included in this very first issue.
If this is the direction in which WDW3 is headed, count me in as a committed reader and listener. All they have to do is kick out the jams.