ONLY DEATH IS REAL: An Illustrated History of Hellhammer and Early Celtic Frost 1981–1985, by Tom Gabriel Fischer with Martin Eric Ain

ONLY DEATH IS REAL: An Illustrated History of Hellhammer and Early Celtic Frost 1981–1985, by Tom Gabriel Fischer with Martin Eric Ain

Original price was: $39.95.Current price is: $34.95.

“Heartfelt and open…a genuine asset to the understanding and appreciation of…what was sacrificed in the name of music that has since become classic.”—Terrorizer [10/10 review]

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*** The emperor returns! ONLY DEATH IS REAL ships today ***“Without question, Only Death Is Real goes farther than any other source in exploring the origins of underground heavy metal.”

• ISBN 978-09796163-9-6
• 288pp (24pp color) deluxe Wibalin-bound hardcover
• Introduction by Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone
• Foreword by Joel McIver
• Dimensions: 9.25″ x 11.5″ (241mm x 292mm); 4 lbs. (1.8 kg)

“Fischer’s delving deeper into his past than ever before…very interesting reading. It’s as much a document of metalhead life in the early ’80s as the story of one band.”—MSN Music

This formidable oversized hardcover runs 288 pages (including a 32-page color section), and combines hundreds of unseen early Hellhammer and Celtic Frost photos with a vast treasure trove of artwork and memorabilia. A substantial written component by Fischer details his upbringing on the outskirts of Zurich, Switzerland, and the hardships and triumphs he faced bringing the visions of his groundbreaking bands Hellhammer and eventually Celtic Frost to reality. In addition, the book includes an introduction by Nocturno Culto of Norwegian black metal act Darkthrone, and a foreword by noted metal author Joel McIver.

Without question Only Death Is Real goes farther than any other source in exploring the origins of underground heavy metal. The wealth of visual information is astounding, both in terms of documenting early 1980s headbangers and exposing the still-relevant imagery of the first Hellhammer and Celtic Frost photo sessions. The narrative combines Tom Fischer’s often shocking stories with lengthy quotes from Martin Eric Ain and the other main Hellhammer members, explaining in intimately human terms how extreme metal was born.

“This is a book about the real Hellhammer, the essence of that group, the aura it carried, and the truly unique spirit of revolution of the times in which it existed. It is a book about a group of outcasts—about persistence, dedication, and an utterly personal vision. I have worked very hard to make sure it will do justice to the work of a number of very unique people who shared the same ideas at a very unique point in time.”—Tom Gabriel Fischer

Weight 5 lbs


  1. Wilmar

    Reserve me one copy, because this is a book I am waiting for a long time now! Glad to see that it finally comes into printing!

  2. SigSwat551

    Count me in for a copy as well. Nihil Verum Nisi Mors.

  3. Dale Nibbe

    Cannot wait for this!!!! Is there an official release date yet?

  4. Kaz

    Definitely snagging a copy, should be quite interesting :).

  5. D

    A fine partner to Are You Morbid?Bring it on.

  6. HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST Photo History Book Approaching | Bazillion Points Blog

    […] Five years in the making, this extraordinary artifact sets an audacious new historical standard in heavy metal literature. Further information and sample photos are available RIGHT HERE. […]

  7. vberkvlt

    Those are some pretty contradictory quotes – should be an interesting book.

  8. Woody

    This looks totally mint deluxe! Publishing it in the month of Frank MariNovember is a nice touch.

  9. Sauron


  10. FullGod

    do you have a French publishing of this super book ?

    • admin

      Pas maintenant‚Äîmais nous cherchons une maison d’√©dition francaise.

  11. seba

    cool I hope this book.great!

  12. Woody

    Is this book coming out on cassette?

  13. Nocturno Culto skal skrive innledningen til Only Death is Real ¬´ Nightspirit

    […] Five years in the making, this extraordinary artifact sets an audacious new historical standard in heavy metal literature. Further information and sample photos are available RIGHT HERE. […]

  14. daemon hellhammer

    hellhammer fans deserve this book, for years of loyalty and love for both hh and c,frost. CANT WAIT.


    the NECROMANIAC UNION Detroit chapter! I am a true HELLHAMMER supporter since the demo days-this book is going to slay!! Celtic Frost Bangers Kill!!!!!!

  16. bearwizard

    he better put some tabs in this book.

  17. Bill B

    I Will be buying this!

  18. Perkele

    damn i want this. i will buy it for sure.

  19. MK

    This band is a real monster and their demos were/are among the extremest around. They are now finally released on LP and CD. Today (well the 90’s) the term DEATH METAL is/was soiled by bands with half assed zombie vocals and music that is a lame fart compared to this band. All M O T √ñ R H E A D and V E N O M fans can relate to this band. This our music. I can’t wait to read this book. M

  20. Scott Stone

    Finally!!Thank You!!



  22. Jon

    QUESTIONNow I purchased the “Demon Entrails” Triple LP. That means that I’ve already seen all of the photos shown above(+more) in the amazing lyrics/history booklet that comes with the 3xLP. Are there going to be NEW pictures in this book that I can’t just go stare at in the “Demon Entrails” booklet?

    • admin

      Good question, Jon—the answer is yes, the 288-page ONLY DEATH IS REAL book contains an enormous amount of OLD pictures, at least a hundred of which have never appeared anywhere. We should have some photos of the book itself for you very soon.

    • Tom Gabriel Warrior

      The “Demon Entrails” booklet is just that – a thin booklet to accompany an album. “Only Death Is Real”, however, is a massive book, featuring uncounted photos never seen outside of Hellhammer. “Only Death Is Real” is (and will very likely remain) the ultimate history of Hellhhammer and early Celtic Frost.

      Along with a very detailed text containing much previously unknown facts and anecdotes and the very large number of unpublished photos, “Only Death Is Real” also contains all of the designs and artwork (logos, drawings, symbols) Martin Eric Ain and I created at the time, much of which has so far remained unpublished as well. Moreover, the book also features text contributions by all main Hellhammer members and a rare color photo section.It will be stunningly comprehensive and complete.

      Tom Gabriel Warrior, Zurich, Switzerland

  23. Vijay Prozak

    How does the content differ from “Are You Morbid?” I thoroughly enjoyed that book. Tom G. Warrior has an easily read, very vivid and life-seizing voice as a writer. I hope he writes more.

    • admin

      Are you asking about the written content? The tone is more immediate, and the focus is almost entirely on the day-to-day struggle to create and develop Hellhammer. Plus the voice of the author is joined by the voices of all the other key members of Hellhammer, who do not always share his point of view. Yes, he must write more, agreed! Thank you.

  24. I.T.Warpath

    NIHIL VERUM NISI MORS!And in almost the same time with new TRIPTYKON album! March seems to appear a great month of this year!!!I.T.

  25. Dave Death

    Pre-ordered mine just now. Already have the Hellhammer deluxe CD & LP sets, the Are You Morbid? book and a heap of other stuff on vinyl and CD, some heptagram tattoos, so why not pre-order the book for $65 when I’m already a fan for life?? 😉 The Osaka gig was my favourite set of all time! m/

  26. Edward

    I received my book yesterday. Very nice work Tom and company. I went home and thumbed though it while listening to “Morbid Tales”, my first exposure to Tom/Hellhammer/Celtic Frost. Thank you for you hard work everybody.All in all and EXCELLENT book and well worth my money. Thanks again to all involved.

  27. Joe

    A great book, worth every penny. The pictures are fantastic and the writing is even more interesting. A very personal tone, emotionally powerful and inspiring.

  28. IgnacioBrown

    I got my copy on Friday and I must say this may be the most incredible book about an underground band ever published. Actually,I have no doubt about it. Thanks Bazillion Points!

  29. Perfect 10: ONLY DEATH IS REAL in Terrorizer | Bazillion Points Blog

    […] See more ONLY DEATH IS REAL at Bazillion Points // […]

  30. Alex

    Got mine yesterday.For very sure one of the best books I`ve ever seen!

  31. IgnacioBrown


    Just ordered mine today! Really look forward to enjoying the long awaited inside story behind the Hellhammer machine driving it! Yeah!! Thanx!

  33. Miguel

    Greetings from Chile. I ordered mines and it arrived in about 8 days, so Im delighted. I devoured the book in one day and I´m overwhelmed beyond description by Warrior´s prose. Yes, it covers the story and origins of a pivotal cornerstone in metal, but is not only that, in the book we have the deep thoughts of a pure artist, and Only Death Is Real is a narrative masterpiece. The other day I saw a commnent from an Argentinian fellow who inquiered about the chance of having an Spanish version. Well, Im quite sure you have many contacts and that you would get to the proper translator in no time. Anyway, Im an english-spanish translator about to graduate, and I must say that I´d be deeply honoured to work in such project. Im deep into Warrior´s writings and I humbly think I have what it takes to translate exactly what the author wanted.Stay heavy!

  34. HardRockChick Interviews Brian Lew, Co-Author of Murder In The Front Row – HardRockChick

    […] started talking with different people about it. I got more serious when Bazillion Points published Only Death Is Real by Thomas Gabriel Fischer. He‚Äôs one of my Metal heroes and the book is as much an art book as it is a Metal book, which I […]

  35. Sodomaniak

    I can’t believe what I’m seeing, gotta get this book asap! You amaze me with all these astonishing books, to say the least. Keep on and cheers…

  36. SLOWLY, SPITTING CRAWLS THE SNAKE: 10 TOP READS OF 2011 ¬´ Revolt of the Apes

    […] such a treat ‚Äì though there is that, too, and it‚Äôs a measure of dedication we‚Äôve come to expect from Bazillion Points. For any one who spent their adolescence obsessed and involved in […]

  37. Albinson

    Hello,Can you pls tell what will be the difference among the reprint of the Hellhammer Book and the 1st press?Any planning to publish it with an embossed Slipcase?That would be a very good idea for such massive Book.Thanks for your time! Albinson

    • admin

      Dear Albinson, thanks for your comment. There will be no discernible difference between the 3rd printing and previous production runs. This is not a revised edition. Your idea about a slipcase or dustjacket is a good one. We will look into that. Best wishes, BAZILLION

  38. Aparicio

    deliver it in Peru?

    • admin

      Yes, of course, we deliver anywhere worldwide… gladly. Simply choose the “worldwide” delivery option, and we will get your book in the mail today.

  39. Dirk

    Do you deliver the book to a hotel address?If I order tomorrow 11/5 will it be here till Thursday 11/8?Thanks.

    • admin

      We will delivery anywhere you like. Please contact us directly at with more details, and we’ll figure out a plan for you. Thank you.

  40. David

    Any chance of a Kindle version?

  41. admin

    Hi David, thanks for asking about the possibility of a Kindle version of ONLY DEATH IS REAL. Although Bazillion Points does offer ebooks via Kindle/Nook/Kobo/iBooks of several of our titles (see ebook link above!), ONLY DEATH IS REAL (and our other heavily illustrated titles) cannot yet be presented properly on current devices, even the Kindle Fire. So not at this time, but possibly in the future.

  42. Max

    I agree with the reviewers that this is probably the best extreme metal book ever written. I’m not even a fan of Hellhammer, but the contents of this book are enough to make me wish I was born 10 years earlier, so that I’d be about the right age to have gotten into them at that time – then, as a fan, it would be a total revelation. No artists that I am an avid fan of have ever delved into their own genesis so remorselessly and thoroughly. Brilliant. Bazillion Points has basically become to extreme metal publishing what Earache Records was to the music.Now, what I want to know is: Has Bazillion Points ever considered commissioning a new edition of the same author’s “Are You Morbid”? I remember hearing that he was going to update it, but that never came to fruition; and copies of the now-out-of-print book are quite expensive on even when second-hand. Can you give me any hope?

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