It’s been thought of for a while now that in the age of digital media, the printed format was dying, and this was perhaps true of the rock and metal magazines, with notable names like Metal Maniacs and The Word shutting down in recent years due to falling sales, with a variety of reasons from the rise of the internet to weblogs, to filesharing, to Spotify and more for their demise. All reasons which suggest former readers no longer rely on what magazines provide when the web offers endless possibility. Indeed, the market for a new magazine these days is tougher than ever, with a report in the Metro newspaper today looking at falling sales in the music publication industry as NME turns 60.
Yet the printed format always seems to bounce back in one way or the other. And today that is none more true than with the launch of Iron Fist, a new bi-monthly publication headed by former Terrorizer magazine editor Louise Brown. Styling itself as ‘the ultimate underground bible’, it is indeed a defiant fist in the air for heavy metal, thrash, doom, death and black metal. Watain have the honour of being its first coverstars, with further features on Sodom, Sarcofago, Grand Magus and more. Take a look at the first issue front cover above. It screams the 80’s, yet its reliably modern and damn, and it totally screams METAL! It kicks serious arse.
In response to the suggestion that the need for printed media is reduced in the digital age, I argue that we need it more than ever. Sure, the web can provide unlimited content, but everything feels so prominent in a magazine. There’s things like interviews and retro features that you can emphasise much more easily than a webpage in my opinion. And it feels much more personal. So I say this to thee – support Iron Fist, let’s see it grow and thrive. It’s only £4.50! Without the magazines of yesteryear, would metal be as popular worldwide as it is today? Probably not. Iron Fist can not only return us to our roots, but can also take proper metal forward into the future too through its dedication to the underground, and hopefully prove that print isn’t a dead format. I wish Louise Brown and crew the very best for the future.