In the age of memes, filters and deep fakes, the art of photography is something that's undervalued and undermined on a daily basis. Yet, truly great photography still has the power to cut through the noise and make an impact. Photographer Peter Beste's work is proof of that, as he's documented some of the most interesting scenes of the past few decades, creating iconic images that are unforgettable and provocative in projects such as True Norwegian Black Metal, Houston Rap and his latest effort Defenders of the Faith.
The title Defenders of the Faith (the subtitle is The Heavy Metal Photography of Peter Beste) is, of course, also the name of a Judas Priest LP, which alludes to the power and strength of heavy metal. Beste's new book examines said scene, from the fans to the musicians and beyond, documenting the music and lifestyle in dazzling detail. Battle vests get special attention, as Beste notes the way in which the vestments enable fans to show "how 'true' one is by how authentic their patches are, which festivals they have attended, or which bands you got to see way back when. It is an object that gains in value as it deteriorates, and is pretty much never bought or sold. You have to create your own."
In celebration of the book, record label and publisher Sacred Bones is offering a limited-edition version featuring a 7-inch that includes Norwegian powerhouses Black Magic and Aura Noir, the latter of whom offers a deliciously sleazy new track appropriately titled "Belligerent Til Death." Stream that insanely ripping new offering above and order your copy of Defenders of the Faith via Sacred Bones.