Step inside the pitch-black chambers of one of London’s most distinctive storefronts, a one-stop shop for metal both familiar and obscure.
On bustling Hackney Road in East London, between flower markets and brunch spots, is a striking patch of jet black. The only dedicated heavy metal shop in the UK, Crypt of the Wizard wears its evil heart on its denim sleeve when it comes to its aesthetic and mission: To plunge record buyers into the heavy metal universe. From the silver devil’s-hoof door handle and all-black interior to the classic metal artwork and burning black candles, it’s a record shop that riffs on the romance, devotion and humor that contribute to metal’s enduring appeal. Crypt of the Wizard is a key physical hub for London’s devoted underground metal scene; opened by Swedish owner Marcus Mustafa and co-run by English manager and buyer Charlie Woolley, they stock old classics and new obscurities, and act as a home-away-from-home for touring bands. In the words of Marcus and Charlie, “Metal makes you strong!”