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The definitive oral history of heavy metal, Louder Than Hell includes hundreds of interviews with members of Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Korn, Pantera, Van Halen, Limp Bizkit, and many others at the leading edge of this movement. Louder Than Hell is an examination of the cultural phenomenon of heavy metal, a much-maligned genre that has not only stood the test of time, but has The definitive oral history of heavy metal, Louder Than Hell includes hundreds of interviews with members of Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Korn, Pantera, Van Halen, Limp Bizkit, and many others at the leading edge of this movement. Louder Than Hell is an examination of the cultural phenomenon of heavy metal, a much-maligned genre that has not only stood the test of time, but has metamorphosed with each new generation of bands and audiences. Unlike many forms of popular music, whose fans are fickle and transitory, metalheads tend to embrace their favorite bands and follow them over decades. Metal is not only a pastime for these people; it's a lifestyle and obsession that permeates every aspect of their being. The book will feature over 250 interviews conducted by renowned journalists Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman over the past 25 years. The book will include candid and confessional commentary from late icons of the genre. In addition, the book will feature comprehensive interviews with established metal musicians discussing their often-traumatic upbringings, musical histories, battles with substance abuse, sexual exploits, plus expert analysis of the heavy metal scene from the '60s to the present. Industry insiders (managers, record label A&R people, family members, friends, scenesters, groupies, journalists, porn stars and tattoo artists) will provide additional insight.


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The definitive oral history of heavy metal, Louder Than Hell includes hundreds of interviews with members of Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Korn, Pantera, Van Halen, Limp Bizkit, and many others at the leading edge of this movement. Louder Than Hell is an examination of the cultural phenomenon of heavy metal, a much-maligned genre that has not only stood the test of time, but has The definitive oral history of heavy metal, Louder Than Hell includes hundreds of interviews with members of Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Korn, Pantera, Van Halen, Limp Bizkit, and many others at the leading edge of this movement. Louder Than Hell is an examination of the cultural phenomenon of heavy metal, a much-maligned genre that has not only stood the test of time, but has metamorphosed with each new generation of bands and audiences. Unlike many forms of popular music, whose fans are fickle and transitory, metalheads tend to embrace their favorite bands and follow them over decades. Metal is not only a pastime for these people; it's a lifestyle and obsession that permeates every aspect of their being. The book will feature over 250 interviews conducted by renowned journalists Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman over the past 25 years. The book will include candid and confessional commentary from late icons of the genre. In addition, the book will feature comprehensive interviews with established metal musicians discussing their often-traumatic upbringings, musical histories, battles with substance abuse, sexual exploits, plus expert analysis of the heavy metal scene from the '60s to the present. Industry insiders (managers, record label A&R people, family members, friends, scenesters, groupies, journalists, porn stars and tattoo artists) will provide additional insight.

30 review for Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Jandrok

    I’m a sucker for oral histories, ever since I read “Please Kill Me.” Legs McNeil did a great job with that book, and it made perfect sense to recount the punk scene from the perspectives of the people who were living it as it happened. Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman attempt a similar feat with “Louder Than Hell,” subtitled as “The Definitive Oral History of Metal.” And it’s not bad at all, roughly covering the development and history of heavy metal from its infancy in the late ‘60s on to th I’m a sucker for oral histories, ever since I read “Please Kill Me.” Legs McNeil did a great job with that book, and it made perfect sense to recount the punk scene from the perspectives of the people who were living it as it happened. Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman attempt a similar feat with “Louder Than Hell,” subtitled as “The Definitive Oral History of Metal.” And it’s not bad at all, roughly covering the development and history of heavy metal from its infancy in the late ‘60s on to the publication date of 2013. It’s 2018 as I write this review, and not much has happened in mainstream metal in the interim. The biggest excitement within the scene surrounds the rise of the independent underground metal community, with stoner and doom metal taking the lead in what is a small but thriving heavy music renaissance. Better to do this review with a bit of my OWN oral history of the genre. I was there at the beginning, though young at the time. But somewhere around 1973 I heard a song blasting out from my little AM transistor radio that changed my life forever. That song was “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” by one Alice Cooper. From that point on I was hooked, and at 54 years of age now I can’t see ever losing my love for heavy music. I really wish that this book had an index….it’s difficult to find pertinent passages from particular artists. Alice Cooper IS in the book, recounting his adventures. The younger set might think that Marilyn Manson was real special and all, but Cooper was doing the evil, theatrical bit WAY before Manson and others of his ilk. Alice Cooper lived in that netherworld between hard rock, glam, proto-punk, and performance art. He’s incredibly undervalued in the development of heavy metal. “Louder Than Hell” gets BIG props from me for crediting Blue Cheer and the MC5 as pioneers in what would eventually develop into metal. Black Sabbath is rightly regarded as the first band to bring all of the elements of heavy metal together in one package, but Blue Cheer and the MC5 set the stage with their blistering volume and transcendent stage shows. Oddly enough, most of the early metal bands eschewed the term “heavy metal.” Judas Priest was the first band to openly embrace the term, and that fact alone makes them the second most important band in the history of the genre. When I was 12 years old in 1976, I went out and bought my first Deep Purple record, “Made in Europe.” Purple had actually broken up by the time the record was released, Ritchie Blackmore having left the band to pursue Rainbow as a vehicle for his musical vision. But I wore the grooves out playing that record. I bought a fresh copy last year on vinyl, and the magic is still there. I’m not sure that Purple was ever really a heavy metal band, but Rainbow sure was. Glam metal (hair metal, pop metal, shit-on-a-platter) gets a big section in the book, and rightly so, I guess. Mainstream glam bands hit big in the 1980s, as much for their image as their music. The fact that almost all of these bands were a direct ripoff of the New York Dolls was completely lost in translation. There were a couple of bands of that era that were actually pretty good, and I feel that I can now safely say that in hindsight without being seen as a poser. Thrash and crossover were more to my tastes back in the ‘80s. I was a HUGE punk rock fan, and it made me feel good to see my two favorite musical outlets begin to come together in what seemed to be an organic and natural alliance. People tend to forget that Motorhead was REALLY the first crossover band, appealing to punks and metalheads alike. Lemmy played gigs with The Damned, after all……. Death metal gets a good chapter, as does black metal. Too much to say on these subgenres. I can’t properly review this shit. At some point all the bands and influences begin to blend together and the ability to stay subjective goes right out the window. Grindcore….holy fuck…...grindcore…… Nu-Metal gets some play, though I don’t really know where it really fits in the overall history of metal. The combination of hip-hop and heavy metal is really hit or miss. But all you really need to do is listen to Anthrax teaming up with Public Enemy on “Bring The Noise” to understand that there could be real quality in the marriage of styles. Fuck. I could write my own damn book on this subject. Suffice it to say that “Louder Than Hell” is 700 pages of oral history that sits pretty well on the palate. It’s not the last word on the subject, but it’s a damn good book when read in context with other histories of the genre. As far as I’m concerned it’s a great addition to my music history library. A few final thoughts: Modern mainstream metal sucks. Five Finger Death Punch only gets one finger from me. Guess which one. The first six Black Sabbath albums with Ozzy achieved the most consistent and sustained level of quality that any band has ever released. Ever. Those records are literally an encyclopedia of riffs. Dead Horse was an old Houston band that isn’t in this book, nor should they be. They made no real dent on the national stage, but they DID play a form of music that was so extreme for its time that it couldn’t be classified as anything but Horsecore. They often played a small club in H-Town called The Axiom. Dead Horse had the most violent mosh pits of any band ever. Seek them out on YouTube. Grunge wasn’t metal, but Alice in Chains was. Fight me. Metal and punk have the most dedicated and obsessive fans in all of modern music. Jazz is the only other style of music that comes close. Lemmy is still God.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul Gleason

    It’s hotter than Hell today, and you’re in dire need of a cold one. You step into your favorite metal club for a quick beer, but the place somehow seems different. The walls – which are usually adorned with neon signs advertising beer – now bear gigantic posters of the covers of some of the best metal albums of all time: Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, Deep Purple’s Machine Head, Judas Priest’s British Steel, Motörhead’s Ace of Spades, AC/DC’s Back in Black, Iron Maiden’s The Number of the Beast, Meta It’s hotter than Hell today, and you’re in dire need of a cold one. You step into your favorite metal club for a quick beer, but the place somehow seems different. The walls – which are usually adorned with neon signs advertising beer – now bear gigantic posters of the covers of some of the best metal albums of all time: Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, Deep Purple’s Machine Head, Judas Priest’s British Steel, Motörhead’s Ace of Spades, AC/DC’s Back in Black, Iron Maiden’s The Number of the Beast, Metallica’s Master of Puppets, Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction, Slayer’s Reign in Blood, Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power, Mastodon’s Leviathan, and ostensibly countless others. But, best of all, you notice who’s hanging out in the club today – and what they’re talking about. Metal’s best musicians all seem to be present – and they’re not just discussing the albums whose covers ornament the walls. Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Halford sit in a corner, deep in discussion about 1970s’ metal. At a table across the room, Lemmy Kilmister and Bruce Dickinson go over the influence of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal on American thrash metal with Lars Ulrich and Kerry King. Corey Taylor takes notes from Vince Neil, Slash, Gene Simmons, and Eddie Van Halen on how to make metal appeal to mainstream listeners, while Trent Reznor, Maynard James Keenen, and the members of Mastodon counter by strategizing on how to make metal as innovative and challenging as possible. Entering this bar and eavesdropping on metal’s greatest masters as they discuss the history and music of their subculture is every metalhead’s dream. So is Jon Wiederhorn’s and Katherine Turman’s book Louder Than Hell: The Definitive History of Metal – which unabashedly plunges you in their conversations through interviews with all of the above-mentioned artists. Augmented by Wiederhorn’s and Turman’s terrific commentary, Louder Than Hell covers everything – in the words of the musicians themselves. It’s metal’s version of Legs McNeil’s and Gillian McCain’s Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. Hotter Than Hell begins with Wiederhorn and Turman claiming that metal doesn’t have a definitive starting point; rather, they argue that it “came together in bits and pieces between the mid-sixties and early seventies, and stemmed from the desire to rebel, shock, and create a level of intensity that did not exist in pop music.” Supporting this claim, Wiederhorn and Turman state that The Kinks captured the earliest sounds of metal in 1964 on the You Really Got Me single. Add the music of Jimi Hendrix, Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin, MC5, Blue Cheer, The Stooges, and Black Sabbath to Dave Davies’ power chords and distortion, and you have the birth pangs of metal. Although Alice Cooper claims in the book that Rolling Stone was the first publication to refer to his band as heavy metal – and Rob Halford says that Judas Priest were the first band to refer to themselves as heavy metal – Wiederhorn and Turman compellingly argue that Sabbath was the first metal band. The interviews with Sabbath’s members corroborate their argument, even though the ever blunt Ozzy says, “We didn’t care about what we were called.” The interviews with and commentary on metal’s progenitors and Sabbath occur in the first couple chapters – and this is important because it sets up the structure of the rest of the book. Wiederhorn and Turman excel at clearly delineating their subject matter by history and metal genre. For example, chapter titles include British Steel: New Wave of British Heavy Metal Shapes the Future, 1980-Present; Caught in a Mosh: Thrash Metal, 1981-1991; and High-Tech Hate: Industrial, 1980-1997. This structure gives you the option of reading the book straight through as a history of metal music and culture as told by the musicians themselves – or of skipping around and visiting the metal genres and musicians that interest you the most. It’s cool to have this option because there’s so much material here. In addition to the material on the beginnings of metal, other chapters stand out for their excellence. Far Beyond Driven: Thrash Revisited, 1987-2004 – with its interviews with the Abbott brothers – is probably the best short account of Pantera ever put to paper. The previously mentioned High-Tech Hate chapter amazes simply because it appears in Louder Than Hell, finding the metal in the heavy industrial stylings of Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and Marilyn Manson. And In the Nightside Eclipse: Black Metal, 1982-Present provides tremendous coverage of the violence surrounding Sweden’s black metal movement. Now it’s impossible for Wiederhorn and Turman to include everything about metal in Louder Than Hell, even in a book with its scope. The book has plenty of information on some of metal’s most popular contemporary innovators: Machine Head, Lamb of God, Tool, Slipknot, Deftones, System of a Down, and Mastodon stick out. But Wiederhorn and Turman left out some of metal’s best underground bands. For instance, they don’t go into Agalloch, Baroness, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Earth, Harvey Milk, High on Fire, Isis, Kylesa, Neurosis, Torche, Wolves in the Throne Room, Sunn O))), and, most importantly Opeth – the Swedish progressive death metal band whose leader, Mikael Åkerfeldt, is one of contemporary music’s greatest geniuses. Louder Than Hell holds such a wealth of information in its revealing interviews and insightful commentary that Wiederhorn and Turman can be forgiven for these omissions. They’ve created an awesome book that allows metalheads and newbies alike to experience metal through the words of the artists themselves. The bar is open – step inside. ** This review appeared in Rock Cellar Magazine.

  3. 5 out of 5

    L. McCoy

    Super fast review: So this book is very well written as it tells the history of metal through quotes from interviews and brief bits of storytelling. I also like how it covers everything from metalcore to death metal so there’s stuff for every metalhead. This book is interesting, has some laughs and a few life lessons here and there (especially about why you shouldn’t fuck around with drugs). I had a few problems. There were a few bands that are a pretty big deal amongst the metal community that th Super fast review: So this book is very well written as it tells the history of metal through quotes from interviews and brief bits of storytelling. I also like how it covers everything from metalcore to death metal so there’s stuff for every metalhead. This book is interesting, has some laughs and a few life lessons here and there (especially about why you shouldn’t fuck around with drugs). I had a few problems. There were a few bands that are a pretty big deal amongst the metal community that this book barely talks about (in all fairness it is already a big book), this focuses a tad too much on dumb partying stories and it was sad hearing some stupid (at times twisted) shit come from a few favorite artists (I know, it’s not the book’s fault but still... 🙁). Overall, this is a really good book that I would highly recommend to metalheads. I wouldn’t recommend it to people who aren’t into metal because they’d be bored reading 700+ pages of metal info or people who are just getting into this kinda music because they won’t get to appreciate as much as those who have been listening for a while. If you’re a metalhead looking for a great book about this bad-ass genre’s history than I highly recommend this one! 4/5

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    Interesting book. On the long side, but there's a lot of ground to cover after all. I definitely learned some things I'd never known before, and made some mental notes of a few bands I want to track down. For all its length, it seems a bit incomplete. Quite a few bands--GWAR, for instance--get mentioned in passing but no interviews with them are included. And what about progressive metal? Where's Dream Theater or Opeth? It would seem that, while this may be the definitive ORAL history of metal, Interesting book. On the long side, but there's a lot of ground to cover after all. I definitely learned some things I'd never known before, and made some mental notes of a few bands I want to track down. For all its length, it seems a bit incomplete. Quite a few bands--GWAR, for instance--get mentioned in passing but no interviews with them are included. And what about progressive metal? Where's Dream Theater or Opeth? It would seem that, while this may be the definitive ORAL history of metal, the plain old Definitive history has yet to be written ... and will probably encompass more than one volume when it is. True heavy metal fans never shy away from excess volumes though ...

  5. 5 out of 5

    David

    Louder than Hell purports to be the definitive oral history of heavy metal, and in style and format it does a decent job. Most of the book is stories told by various musicians, and most of those stories involve some combinations of sex, drugs, violence, or general lawlessness, Yep, sounds like metal. The book is extraordinarily large and heavy (718 pages, 2lbs 5oz), but would be terrible as an e-book, because the glossy pictures are great (although they are sadly bunched together rather than int Louder than Hell purports to be the definitive oral history of heavy metal, and in style and format it does a decent job. Most of the book is stories told by various musicians, and most of those stories involve some combinations of sex, drugs, violence, or general lawlessness, Yep, sounds like metal. The book is extraordinarily large and heavy (718 pages, 2lbs 5oz), but would be terrible as an e-book, because the glossy pictures are great (although they are sadly bunched together rather than interspersed in the appropriate places), and that makes it hard to read comfortably. I found the book quite uneven: some parts were hilarious, and some parts just depressing. Honestly, how many stories of degrading sex with groupies are really necessary? Another frustration is the organization- there is a rough temporal organization, but really the chapters are structured around sub-genres of metal, and the effect of this is to give small, relatively new bands (Machine Head, Hatebreed) the same amount of room in the book as longer-running (still performing) legendary bands (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Kiss). Worse, organizing by genre also pulled the sections out of chronological order a few times- you step back and forth, and it's easy to get very lost in "who is influencing whom" or who could have bought whose album. The book attempted to cover as many genres as possible, and that is part of what lead to the effect above, I learned a lot about some of the less-well-known genres (death metal, black metal, etc), although honestly some of this is stuff that I'd be just as well not knowing (some of those folks need some serious therapy, and music doesn't seem to be cutting it), and the book erred on the side of completeness rather than the side of taste. I definitely think that the book gets to be a lot less fun once it gets into the sub-genres, and I could have stopped and been okay. What I really missed was more discussion of the music itself rather than the antics- I would have liked more thoughts on the songwriting, on the guitar technique. Yes, the lifestyle is important, but the music is *more* important. The first half is highly recommended, the second half is recommended for completists.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Metal was one of my first musical loves. Or more specifically my brother’s Metallica tapes. Then I grew up in age of exciting popular metal watching grunge wipe away hair metal(which I mostly hated…because well I had heard Metallica, except Van Halen…I loved Van Halen until David Lee Roth quit…oh and I guess Guns and Roses) and the bizarre era of Jane’s Addiction, Primus, Faith no More, Melvins,Helmet, NIN,Rage against the Machine, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains being popular bands. Then moving Metal was one of my first musical loves. Or more specifically my brother’s Metallica tapes. Then I grew up in age of exciting popular metal watching grunge wipe away hair metal(which I mostly hated…because well I had heard Metallica, except Van Halen…I loved Van Halen until David Lee Roth quit…oh and I guess Guns and Roses) and the bizarre era of Jane’s Addiction, Primus, Faith no More, Melvins,Helmet, NIN,Rage against the Machine, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains being popular bands. Then moving on to hear the classic rock and proto metal of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer and of course the Stooges. This book traces the four decades of this misunderstood but always evolving genre of music. From its roots in English prog bands up until the today of Mastodon and their ilk moving through NWOBHM, hair, thrash, death, black, nu and metalcore. It’s a bit gossipy and definitely takes the behind the music approach and anyone trying to dissuade people that metal is filled with drugs, misogyny, and violence will not be able to use this book as evidence. It was entertaining and trashy throughout even when it was covering bands I couldn’t stand (most of nu metal and metalcore). There is some important bands I think they missed covering like grunge (arguably covered thoroughly elsewhere, they only touched on Alice in Chains the most metal of the big four, but grunge adjacent bands Melvins and Earth are very important metal bands, as is Soundgarden arguably), most doom was ignored (except its roots in St Vitus and Black Sabbath, but nothing on Cathedral!), in metalcore they ignored the Boston big three of Isis, Cave in and Converge(one quote from them), the more alt of the alt metal was ignored (Jane’s addiction, Helmet and Primus), the Swedish bands Opeth, Meshuggah and Cult of Luna, and nothing on Neurosis a very influential band. Other modern bands they missed are Sleep, Karp/Big Business, Sunn0)))/Goatsnake/Burning Witch/Khanate,Boris, Dillinger Escape Plan, the Locust, Botch,Wolves in the Throneroom,and of course I would include indie rock bands that I see influencing metal like Dazzling Killmen and Don Caballero. Volume two would be a way to solve these problems, I would definitely read it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    JBP

    I love oral histories related to rock music and Louder Than Hell covers ground on a subject for almost 700 pages that I know very little about: heavy metal. I actually know a little bit on '70s metal, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and some about the awful "hair" metal phase but quiz me about thrash, death metal, black metal, grindcore, metalcore, speed metal or all the variations and I come up empty. Now I can talk about how wimpy the black metal scene in Norway is currently compared to th I love oral histories related to rock music and Louder Than Hell covers ground on a subject for almost 700 pages that I know very little about: heavy metal. I actually know a little bit on '70s metal, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and some about the awful "hair" metal phase but quiz me about thrash, death metal, black metal, grindcore, metalcore, speed metal or all the variations and I come up empty. Now I can talk about how wimpy the black metal scene in Norway is currently compared to the glory days in 1991! Louder Than Hell tries to cover every metal base and succeeds while also failing. Even when it errs though, you can not say it isn't entertaining as this is one of the most debauched, unhinged rock music books I've ever read as the stories about drugs, sex, violence are endless. There's so much of that stuff that by page 700 I'm exhausted reading about getting it on w/ groupies and almost OD'ing. I never that groupie debauchery would get ho-hum but by the end I thought, really, only five or six groupies at a time? That's boring. My biggest issue w/ the book is the fact it covers too few bands and focuses on a few key groups of each chapter. Too often it is just the same people over and over...a little variety would have been nice. Plus, at 700 pages it is a bit too long as I was worn out by the end. I did learn that there are some really horrible band names--especially in the death and black metal world. I guess they can blame it on Satan since many claim some kind of affiliation w/ the beast. When I was finished with this epic, I really want to read something light and with maybe a little humor in it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This was a pretty good book on metal, though I think the word "definitive" is a bit optimistic. While I know that the drug/alcohol use is inextricable from the metal scene, I think Wiederhorn focused entirely too much on the "I was so high/drunk/whatever..." stories. More focus on the music itself would have been nice. The last third of the book sort of dragged, but that's only because I have a particular hatred of nu metal, metalcore, and Slipknot. The chapters on early metal, thrash, NWOBHM, d This was a pretty good book on metal, though I think the word "definitive" is a bit optimistic. While I know that the drug/alcohol use is inextricable from the metal scene, I think Wiederhorn focused entirely too much on the "I was so high/drunk/whatever..." stories. More focus on the music itself would have been nice. The last third of the book sort of dragged, but that's only because I have a particular hatred of nu metal, metalcore, and Slipknot. The chapters on early metal, thrash, NWOBHM, death metal and black metal were excellent. Overall, I would recommend it for metal fans! P.S. I am pretty sure that Lemmy is a robot that runs on Jack Daniels and amphetamines.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lira

    A pretty good history of metal, in the words of the musicians, label staff, and the occasional groupie :-) That being said, a section on progressive metal(Dream Theater, Queensryche, Fates Warning, Rush, etc.) was conspicuously absent.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bastian Greshake Tzovaras

    This book actually started pretty interesting and then went on to become quite boring. While the general interview-style worked fine in the beginning it became pretty boring pretty fast. This is in part because not all of the different metal styles are my cup of tea, but that would be acceptable if it wasn't for the endless repetition. I mean: How often can you read about excessive drug use (with either people driving themselves to death or plain OD'ing), people starting some kind of violent rag This book actually started pretty interesting and then went on to become quite boring. While the general interview-style worked fine in the beginning it became pretty boring pretty fast. This is in part because not all of the different metal styles are my cup of tea, but that would be acceptable if it wasn't for the endless repetition. I mean: How often can you read about excessive drug use (with either people driving themselves to death or plain OD'ing), people starting some kind of violent rage and trashing hotel rooms, group sex backstage & on tour busses and virtually every other rock'n'roll cliché you can think of before you stop caring? For me: Not that often. Yes, of course all those stories are told by the different well-known names of the genre(s), but still… It may work better though if you don't try to read it from cover to cover but stick to the genre/era you're most interested in.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eduardo

    The oral history angle is this book's saving grace because without the amusing artist quotes it is really just an abridged, American-centric history of heavy metal, which is preposterous since the genre owes most of its vital developments to other countries. To give you an idea, beyond some lip service paid to formative influences like Blue Cheer, Hendrix, the MC5 and Mountain, heavy metal's subsequent rise through the 1970s zips from Black Sabbath to Judas Priest to Kiss (!) to AC/DC, with litt The oral history angle is this book's saving grace because without the amusing artist quotes it is really just an abridged, American-centric history of heavy metal, which is preposterous since the genre owes most of its vital developments to other countries. To give you an idea, beyond some lip service paid to formative influences like Blue Cheer, Hendrix, the MC5 and Mountain, heavy metal's subsequent rise through the 1970s zips from Black Sabbath to Judas Priest to Kiss (!) to AC/DC, with little comment from, and fewer mentions of, any other band. And so it goes with undue focus placed on worthless American commercial creations like hair metal and nu-metal; but the quotes, again, are usually entertaining even if the stories have largely been mined to death in better books. So grab Ian Christie's 'Sound of the Beast' instead if you want a more thorough historical and global perspective of this music.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dave Mason

    i am a huge fan of this type of book where they tell the story of a "movement", "event" or "scene", via interviews with the people who were there. the pace is generally fast, there is very little room for filler, and if done right, you hear from a broad range of interesting characters. as far as LTHTDOHM goes, if you love metal you'll love the book. it was my main soundtrack leading in to my teens and a big part of it through my 20's/30's. metal's impact on me was huge. now that im older and mar i am a huge fan of this type of book where they tell the story of a "movement", "event" or "scene", via interviews with the people who were there. the pace is generally fast, there is very little room for filler, and if done right, you hear from a broad range of interesting characters. as far as LTHTDOHM goes, if you love metal you'll love the book. it was my main soundtrack leading in to my teens and a big part of it through my 20's/30's. metal's impact on me was huge. now that im older and married with kids, some of the shit these guys did which used to make me laugh, now makes me cringe. but hey, some of it does still makes me laugh (thank you lemmy), and if that's the way it was, then that's the way it should be told. my enthusiasm wavered a bit in the death metal/black metal sections because i'm not a fan of that music (at least not yet). however, those sections are really interesting from the perspective of showing how metal evolved during that period, how people are naturally driven to constantly push the envelope of accepted taste, and how intense and rebellious some people really are. those arent emo bands... five stars for being very entertaining and very well-informed. rockon.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    I've read a number of books on metal, and this is probably one of the best. Not only does it shed a lot of light on how metal came to be, it spotlights how it's not going away any time soon. I've read a number of books on metal, and this is probably one of the best. Not only does it shed a lot of light on how metal came to be, it spotlights how it's not going away any time soon.

  14. 4 out of 5

    William Schram

    I was born in 1986. When I was a child, I didn’t really listen to music all that much. I remember listening to the Radio sometimes, but mostly I would play video games. Milwaukee, WI is terrible when it comes to Radio. Most of the stations are generic and boring or outright copies of other stations. I really didn’t get into Metal Music until I was in college. Even then I mainly listened to a lot of streaming services which helped me to expand into other fields of music. I guess I was lucky that I was born in 1986. When I was a child, I didn’t really listen to music all that much. I remember listening to the Radio sometimes, but mostly I would play video games. Milwaukee, WI is terrible when it comes to Radio. Most of the stations are generic and boring or outright copies of other stations. I really didn’t get into Metal Music until I was in college. Even then I mainly listened to a lot of streaming services which helped me to expand into other fields of music. I guess I was lucky that the internet exists. Thanks to that, my tastes are eclectic; I can listen to almost anything you put on. Reading Louder Than Hell was an interesting experience because of that. It tears away the veneer inherent in how people act on stage and reveals a number of events that shaped the genre. From the years of Proto-Metal with Led Zeppelin and Cream to the modern times of 2013, this book is extremely thorough. It talks about practically everything. Drug escapades, sexual encounters, overdoses, it’s all in there. The book is fascinating in that sense and really enjoyable. The book does have to backtrack sometimes since it goes chronologically, but that is no big deal. It starts out with Black Sabbath and other bands that started out around that time. It mentioned pay-to-play venues which seemed a bit backwards to me. It was sort of like my quest to get credit. You can’t get credit without credit, turning it into some kind of Catch-22 situation. Some of the people did it for the music, but mostly it was to get laid. Money was a nice thing to have when you were living off of packaged Ramen Noodles and Bean Burritos. Each person is introduced at the first point of their appearance in the book. While I say that, all the authors do is mention the band that they are from. It doesn’t say what part they play except in context, but that is fine. For instance, it mentions Tony Iommi as a guitarist for Black Sabbath. The book will put that in the top of his text, and after that you pretty much have to remember what band he is from. It isn’t hard when there are only a few bands doing metal music, but eventually it gets to be where you need a list for yourself. Most of the famous people I remember well enough. Take Ozzy Osbourne for example. It talks about his whole battle with substance abuse and how it split Black Sabbath apart and then Ronnie James Dio comes in and he’s fantastic and was such a sweet guy. Eventually it gets to the splits. Not the splits of bands, since that happened all the time, but the genre splits. Hair Metal was big for a while, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was discussed. It goes really deep into a lot of different stuff. Like remember the Parent Media Resource Group? I don’t, but their influence is still felt with the warning labels that existed on CDs. Tipper Gore or whatever her name was wanted to limit people’s first amendment rights because the music made her and a bunch of other old ladies uncomfortable. I never even heard of it, so that was interesting. I mean, I am somewhat familiar with the Electronic Software Ratings Board and how that was formed, but I was never that into modern music until recently. All in all, this book was excellent. I had high hopes for this one, and my expectations were certainly met. 5/5

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I love music biographies (about music I like, obviously), so this was a great present (thanks Sandra)! It's a huge book, almost 700 pages of stuff, plus a bunch of glossy color photographs inserted a few places in the book - though the captions to the photos were BAD. And people say MY humor is bad! Anyway, this book is just the way I like it; it's stories told by the band members themselves. It covers early metal, new wave of british heavy metal, thrash, metalcore, industrial (a surprising additi I love music biographies (about music I like, obviously), so this was a great present (thanks Sandra)! It's a huge book, almost 700 pages of stuff, plus a bunch of glossy color photographs inserted a few places in the book - though the captions to the photos were BAD. And people say MY humor is bad! Anyway, this book is just the way I like it; it's stories told by the band members themselves. It covers early metal, new wave of british heavy metal, thrash, metalcore, industrial (a surprising addition, but I love that too), nu metal, death metal, black metal, and more. I'm mostly familiar with black metal out of these, so it was really cool to read about other genres that I have listened to, but didn't know much about. If you're a metalhead in general, I definitely recommend this book! Especially if you love to hear crazy stories about bands, their humble beginnings and so on.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fredrik Reinsborg

    I was really excited about the scope and ambition of this book. To tell the story of metal through interviews is a big undertaking. Some chapters are really interesting, but for me the authors give to much attention to obscure genres of metal that I have no interest in. I also feel that more popular genres are overlooked. Maybe I am colored by being part of the european metal scene/culture, and this is an american book. But I think it is strange that they don't dedicate chapters to power metal a I was really excited about the scope and ambition of this book. To tell the story of metal through interviews is a big undertaking. Some chapters are really interesting, but for me the authors give to much attention to obscure genres of metal that I have no interest in. I also feel that more popular genres are overlooked. Maybe I am colored by being part of the european metal scene/culture, and this is an american book. But I think it is strange that they don't dedicate chapters to power metal and folk metal which are very popular genres in Europe.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mac

    Almost bumped it down to a 4*, because, like "Please Kill Me," there are aspects of this that are kind of exhausting (we get it, bands have a lot of sex, we get it, Kerry King is a lame frat guy) but I'm not sure there's a better book out there about metal. Ultimately, it's not the fault of the book that most of these artists aren't role models, and that's not why I listen to metal anyway. More could have been included, sure, but it's already 700 pages long. Nice to see the bits about metalcore Almost bumped it down to a 4*, because, like "Please Kill Me," there are aspects of this that are kind of exhausting (we get it, bands have a lot of sex, we get it, Kerry King is a lame frat guy) but I'm not sure there's a better book out there about metal. Ultimately, it's not the fault of the book that most of these artists aren't role models, and that's not why I listen to metal anyway. More could have been included, sure, but it's already 700 pages long. Nice to see the bits about metalcore and modern hardcore.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    METAL. It's a genre that's only bound together by a spirited fuck you. Its denizens run the gamut, from church-burning nihilists to hairspray-supported hedonists; from kvlt blackness to tits-out stupidity. From funereal dirges to brain-freezing speed runs. The sublime to the ridiculous. Speed to heroin. True to poser. It's got it all. It just adds studs and unreadable logos. LEMMY KILMISTER (Motörhead, ex-Hawkwind): Metal is the bastard son of rock and roll. If Eddie Cochran was playing today, he METAL. It's a genre that's only bound together by a spirited fuck you. Its denizens run the gamut, from church-burning nihilists to hairspray-supported hedonists; from kvlt blackness to tits-out stupidity. From funereal dirges to brain-freezing speed runs. The sublime to the ridiculous. Speed to heroin. True to poser. It's got it all. It just adds studs and unreadable logos. LEMMY KILMISTER (Motörhead, ex-Hawkwind): Metal is the bastard son of rock and roll. If Eddie Cochran was playing today, he’d probably be in a garage playing with a metal band. Metal is the sort of genre which evokes ride-or-die devotion, and it's the sort of thing that many people discover with the passing of a torch – or, in my case, a tape. You hear about certain bands, certain albums, or certain bat-biting stage antics from someone else, and then you go digging. This type of propagation means that Jon Wiederhorn's book is the best way of telling the story of the genre: orally. Yes, it's a written text – I would pay money to hear an audiobook in typical Cookie Monster style, mind – but it's a recording of a largely oral tale. Direct quotes, from most of the key players you'd expect make up the body of this work, and so what you get is a story shared over drinks and smokes: a tale redolent of late nights, poor decisions and the desire to be harder, faster or heavier than anyone else. (Or to do more drugs than anyone else. It's a personal choice, and one closely examined here. Hope you're not squeamish about narcotics!) Metal is so emotionally lacerating and monumentally stupid that it seems a direct representation of the human condition. It's difficult to imagine a time when it didn't exist. (I guess they wore wigs and beauty spots?) But it's also something that's regarded as inconsequential (or frightening) by those who aren't initiates. This being the case, it's unsurprising that its history is not the clearest tale. Here, Wiederhorn has yoked together an incredible amount of stories from a ridiculous number of subgenres to present the best stab yet at a catalogue of how this black denim, pissed-off bastard child of rock 'n' roll came to be. The biggest bands take up a lot of room – there's a lot of coverage of Metallica, Kiss, Anthrax, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden et al – but there's also a lot of lesser-known names covered, as well as a lot of different movements from various locations. A book like this is, by definition, going to miss out on some scenes, particularly in a genre with as much stratification as metal. If there's ever another version, it'd be great to see it expanded – but I imagine mission-creep would be a real problem with a work such as this. Where do you call a halt? Having said that, there's some great writing about particular scenes – I'm thinking of black metal in particular – that does plug some of those gaps. (Some might argue about the inclusion of some of the bands in the work, but hair metal is hair metal, despite protestations to the contrary. Thankfully, the author is even-handed with all the bands and styles discussed: metal's a broad church, and everyone finds their niche, so why shit on someone's favourite section of grimness? It's a refreshing change from some of the insularity of parts of the scene in real life.) For my money, this book is entirely worth reading because of Ronnie James Dio's excellent, early-page bitchiness. Gene Simmons will tell you he invented [the devil horns], but then again Gene invented breathing and shoes.All that and 'Holy Diver' eh? What a guy. If you're into metal and you've had enough of 2020, escape with Louder Than Hell. It makes you want to pull out records and throw the horns, and there's nothing more unselfconsciously joyous than that.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Aurélien Thomas

    I had high expectations for this book, and, sadly, there were not met. Musicians are surely doing the talking in here. The thing is, once you remove all their anecdotes about the drugs they've been taking, the most memorable hangovers they ever had, the brawls they fought, the groupies they shagged, and other stupid behaviours that kept them entertained backstage, well, not much left. The music? Forget it. Sure, from proto-hard rock all the way to metalcore you here fly across the metal landscape I had high expectations for this book, and, sadly, there were not met. Musicians are surely doing the talking in here. The thing is, once you remove all their anecdotes about the drugs they've been taking, the most memorable hangovers they ever had, the brawls they fought, the groupies they shagged, and other stupid behaviours that kept them entertained backstage, well, not much left. The music? Forget it. Sure, from proto-hard rock all the way to metalcore you here fly across the metal landscape, meeting the bands that defined it from the 1960s up to the 2000s. Sure also, the fact the authors have no patience for intestine silly wars within the scene (eg. dedicating as much pages to glam and nu metal bands as to extreme subgenre ones like death, grindcore, and black) seemed truly appealing too. I have read a few other books on the same topic so far, and I also want to acknowledge in here the nice take of focusing -at times- on bands that are usually semi-ignored elsewhere, despite their massive influence (eg. nearly a whole chapter is dedicated to Pantera). Give the authors all that. But... If you think you will get insights into careers, motivations, influences, defining albums and other music-centred snapshots, then you can go elsewhere. As I already stated, here's more about wild excesses and extravaganzas backstages than about the music itself; and, contrary to what's being claimed on the cover, this is NOT a 'definitive' history. There is nothing on power metal (Helloween, Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, Stratovarius… are absent). There is nothing, for that matter, on the cross-pollination between classical music/ opera and metal (Therion, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica... are absent). There is nothing on goth metal (Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Theatre of Tragedy, Moonspell… are absent). Some defining bands like Tool, Slipknot, and Mastodon are relegated in a miscellaneous-type of chapter in the end; leaving you to wonder, not only why they are tossed in together, but, also, why relevant chapters haven't been created to accommodate them (eg. about Mastodon, a chapter on sludge would have been interesting...). Now, I know it must be extremely difficult to retell the story of such a musical style, spanning decades and being so rich in subgenres that even its fans may find it difficult to navigate. Metal music can be very nerdy and geeky indeed! As such, 'Louder than Hell' has its inevitable flaws, and I would have easily forgiven them all had it been about the music. Thing is, as it is here's a book which is to music what tabloids are to news - the crass, vulgar and shocking (sex, drugs, violence) takes over everything else, and, so, being after music, I felt cheated. Read it if you want. I for one prefer Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal .

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brent Seabrook

    Far from definitive, this is a hodgepodge of quotes from other books and magazines. The authors devote chapters to Norwegian black metal and Tampa's death metal scene, but neglect New Orleans sludge and Seattle grunge. AC/DC gets plenty of space but other hard rock bands like Aerosmith, Rush, and even the Scorpions get none. I would have preferred less about sex and drugs and more about rock and roll, though you could argue the two are inseparable. And though it rarely provides any answers, the b Far from definitive, this is a hodgepodge of quotes from other books and magazines. The authors devote chapters to Norwegian black metal and Tampa's death metal scene, but neglect New Orleans sludge and Seattle grunge. AC/DC gets plenty of space but other hard rock bands like Aerosmith, Rush, and even the Scorpions get none. I would have preferred less about sex and drugs and more about rock and roll, though you could argue the two are inseparable. And though it rarely provides any answers, the book does raise some interesting questions about a genre and subculture that have shown more legs than most. Worth reading for those interested in the topic.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Delivers what the title promises - this really is definitive and at times piles on and on like an Iron Butterfly solo (whose name never came up, so maybe this really wasn't as definitive as I thought). For stories, anecdotes, and the history of the multifaceted offshoots of metal and hard rock, you can't beat this book. My only complaint was it seemed to spend too much time on the recent hardcore / death metal / black metal bands from the 90's to today (Mastodon, Hatebreed, Slipknot, Kickpuncher Delivers what the title promises - this really is definitive and at times piles on and on like an Iron Butterfly solo (whose name never came up, so maybe this really wasn't as definitive as I thought). For stories, anecdotes, and the history of the multifaceted offshoots of metal and hard rock, you can't beat this book. My only complaint was it seemed to spend too much time on the recent hardcore / death metal / black metal bands from the 90's to today (Mastodon, Hatebreed, Slipknot, Kickpuncher, Facemelter, Groinpuller, etc.) than the legends from the 60's thru the 90's (although Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, Maiden, Anthrax, etc. are all given their due screen time).

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    This is s great book if you are true metal enthusiast. If you are just into music then this will probably be offensive in parts. As I read this over a couple weekends I felt like I was having a conversation at a bar with the contributors. Everyone is represented throughout the book, as far as metal goes. I found the last section about new American metal very interesting and eye opening. If you are interested in what makes these artists tick this is a good choice. If you are looking for a histori This is s great book if you are true metal enthusiast. If you are just into music then this will probably be offensive in parts. As I read this over a couple weekends I felt like I was having a conversation at a bar with the contributors. Everyone is represented throughout the book, as far as metal goes. I found the last section about new American metal very interesting and eye opening. If you are interested in what makes these artists tick this is a good choice. If you are looking for a historical encyclopedia type thing then you may be disappointed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Enjoyed reading it. Glad I was never a typical metal musician. A better title for the book would have been, "A definitive account of the lifestyles of the better-known musicians in heavy metal's sub-genres as quoted from the musicians themselves." The fifth star of my rating is absent as was discussion of the music itself and a broad range of artists per sub-genre. Should be on every literate metalhead's bookshelf. Enjoyed reading it. Glad I was never a typical metal musician. A better title for the book would have been, "A definitive account of the lifestyles of the better-known musicians in heavy metal's sub-genres as quoted from the musicians themselves." The fifth star of my rating is absent as was discussion of the music itself and a broad range of artists per sub-genre. Should be on every literate metalhead's bookshelf.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mickey Tompkins

    This is a great book for metal fans both young and old. The book covers the early days (Blue Cheer. Sabbath, Alice Cooper) to most current metal bands (Slipknot, Disturbed, and Godsmack). In depth interviews, lots of debauchery, and some un-needed details. All in all this was a pleasure to read, even if I didn't like certain bands or genres. This is a great book for metal fans both young and old. The book covers the early days (Blue Cheer. Sabbath, Alice Cooper) to most current metal bands (Slipknot, Disturbed, and Godsmack). In depth interviews, lots of debauchery, and some un-needed details. All in all this was a pleasure to read, even if I didn't like certain bands or genres.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jnagle4

    A very good history of heavy metal, told by the musicians who were there. My one criticism is that each genre was given only one chapter, so you really only get a basic overview. Still if you don't know anything about heavy metal, this is a great place to start. A very good history of heavy metal, told by the musicians who were there. My one criticism is that each genre was given only one chapter, so you really only get a basic overview. Still if you don't know anything about heavy metal, this is a great place to start.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    One of my favorite books ever.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Doherty

    Heavy metal — a long-suffering, polarizing genre now in its sixth decade — has earned the right to an all-encompassing history that documents for posterity its founders, innovations, and disasters. Someday we may get that volume. "Louder Than Hell" isn't the book we deserve, and if it's what we have to settle for ... then that's depressing. Here's this book's dirty little secret: It's not really about metal. Oh sure, you'll consume anecdotes by the truckload about Metallica, Slipknot, Black Sabba Heavy metal — a long-suffering, polarizing genre now in its sixth decade — has earned the right to an all-encompassing history that documents for posterity its founders, innovations, and disasters. Someday we may get that volume. "Louder Than Hell" isn't the book we deserve, and if it's what we have to settle for ... then that's depressing. Here's this book's dirty little secret: It's not really about metal. Oh sure, you'll consume anecdotes by the truckload about Metallica, Slipknot, Black Sabbath, and Limp Bizkit. You'll absorb once again some of the well-reported bits of metal lore: Metallica firing Dave Mustaine, the birth of Nine Inch Nails, the death of glam at the hands of grunge rock. But that's all perfunctory. Discussing the music, the inspiration, the experimentation, the societal impact — nope, those weightier topics aren't what the authors have in mind. Instead, the book shovels out nearly 700 pages of oral history about the excessive drinking, drugging, groupie abuse, and bloodletting that the authors clearly believe distinguish the heavy metal scene. Suffice to say, people offended by lengthy descriptions of such debauchery should skip this volume. But even those of us who don't consider ourselves prudes will find little illuminating in, say, page after page of Evan Seinfeld bragging about his sexual conquests. The book quickly finds a rhythm, then sticks with it over 13 chapters: bands slug it out (sometimes literally) at the street level, find success practically overnight, then nearly lose their lives and livelihoods by overindulging on sex and illicit substances. It doesn't matter if you're reading about Motley Crue, Exodus, Godsmack, Slipknot — the story is the same. And it gets boring. Beyond the abysmal editing job — the publisher doesn't seem to have anyone on staff who understands correct use of brackets — and the distracting fact errors throughout, the book severely offends in its oversights. The great, heavily influential band Celtic Frost is addressed in less than a couple of pages. Post-1990s European metal or American doom metal are ignored. But yes, by all means, let's spend 50 pages on the negligible contributions of nu metal. So really, this isn't a book about musicians creating art. From the text alone, the authors have boiled an entire scene down to uncultured cretins engaging in antisocial behavior that dooms most other people to a life of poverty and/or imprisonment. And that disrespects the art that's supposedly the motivation for this book's existence. Which raises the question? Do the authors even LIKE metal? I suspect, deep down, not really.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I enjoyed reading this book purely for the fact of learning things I didn't know about some of the bands that I love listening to. I also enjoyed learning about all the subgenres there are now of metal and seeing where I fit into. I have always been a fan at heart no matter what I always seem to gravitate back towards it. It sucks you in. 🤘🤘🤘🤘 Like Jon Wiederhorn says.. The development of metal is like the evolution of a virus. Microscopic organisms replicate inside living cells, and to ensure t I enjoyed reading this book purely for the fact of learning things I didn't know about some of the bands that I love listening to. I also enjoyed learning about all the subgenres there are now of metal and seeing where I fit into. I have always been a fan at heart no matter what I always seem to gravitate back towards it. It sucks you in. 🤘🤘🤘🤘 Like Jon Wiederhorn says.. The development of metal is like the evolution of a virus. Microscopic organisms replicate inside living cells, and to ensure their survival, they adapt and mutate over generations. The relationship between metal fans and the "metal virus" is symbiotic and once infected, the host becomes empowered and, for a while at least, thrives on the chaos, aggression and sense of individuality and community that metal provides. Various metal bands understand the contagious quality of the music they create: Anthrax named it's second album Spreading The Disease in 1985; Carcass called it's 1989 record Symphonies Of Sickness. Then there was Disturbed's career-skyrocketing single "Down With The Sickness" in 1999. "What the ignorant fail to realize is that the more they dismiss the music, the more passionate metal's followers become about the force that gets them through the day." "Infection is strengthened by adversity, and the necessary cross-pollination of metal's subgenres over the years has kept the music vital. Metal is an infectious disease ; a beast to be respected, not caged. In a way, it's like the Terminator. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse or fear. And it absolutely will not stop___ ever!"

  29. 5 out of 5

    David

    I can't find much fault with this book. It's a massive collection of quotes, so the quality of the book mostly rests on the thematic and chronological organization of the material. I thought overlapping timelines of eras (and/or sub-genres of metal) was an excellent way to organize the main body of the book. Within each era, the authors found common threads within the quotes and wove them into as much of a narrative as you could hope for. This is the sort of book you can read in a noisy room full I can't find much fault with this book. It's a massive collection of quotes, so the quality of the book mostly rests on the thematic and chronological organization of the material. I thought overlapping timelines of eras (and/or sub-genres of metal) was an excellent way to organize the main body of the book. Within each era, the authors found common threads within the quotes and wove them into as much of a narrative as you could hope for. This is the sort of book you can read in a noisy room full of little kids and remain utterly absorbed and glued to the page. There is an incredible amount of debauchery described in Louder Than Hell. What's interesting is how some of the guys distanced themselves from it, some regretted it, and others reveled (and continue to revel) in it. I also learned that you have to separate the dude from the drug unless you want to lose faith in humanity. Some of these lives would not have been quite as extreme without chemical "help". I found that I mostly preferred to read about the music rather than the antics. But the book had a pretty good mix of both. Ooops! There were a couple repeated quotes. Those were clearly mistakes and that's a bit of a shame since a computer could easily have been employed to prevent that from happening. But maybe that would be too Kraftwerk for this book? Also, this may not have featured some of my favorite bands, but then I would have been holding a 3,000 page book instead. I understand they had to limit the scope somewhere. In all, no complaints and it was a hell of a trip. I also added a number of bands to my "give a listen" list.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rasmenia Massoud

    If you remove all the anecdotes of drug and alcohol abuse, fighting, and things being inserted into groupies who are also often abused and micturated upon, there isn't much left to qualify these 700 pages as a book. It started off interesting enough, but as each new chapter began, it was the same thing all over again. Some guys meet, put a band together, find some success, do stupid things, brag about the stupid things, talk about how they're the "hardest" band and way "more metal" than whoever. If you remove all the anecdotes of drug and alcohol abuse, fighting, and things being inserted into groupies who are also often abused and micturated upon, there isn't much left to qualify these 700 pages as a book. It started off interesting enough, but as each new chapter began, it was the same thing all over again. Some guys meet, put a band together, find some success, do stupid things, brag about the stupid things, talk about how they're the "hardest" band and way "more metal" than whoever. Then someone fights with Dave Mustaine. It's like listening to self-aggrandizing douchebags in high school. Then a new era/chapter starts and some new guys tell the same story. Somewhere around page 400, this gets pretty dull and repetitive. Anyone who doesn't fit that pattern and has their head on straight, like Mike Patton, Tom Morello, or Mike Shinoda get little more than a mention. The authors seems less interested in artists' motivation and stories behind the songwriting and art than they are in salacious page filler and debauchery. Reading this book actually made me dislike people. And not a single mention of Doro Pesch? Get outta here with this nonsense.

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