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Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal Hardcover – 20 May 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1 edition (20 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006195828X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061958281
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


“Whether you’re the sort of man who knows everything from who first threw the Devil Horns to the correct pronunciation of Yngwie Malmsteen, there is something fascinating to learn from Louder Than Hell . . . Shed[s] new light on the making of Satan’s Music.” (Esquire)

“Presents the collective memory of heavy metal through the ages and eras in the voices of the men who lived it . . . It’s an aficionado’s delight.” (New York Daily News)

Louder than Hell is a love letter to the misunderstood genre of heavy metal music, written by trusted companions who had a front row seat on the devil’s rollercoaster. The definitive chronological testimony by the people who were there, including some who are no longer with us.” (Mark McGrath, Sugar Ray and co-host Extra)

“A great read and an instant classic.” (The Onion's A.V. Club)

“This is the best oral history I’ve read since Please Kill Me. Louder than Hell is the first book that really delivers the brutal truth from the mouths of the artists and key players themselves! I couldn’t put it down.” (Matt Pinfield)

“Two devil horns up!” (USA Today)

A compelling, first-person account of a seemingly unstoppable force . . .the book reads like an extended, uncensored, shockingly satisfying episode of VH1’s Behind the Music. (Washington Post)

“An amazingly comprehensive book on all eras and genres of hard rock and heavy metal. The stories and attention to detail make it an instant must for anyone who ever was or is a fan.” (Eddie Trunk, DJ and host of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic)

Often hilarious, occasionally, ‘God, I wish I hadn’t read that!’, sometimes profound, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes infuriating . . . no one holds back on any subject. . . you come away from this book with a crystal-clear vision of this world (The Huffington Post)

“The authors inclusiveness give this examination a weight that is just as heavy as the music.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A who’s who of heavy music . . . What makes Louder Than Hell un-put-down-able are the stories . . . Essential.” (Revolver (4 stars))

“No one’s gone quite as deep into the genre’s recesses as this 746-page oral history, which covers everything from the birth of Black Sabbath to Dave Mustaine’s departure from Metallica to the disaster that was Woodstock ‘99.” (Rolling Stone, four stars)

“Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman know metal. Louder Than Hell is an amazing gathering of different breeds of heavy metal rockers telling the tales metal fans want to hear.” (Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine)

“If you love metal, great stories, and music history told by the people who made it, then Louder than Hell is a must-read. This is the book every metal fan should own. (Alice Cooper)

Louder Than Hell comes straight from the twisted minds of rock icons and flows seamlessly through various eras of heavy metal. . .I really dig this book.” (Riki Rachtman)

“I’ve said thousands of times that reading ‘totally sucks.’ But this book does indeed not suck. Books on the history of even something as cool as metal can be a bit antiseptic and boring-not this one.” (Brendon Small, Dethklok)

“Who likes rock n roll here?? Well if you do, this is the book for you! . . . This is the definitive chronicle of all that is heavy metal and I’ve read them all!” (Chris Jericho, Fozzy)

“As definitive as it gets, bonding historical anecdotes to pieces of debauched mythology from the scene’s platinum superstars and fringe icons . . . as indispensable as a skull-adorned leather jacket.” (Entertainment Weekly, A-)

From the Back Cover

From Sabbath to Slipknot, Louder Than Hell is the definitive oral history of heavy metal, straight from the mouths of those who defined it. The book was crafted from more than four hundred interviews conducted over the past twenty-five years by music journalists Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman. They have unearthed never-before-heard stories, eye-opening admissions, and the truth behind some of metal’s wildest moments, such as the industrial accident that forever changed the sound of Black Sabbath, the experiences that got Dave Mustaine booted from Metallica, and the bloodletting rituals of death metal bands Morbid Angel and Deicide. Louder Than Hell is packed with raw and unflinching commentary from icons of metal from its inception in the late 1960s to the current day, including Ozzy Osbourne, Bruce Dickinson, Eddie Van Halen, Tommy Lee, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kerry King, Vince Neil, Axl Rose, Jonathan Davis, Corey Taylor, Pete Steele, Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Dimebag Darrell, and hundreds of others.

From groundbreaking innovations such as the dawn of distortion and the birth of cookie monster vocals to amazing tales of destruction and wild sexual escapades, Louder Than Hell has it all, like the evolution of Judas Priest’s seminal powerchord sound and patented leather-and-studs look; the provocative exploits of the Sunset Strip scene; and the truth behind the Norwegian church burnings and murders that became synonymous with black metal. Discover how Faith No More accidentally created rap-metal and who invented the “devil horns”—and how most people do it wrong.

Louder Than Hell is the definitive look behind the curtain at one of our most dynamic and enduring musical genres. To paraphrase Spinal Tap, how much more metal can you get? None, none more metal.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By stuart gardner on 5 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an extremely comprehensive oral history of Heavy Metal, from the numerous contenders for the origin of the term heavy metal to the present day splintering into many subgenres. For me the first few chapters were the most interesting, covering the rise of Black Sabbath and their contempories, followed by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. the focus then switches across to America as we witness the development of the power metal bands and the rise of Thrash. All the major players are quoted (archive interviews provide quotes from the all too many metal musicians who are no longer with us). Particularly eye opening is a fascinating insight into the notorious Norwegian Black Metal scene. The quotes chosen do a very good job of undercutting that scene's "malevolence" and it seems clear that the damage and death associated with this scene in the early nineties boils down to the squabbling of silly men who ought to have known better. The later chapters covering bands such as Pantera, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot were less interesting to me as I know little of their music (and the interviews didn't encourage me to investigate further). As any discerning metal fan will be well aware there are a number of people prominently associated with genre who are, to put it politely, idiots and unfortunately things can get a bit wearing reading of their repetitive juvenile exploits. Nonetheless this is an excellent book, a comprehensive achievement and any metal fan will find much to enjoy here
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Young on 5 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read. Insightful and entertaining in equal measure, with enough contradictions for the assembled cast to truly feel that you are getting the stories from the horses mouths. Well worth the price of entry and none more metal. \m/ >< \m/
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mj Bickle on 28 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being a massive heavy metal fan I was excited to see a 700+ paged book of its history come out. The story is told by the musicians themselves which makes it a lot more insightful than a general biography. Most of the major players such as Tony Iommi, Rob Halford, Kerry King, Phil Anselmo, Robb Flynn, Adam Dutkiewicz and Jamey Jasta talk at length about their experiences so it's not just a mediocre cobbled together effort. I learnt a lot about some of the bands and the development of metal music over the years. It's also full of drug and sex stories which are an eye opener, in fact they are the most explicit I've read since Motley Crue-The Dirt! A few things annoyed me though...there was absolutely no mention of the whole neoclassical and folk metal genres (bands like Children of Bodom, Kalmah and Ensiferum are in a different league to some of the tosh in here!) and considering this is a 2013 release it was very vast on up and coming bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, August Burns Red and Asking Alexandria. But to be fair a proper history on this subject would take thousands of pages to write so there are bound to be bits missing. What Louder Than Hell does include is really interesting but Wiederhorn and Turman definitely played it safe in my opinion, information on a few more obscurer acts would certainly have benefited and complimented this book.
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