on 4 January 2011
Mick Wall is a good storyteller, and his previous books have always been good for pub yarns, but sometimes let down by too much of his own intrusive personality. I'm not a great Metallica fan but I requested this for Christmas, as I enjoyed Wall's book about Axl Rose. Enter Night is business as usual - There is good detail, thorough digging around in the archives and Wall's own time spent with Metallica is well utilised. It's a ripping good rock story, like Metallica it is very macho, very knockabout and sometimes a bit heavy going. But worth reading. Recommended. And if you love Metallica you will love this.
on 14 November 2010
Extremely well written, detailed and infused with the insight you'd expect from the man who, for the thick end of two decades, was confidant and Father Confessor to rock's royalty and glitterati. King Of The Scribes, Mick Wall, has penned the definitive biography of Metal's biggest band.
While McIver's thoroughly excellent, The Truth About Metallica, was a pugnacious and highly subjective overview of the Metallica story and the myths that shot up around them, Mick, here, draws on the many personal experiences he shared with the band and, supplemented by clearly first-rate researching and a slew of fascinating never-before-seen interviews, has delivered an absorbing and utterly compelling account.
Wince-inducing honesty and his trade-mark stylish turn-of-phrase ("Neon ooze" p86;-)), mean this beautifully wrought and impeccably presented work contains everything you could ever want to know about Hetfield, Ulrich and Co.
Napster, Mustaine, melt-down, crisis and re-invention make for a gripping story and who better than Mick Wall to tell it? By turns, hilarious, moving and jaw-dropping but never anything less than totally compelling, I just hope Mick feels the agonizing days, weeks and months spent in bringing this to fruition have been worth it. For us readers it's been worth every bit of his personal pain ;-)
A must-have for anyone interested in Metallica but also for anyone at all who enjoys and appreciates great writing and, to be honest, this sits alongside the absolutely first rate When giants Walked The Earth as one of the greatest rock biogs ever written.
Absolutely essential and a at ridiculously cheap [...] for over 500 pages, and in hardback, this represents tremendous value for money.
I cannot recommend this enough. Tell Santa you want one. You will not be disappointed.
on 15 March 2013
I've followed and enjoyed Mick Wall throughout his 'rock mag' years, bought his Black Sabbath book, and enjoyed it. Enjoyed this one thoroughly too, particularly the recounting of his 'One on One's' at the start of each chapter. However, the book concentrates so much on the formative years of the band, presumably because Mick had the most access at that point, either due to his own or the bands desires (I'm going with his, based on his opinion of everything after The Black Album (Lulu aside)), that the period from 93-09 (16 years) is dealt with in 113 pages, compared to the 347 pages for the bands first 11 years. Despite that, there is so much depth in the material in the early (and undoubtedly finest) years that should satisfy any 'proper' fan. Interviews and recollections with friends of the band, other Big 4 luminaries, and from Mick himself both are insightful and thought provoking. Characterisation of the massive changes in band members personalities over the years is also a great read. A must-have for fans of the band.
on 6 February 2014
A very good in-depth story about the band... also good that Mick Wall have met the band loads of time, so atleast its not like other books where the writer just guesses and analyse... I would think all metallica fans would love this, his opinions made sense (such as load-reload was bad). I can sense some hate from Wall in this biography, but I guess everyone kinda hates metallica anyway :p how the book is written also makes it very fun to read... So anyways, this biography is very worth it and a must read for a metallica fans, plus it ended with a 'happy ending' with death magnetic :D I hope u guys enjoy it as much as I do
on 16 June 2015
This is the second band biography I have read by Mick Wall, the other being the Sabbath one, and the style is very similar, as you'd expect - very detailed and very well written.
He spends a LOT of time on the first 10 years or so and a lot less - understandably - on the subsequent years. The detail and description of the bus crash that killed Cliff is very impressive. I also didn't know the bands 'drummer' plans just before Cliff died. Shock. You do wonder what could have been! You'll see what I mean.
I suppose it's inevitable that there are a few errors in there, but the main thing I am not keen on in Mick's biographies is the mixture of fact and opinion. He spends a lot of time 'reviewing' each album and, whilst I agree with a lot of what he writes, I disagree with a lot too. As these opinions are interspersed with fact, they come across as fact too - which they are clearly not. For example, 'Leper Messiah' is apparently held up as a classic. Really? Really?? The other thing that p*sses me off a bit - and this IS opinion - is the regular deference to Kirk Hammett. Having played myself for over 30 years, my own view is that he is the most overrated player in Metal by far. He erroneously refers to Kirk's 'exemplary' playing on e.g. the 'Fade to Black' chorus or 'And Justice for All'. Anyone who knows anything about Metallica knows that James plays all the guitars on the first 5 albums apart from the solos. So don't give Kirk credit for James' work and I'm surprised he doesn't know better.
That aside, if you're a fan, you should read this.
on 27 January 2015
Like other Mick Wall books, this is a great read, clearly very well research - the author was there in person for many key periods in the band's development - packed with detail and rolls along at a nice pace. I have read a couple of books on Metallica, and I would say this is by far the best, particularly if you are interested in the early days.
However, things are not so great when you get to the chapters on the bands more recent history... Metallica is such a written-about band that I would liken it to political science writing - you have to have your theory and expand upon it. Wall seems to take the view that the Cliff Burton years produced the best material, so this is the premise he will hang his hat on.
That's fair in the sense that this is the era that Metallica still draws most heavily on for its live shows. It is also understandable, as this was the period when Wall seems to have had most frequent and intimate access to the band himself. But it also means the rest of the bands career is given fairly short-shrift. Even the career-changing 'Black album' is glossed-over a little compared to insights into previous albums, and the last 10 years seem almost non-existent as far as the author is concerned. For example, the 'new' bass player Rob Trujillo has been in the band for 10+ years, but there must be less than 3 quotes from him, and the only insight Wall seems to bring is that he's a nice, laid-back guy.
All in all it is not a bad book, and it does a reasonable job of covering the band's full career. However, I would still say it is much more a history of Metallica in the 1980s than anything else.
Still very much worth a read for anyone interested in Metallica. I haven't found anything better out there.
on 7 March 2011
Until the band write their own story, nobody is going to better Mick Wall's page-turner of a book. He presents his own opinion and no doubt, the band and those around them would disagree with many of his judgements. (I do - this is a guy who praises 'Load' but slams 'Death Magnetic.' Come again, mate?) But nobody can deny the incredibly atmospheric, meticulously researched nature of this door-stopper that I raced through in a few hours, unable to put down. It really is spectacularly good. The most enjoyable part of this is the unique, birds-eye aspect of the record business side of this legendary band's incredible success. How many Metallica books go into detail about Music for Nations, for example? And how well the twelve-inch pressings of 'Creeping Death' sold in as many vinyl colours as Martin Hooker could scamble up to put out there? I particularly enjoyed Wall's summary of the enduring partnership between Metallica and their managers. Unlike other books, this is not just a rehash of published articles. Wall's writing style fits rock like a leather jacket, and reminds me of how much I enjoyed his articles back when he was one of Kerrang!s star writers. He interweaves the account of the band with a touching portrait of his own life, not sparing himself from his critical judgments either... his sulkiness, his own ego, his boozing, his passion for music. Wall is a memorable writer, a great researcher, and more importantly, he was there. Even if you hate heavy metal, if you have the slightest interest in music in general, in the music business, or in a tremendous account of growing up in the spotlight, this is the book for you. I've read a bunch of pop music books and this one of the best I have ever encountered.
on 14 May 2015
I just finished this last night and I don't necessarily agree with the opinions of Mick but setting that aside this is a great book, firstly Mick doesn't blow too much smoke up Mets asses and keeps his opinions real, which is to be admired at the risk of invoking the Hetfield rage (touched on a few times in the book), even though his opinion of Justice and Death doesn't seem right considering the positive feel he directs at Load, but this book is well written, informative and in general correct with the fans feelings of Metallica from the 80s up until the present.
The early years stuff in light reading, the Cliff stuff is pretty heavy going, Load era is cringy and then there is the feel good factor towards the end where we get the old Metallica back with DM, the only down side is the book confirms Metallica don't view themselves as full on recording artist anymore....downer
on 15 April 2013
Mick absolutely gets Metallica and if like me you have followed them since 1983, you will want to relive your youth and revisit the glory days when Metallica set the scene alight. The best band on the planet, with a very complementary book to their solid routes. Excellent.
on 7 January 2014
The book is brilliant if you want to know about Metallica up to and including "Justice", after that it gets a bit sketchy due to the gaps of the band themselves, but also because of MW not being in touch as much as he was in the 80's.
1/Vandenberg are Dutch, not Swedish
2/ Aardschok fest was an indoor fest not outdoor.
The let down and costing one star are the pix, the cover is fab. The shot of Jason is fab, but Ross Halfin has a much better catalogue of them available than what has been used inside the book, I mean a blurry shot of Lars from behind his drum kit? Come on. Some of the other pix look like snaps and again could be replaced by much better available material.
Nevertheless this book is worth every penny, well done Mick!