on 5 November 2013
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
on 28 September 2013
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.