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on 16 March 2012
This book is very close to being utterly hopeless. It is perhaps the sloppiest piece of music 'writing' I've encountered. There are a vast number of mistakes and typos, band names that are spelled in three different ways in the course of a short paragraph, misunderstandings, etc. The writer comes across as someone who only knows slightly more about black metal than, say, Rick Santorum. We learn that Impaled Nazarene "have created a . . . niche for themselves in the Death Metal scene" - excuse me, isn't this book called BLACK metal? Impaled Nazarene IS a black metal band, by the way, so why call the Death Metal? But what about Hypocrisy? They're nowhere near black metal, and neither are Dark Tranquillity. Including a band like Lamb of God in a book on black metal is so laughably stupid that it makes you think that the writer really has no clue. There are incredibly many mistakes of this kind, and when you add spelling mistakes, typos, sentences in which half the words seem to have been left out, you're left with a publication of no real value, except for people who hate metal and want to feel righteously shocked by the blasphemous band names. Avoid this unedited pile of dung.
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This book features a huge amount of recent and classic Black Metal Bands from all around the globe. There is a summarised commment about each band that appears in the book and the facts are stated clearly under bands album releases and band member history from such legends as Emperor, Mayhem, Marduk, Immortal and Gorgoroth to Nokturnal Mortum, Akercocke and Abominator. Although some bands in the book are cross over bands, which could be placed between a couple of extreme metal categories and I did pick out one or two mistakes with the some band's information. Overall the book is a good read and a fantastic reference source, including a few amazing live band snapshots highlighting the tradtional corpse make up!! Black Metal fans everywhere will enjoy this book but most true metallers will know the information in the book already.
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on 12 November 2002
Anyone trying to find a reference for Death Metal would have been sorely dissapointed for the last ten years or so. Amazingly, for a scene so strong there never has been a decent book on the subject until now. This book pretty much follows the previous 'Black Metal' format with masses of simply laid out information.
The great thing is that you can discover new bands you never knew about at the turn of every page. All the big names have very comprehensive biographies that go into a lot of detail, some over many pages. I like the way other related bands are referenced too.
The writing style is very factual and historically accurate. From the foreward you realise this is no cash in and that the guy actually knows what he is talking about. Sharpe-Young adds the odd quip (hard not to with some of these band names!) but does not get opinionated which is a good thing. Basically you get the facts with this book - and lots of them.
Each band has a discography which includes just about every fact you need, year of release, song titles, labels, etc. They are very easy to follow.
Some more photographs might have been good but the ones used are cool.
This book makes you realise that Death Metal is just getting bigger around the world. Most of the records included here are new ones even though all the pioneering bands are covered too such as Morbid Angel, Napalm Death (the best history I have read on that band), Carcass, Incantation, etc, etc. I kept finding unknown bands with loads of album releases. A great reference for finding stuff on the net too.
This book is excellent and I hope it is updated soon (with more photos).
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on 7 November 2007
Having listened to the CD that is the companion to the book. I can safely say the other reviews aren't even about the right book! There is nothing Death Metal about it at all.

The CD is simply bizarre, and will appeal to anyone with a wacked-out sense of music.
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on 18 October 2001
Death/Black Metal is dead and took this book along with it. Pointless, as anyone with any interest in the subject would already have their own avenue for finding their "favorite" act. This is a book for losers.. (it's) a pointless, useless reference book, in a subject so painfully boring. So ABYSSIMIC PULSATING BILE guitarist Slinko Balditch once wrote lyrics for GYRATING VOMITUS. Oh really? Gee, i just cant imagine how I managed to live without knowing that. Bottom line? If it smells like garbage and looks like garbage, then it's garbage. Poorly written and poorly presented, I give it a big fat 0.
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