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Book Review: Metal – The Definitive Guide by Garry Sharpe-Young

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Every bit as hard as the music it represents, Metal: The Definitive Guide: Heavy * Thrash * Death * Black * Gothic * Doom * Power * Progressive by Garry Sharpe-Young rocks!

Both a history book and a reference guide, this book chronicles metal from its creation, beginning with Black Sabbath and ending with the often scary European black metal. Confronting the argument of metal finding its roots in the blues, Sharpe-Young clearly shows how the founding fathers of metal took the horse by the reigns, strapped a demon powered engine to its ass, and blazed a trail of hellfire through the music industry.

Metal enthusiast will find information of every band that they can think of and more. Documenting the formation of power houses like, Iron Maiden, Slayer, and Megadeth the author has done his research about every possible metal band that burst onto the scene. He also took the time to classify them into the many different categories of the popular genre.

Each style of metal starts with an introduction on the history of that style. It documents the most influential bands and includes some that were lesser known. Sharpe-Young even goes as far as breaking the European metal down by country. Included in each band profile is a complete discography and excellent pictures both live and press kit shots.

Some readers may question way some bands are in the book and some are left out. I for one would not classify Scorpions as metal. I would, on the other hand, say that AC/DC is metal. According to Sharpe-Young though, he talked to AC/DC and they declared that they are not metal. Guess I was wrong.

Newcomers to the metal scene will find this book an invaluable resource. It will allow them to be better informed while standing at the record store and talking about metal with the old hardcore vets. By reading this book, they might even tell the old guys a thing or two about the music that they love so well. Like, how many people have been a part of Suicidal Tendencies and why did the scheduled 2005 tour get canceled? (Muir had serious health issues.)

Whether you are an old mosh pit vet or are new to the genre, this book deserves to be in your collection. Be it on your book shelf, in your back pack or resting next to your stash box on the living room table, you owe it to yourself to buy this book.

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