As a fan of extreme music in all genres, I had an inclination to like this book. Ending it in 2001 obviously opens the door to a volume two. I think the first one should have been a little more inclusive of the originators.
Beginning with Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell was a good start, and following it with Diamond Head and Celtic Frost made a lot of sense. But the prerequisite of interviewing every band member for inclusion is ludicrous.
A dead band-mate means your record will never qualify? That apparently is the story. Two quick examples: Master Of Puppets by Metallica, and Cowboys From Hell by Pantera. It wasn’t even drugs that killed these guys, and those are two of the most influential “extreme” (at least at the time) records I know of.
I understand that the conceit here is to interview every member of the band, and on that level Precious Metal works very well. My problem is with the missed opportunity of putting a true Top 25 of this music together. Nobody else is going to write it.
Precious Metal does one hell of a job with the self-imposed artificial restraints of the editors. As a fan, I would like to see them step out a bit further, and include records made by guys who are now dead.
Celebrating murderers who escaped the death penalty, and ignoring Cliff Burton and Dimebag Darrell makes no sense at all. Precious Metal is a great book on its own terms. As a definitive statement on the genre though, I find it sorely lacking.