x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Book review: A reference work for diehard, almost-deaf metalheads

Through collections of conversations and hundreds of interviews, the authors delve deep into heavy metal, from its much-disputed beginnings and surprising influences

It's a history book longer than most you'll find in any high school. In Louder Than Hell, Joe Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman have documented the heavy metal genre like no one before. Through collections of conversations and hundreds of interviews presented somewhat chronologically by subgenre, the authors delve deep into heavy metal, from its much-disputed beginnings and surprising influences, through to today's bands made up of performers who grew up with the genre.

While its size alone (736 pages) is as big as a KISS stage show, the book can be easily digested in satisfying bites of conversation from musicians, producers, managers and journalists. The back stories of songs, infamous concerts and band relationships, some never before heard, leave you both understanding better and wanting to know more.

Louder Than Hell is sure to be referenced for years to come by long time fans and newcomers, too. As Scott Ian of Anthrax puts it: "That's what makes metal special - no matter how old you get, you never outgrow it."

* Ellen Fortini