|» Book review||
Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal
The start of Heavy Metal's evolution begins with Black Sabbath in the book and from there it carries on with over thirty years of metal history. How the world came to know the term New Wave Of British Heavy Metal on to Thrash, Death, Hardcore, etc. and when metal became underground as it started with the success of Grunge. And it goes further on until it reaches present day and where metal is now when the Nu-metal scene has surfaced. But one genre that I feel that is missed out in its entirely is the one with progressive music. With an early band like Rush and later with Dream Theater why isn't the likes of those represented. I believe that bands like these and many others of course has played a big part in the development of certain branches in the Heavy Metal tree. And it is a too big part of metal to be left out.
One band that shows up more than any other is Metallica, and that is one and about the only thing I have against this book. Metallica shows up more or less everywhere. Ok, I know that they has played a big part in the metal scene, but has they really played that big part as you get feeling of here? There has to be more bands to draw references to then to have Metallica as a read thread running through the entire book. It sometimes feels like they are in the centre of the metal universe and every other band is revolving around this band.
The focus seems to be coming from an American point of view. Other parts of the world is represented like with NWOBHM and with a chapter of Norwegian Black Metal complete with church burning and all. As well as how metal spread throughout the world to Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. But in the end it feels like the history is seen through the eyes of an American, not meaning that is bad in anyway, just that is something you notice while reading.
The book is filled with lots of fun stuff to read along with comments from many of the musicians in the business. And it is also fun to read the story about PMRC, those who wanted to censor music and also those responsible for that there are those little Parental Warning, Explicit Lyrics stickers on some of the records you buy today.
The Sound Of The Beast is a great way to get a good overall
look on the metal scene and its development. It scratches almost the
entire surface but it doesn't get too far deep in any of the many genres
represented in the book. You get all of the basics you need to know
about a genre: how it started, which bands that set the standards and
who those were that followed. But you don't get to know every band existing,
but then the book would have been endlessly long.