Neil Daniels - 'Metallica - The Early Years And The Rise Of Metal' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 25, 2012    
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Not many books have the power to make me go shopping.

Published by: Independent Music Press

Once the dust had settled on Metallica’s mammoth selling 1991 self titled release (‘The Black Album’), my interest in the band that undoubtedly pioneered taking ‘Metal’ to the masses, basically ended. Yes ‘Death Magnetic’ was a decent attempt to recapture former glories, but in truth Metallica to me will always be about their first three or four albums. Therefore this new book from Firework Magzine's & Rocktopia's very own Neil Daniels is right up my street, focusing on how Lars Ulrich came to form the band, before going on to cover the events surrounding the recording and release of ‘Kill Em All’, ‘Ride The Lightning’, ‘Master Of Puppets’ and ‘...And Justice For All’. 

Unusually this book is satisfied with discussing the music itself and how it was created rather than the politics, or indeed day to day happenings of Lars, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Cliff Burton, and then Jason Newsted. Something ably achieved through interviews, both new and archive, with the five main protagonists, those close to the band and others who were part of the Bay Area scene of which Metallica were such an integral part. A nice easy read, this effort isn’t really intended to rival some of the weightier tomes that have already been published on Metallica, making for a fun and interesting companion to the first four albums - although those who class themselves as aficionados on the band will find little new to mull over. That said, following Lars’ journey from over enthusiastic metal-head to drummer in a world dominating band is heart warming, heart breaking and damn good fun, even if Daniels does sometimes labour over points and repeat himself just once too often.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Each chapter is fully dedicated to an album and opens with a quote from one of the members of the band - something I began to look forward to - going on to cover the circumstances in which the songs were written, recorded and released, before quoting reviews of the time and then bringing things up to date with more recent thoughts on how the albums fare through hindsight. However what does come across is just how hard working, dedicated and determined Metallica were to make it. The extent of how well they succeeded being briefly covered in a later chapter that covers events from 1990 until the present day.

While the potted histories, which close the book, of other bands who to a greater, or lesser extent made an impact on the US metal scene feel a little tacked on to the main topic of discussion, the real strength of ‘The Early Years...’ is the passion and conviction with which it tackles Metallica’s initial development. So much so that I listened to the first three albums as I read the opening chapters, although an even bigger compliment coming from the fact that I was inspired to purchase ‘...And Justice’, so I could revisit it for the first time in sixteen years. Not many books have the power to make me go shopping!

Steven Reid

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