Jon Widerhorn and Katharine Turman
A review copy showed up last Tuesday. Within 24 hours, I read most of its 700-plus pages - despite being ambivalent about most metal and being convinced that metal in all its forms is at a point of complete stagnation. Why did I read it? Because this is one brain-exploding, anecdote-stuffed, musically enlightening, King-Hell carnival ride of a book. The structure is roughly chronological and broken down by sub-genres from early proto-metal and the New Wave of British Metal through glam, industrial and thrash and nu metal, to black and death metal and all the way up to the late 2012 death of Slipknot's Paul Gray. An amazing array of musicians and industry insiders contributed - each with a distinctive voice and take on the whole history. I don't care if your idea of music is Kenny G, you'll find this irresistible.
- RICK KOSTER