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Metal Mayhem With Metallica…

May 9, 2012

So, my book is out now and you can buy it on Amazon and all good online book stores as well as Waterstones and HMV et al here in the UK. Hopefully there’ll be some foreign editions out soon(ish) too.

            The impact those first four Metallica albums had on metal cannot be overstated. Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets and …And Justice For All are each metal masterpieces and I wanted to celebrate Metallica’s first decade – and to an extent the American thrash scene –  in my book. It’s obvious that without Diamond Head, Metallica would never have existed or at least sounded the way they did back in the eighties. Even now they still play Diamond Head songs on tour so they’ve never forgotten the influence Brian Tatler, Sean Harris and cohorts had on their sound and style back in the day. And that’s the reason why I asked my friend Brian Tatler to write a foreword to the book.

            Saxon, Blitzkrieg and Maiden were huge influences too but other British bands like Priest and Sabbath and hard rockers Deep Purple also had a massive influence on Metallica. The NWOBHM was more Ulrich’s thing than Hetfield’s and without that short-lived period of metal in the UK, Metallica would have been an entirely different band.

            Sure, the biggest jump in sound and style came with Metallica/The Black Album and I’ve written about that (and all the other albums, including Lulu) as a sort of potted chronology for the postscript but those first four albums are undoubtedly thrash metal while the latter day stuff has more of a commercial mainstream metal bent.

            Seriously…how many fans when talking about Metallica name Load or Re-Load as their favourite albums? The impact those first four albums had on metal cannot be overstated. It really can’t. I rarely put, say, Load or Re-Load, into my CD player (though I do like them) and I never play St. Anger. Ever. Those albums just don’t have the innovative style of the first four opuses. I listen to Metallica a lot though. I think it’s time they brought out a killer live album too. For the record, I really liked Death Magnetic and the recent EP is a stomper as well but let’s not talk about Lulu. I suppose it’s good they got it out of their systems but I’d really love to see these guys going back to super-quick and sharp three to four minute thrash songs rather than the six minute yawn-fests they’ve subjected to us in the past 20 years. I just wonder what they’ll come up with on their next album due in 2013 now that they’ve teamed up with producer Rick Rubin again. Like many fans, I’m waiting for the new album with feelings of excitement but also trepidation and anxiety.

            Personally speaking, I think Lulu has made people appreciate and turn back to the first four albums, which is why I think they need to make their next album as fast and loud as possible and also make the songs shorter just like the old days. It’s no surprise that after Lulu they’ve gone right back into the studio with the aforementioned bearded producer and they’re also doing all this anniversary stuff for the fifth album Metallica. Plus they’ve been celebrating 30 years of the band with shows in San Fran. There’s a lot of activity this year; much of it focussed on past work and nostalgia.

            My book – Metallica – The Early Years And The Rise Of Metal – has been picking up some good reviews. Here are a couple of snippets so far:

 

“The voices of the band are heard via the wealth of existing interview material and the author does a good job of keeping the narrative moving along at an even pace. An entertaining read and a book that can easily be digested in a couple of sessions this is another very well researched effort from Daniels. “

Dean Pedley – Sea Of Tranquility (http://www.seaoftranquility.org)

 

“The Early Years and the Rise of Metal is definitely worth checking out whether you’re a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the Bay Area’s finest or you want to learn more about some of the greatest music ever recorded. Buy it, read it, then force you friends/mum/little brother to read it while you blast out the first four albums whilst flashing the devil horns and head banging like it’s1986.”

Stuart Patterson – Subba Cultcha (http://www.subba-cultcha.com)

 

More reviews to follow. You can also add me on Facebook and LinkedIn and/or follow me on Twitter.

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