Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Review: Sound Of The Beast

Sound Of The Beast
The Complete Headbanging History Of Heavy Metal

Ian Christe


It Books

I don't know whether this is meant as an introductory guide for fucking poseurs who don't really know too much about Heavy Metal, or a sort of triumphant reinforcement of what years of dedicated studying the genre have already (mostly) told me, but either way it was an enjoyable read. I must admit I admire the author for even attempting to thread the entire course of Metal history into one tapestry, and he does a fairly good job. The most important things you need to know about this book, if you're thinking of reading it are:

-Black Sabbath is declared without hesitation (correctly) to be the genesis of heavy metal. Their career is revisited and re analyzed throughout the narrative. Judas Priest follows shortly after, (correctly) recognized as metal's biggest innovators, losing the blues, and boosting the tempos, guitar wankery, and complex arrangements that we have associated with modern heavy metal for years.

-As soon as Metallica hits the scene, everything in the book suddenly relates to them. While Christe (correctly) gives them the recognition they deserve for changing the face of Metal in the 80's he remains (insanely) apologetic for everything they do afterward!

-The author is also an apologist for all Heavy Metal in general, graciously forgiving of such abominable twists and turns such as nu metal, rap metal and techno metal. In his mind, Metal as an entity can do no wrong.

-Punk is merely a footnote, brushed off as a genre that quickly loses it's momentum and social relevance.

Perhaps history books shouldn't be written about lifestyles, or at least not until they actually ARE ancient history. Perhaps people like me should not try to read them.

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