I must preface this review by admitting that I am a fan of Metallica and I don’t imagine anyone who isn’t would want to read this biography.
As noted in the title, this is a review on Volume 1, with Volume 2 now also released. Volume 1 covers the conception of the band and its founding members through to the eve of the release of their self titled ‘Black Album’ in 1991, detailing changes in line-up along their journey. The book covers Metallica’s beginnings in LA, to San Francisco, New York and the wider world, and their musical influences including the ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’. A short biography on each band member is included, along with their individual idiosyncrasies, and interesting and humorous anecdotes are peppered throughout.
Whilst some of the many details of concerts and recording can become a little monotonous, along with the quotes of Lars Ulrich in particular, and the volume contains the odd spelling and grammatical errors, this is still a fascinating and enlightening read.
The authors of the biography are both respected music journalists having written for Rolling Stone and Kerrang! magazines, to name a few.
The egos of the band members, along with their music, may not be to everyone’s taste but you can’t discredit Metallica’s longevity and business decisions. I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.
“Metallica are one of the biggest bands of all time. The California quartet have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, won nine Grammy Awards and had five consecutive albums hit number one on the US Billboard chart.
But theirs is a tale about much more than just sales figures and critical acclaim – and their journey from scuzzy Los Angeles garages to the world’s most famous stadiums has been both dramatic and painful.
Birth School Metallica Death is the definitive account of the ‘Led Zeppelin of their generation’. It’s a story about family, community, self-belief and the pursuit of dreams, which unfolds through first-hand interviews with the band and those closest to it.
Piece by piece, Paul Brannigal and Ian Winwood reveal just how Metallica have stayed ahead of the competition for so many years, and in Volume 1 – the first half of this epic story – they detail the band’s rise to international fame right up until the eve of the release of their seminal ‘Black Album’.”