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Murder in the Front Row: Shots from the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter Hardcover – January 24, 2012

31 customer reviews

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Murder in the Front Row: Shots from the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter + Slayer 66 2/3: The Jeff & Dave Years. A Metal Band Biography.: Including the Thrash Kings' Early Days, the Palladium Riot, the Seat Cushion Chaos ... Mosh Memorial, and More Scenes From the Abyss + I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy from Anthrax
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Top 15 Books of 2011, Guitar World

The Most Metal Books of 2011, Revolver

Book of the Year, 20 Buck Spin

“Awesome” —Robb Flynn, Machine Head

“Awesome” —Brian Slagel, Metal Blade Records

"Awesome"—Phil Demmel, Machine Head

“F------ awesome” —Kerry King, Slayer

“Great” —Lars Ulrich, Metallica

"Great book!"—Jean-Yves "Blacky" Thériault, Voivod

“AMAZING” —Alex Skolnick, Testament

“Thank you for writing this book! It’s the definitive story of the scene and what we managed to make of it here in the Bay Area.” —Kirk Hammett, Metallica

“Murder in the Front Row captures the true essence of thrash metal in its embryonic stage. These photographs take me on a tour down memory lane, bringing back many laughs and prompting comments like: ‘I don’t remember that!’” —Dave Lombardo, Slayer

"I strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in the early days of California thrash metal. It's great looking at pictures of myself with that poodle perm I had in 1982!"—Ron McGovney, Metallica

"Serious Pulitzer material."—Creative Loafing

"By far, the greatest photo book on any music scene I've ever seen. The bands themselves couldn't have put out a more exhaustive and detailed account of the period."—The Huffington Post [CA]

“A photographic odyssey through the inception of Bay Area thrash” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Gorgeous” —SF Weekly

“A collection of stunning, intimate photographs from the infancy of thrash metal.” —SF Bay Guardian

“Vivid images of thrash bands onstage, backstage, at drinking binges and essentially everywhere else” —Metro Silicon Valley

“The authentic, heads-down attack of a raft of seminal bands is superbly captured”—PopMattters

"This is a gift from the metal gods themselves... you need this book in your life right now."—Terrorizer [5/5 review]

"Gaze ye into Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew's tome of the Bay Area's thrash breeding grounds and you might never wake up. It's mostly early Slayer and Metallica gunning, but it still feels like a window onto Asgard."—Metal Hammer

"Probably the best photographs of thrash metal's mythic birthing that have ever existed. You should do yourself a favor and pick up Murder In the Front Row immediately."—Noisey

"Perhaps the final word on thrash metal’s humble beginnings... a true joy"—The Montreal Mirror

"Pure gold for metal fans" —Decibel Magazine

"A thick, beautiful book that captures a special moment in time"—A.P.

"KILLER photos… [a] must read book."—AOL Noisecreep

"Granted, much of what’s being shown is beer bottles, sneers and middle fingers, but it sure does tell a story."—The Maine Edge

“Enormous historic intensity on every page…every image in Murder in the Front Row hits you like brass knuckles.” —Sweden Rock [10/10 review]

"Awesome... I give this book my highest rating."—MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL

“Harald O., the craziest photographer of all” —BAM

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bazillion Points (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935950037
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935950035
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9.2 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By T. Healy on January 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Speaking from first hand experience, I was there during the time this book covers, it sends chills down my spine to relive the memories and hear the first hand accounts from the main players and band members who took part in the evolution of thrash.

The quality is incredible, the book itself is a work of art and the photos are mostly all high res from a time where that term did not exist.

If you want to see Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, Possessed, Megadeth and more as they were in the early days where they grew their roots and established themselves, buy this book.

You will keep it out and show it to all your friends.

Metal up your ass !!!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rico on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The time capsule from the early to mid-1980's underground Bay Area Thrash Metal scene has finally been excavated for the whole world to see.....man was it worth the wait! Harald Oimoen & Brian Lew have finally and properly unleashed 272 pages of pure metal debauchery during its finest hours. The majority of the pictures span the years 1982 through 1985. The shots depict the loyal and aggressive Bay Area underground scene with drunken, violent, and devilish behavior, meanwhile raging to their local heroes Exodus & Metallica, while Slayer and Megadeth making it their second home. The majority of pictures I have seen before and was well aware of who snapped them, but for people who haven't seen most of them, it's great that Harald O & Brian Lew FINALLY get their due! Plus, the pictures have really come to life in this great photo spread! Bazillion Points did an outstanding job with the layout and overall clarity of the pictures. As I sat totally engrossed in this book when it arrived at my front door, I wondered "What if these two guys never took these pictures?" All of these shots were basically "inner circle" pictures.....friends taking pictures of friends. A whole time period would be just erased and would have been.....well just stories! It's interesting to note, almost all the shots in this book do not contain the now mainstream & grossly over used "devil horn" sign, which was a breath of fresh air! I could really go on and on about the pictures in the book, but what's the point. BUY THIS BOOK......It's a "Lesson in Violence!"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By skatebanger on August 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
AHH, the good ol' days! I was a sophmore in high school in 1983 when a hand full of nightclubs in Berkley and San Francisco started doing all ages shows. EXODUS SLAYER DEATH ANGEL POSSESED at The Mab for $6??? For the next few years the Bay Area had the best underground Metal(and Punk) scene in America, if not the world! Early in their careers,Slayer and Megadeth played up here so often they might as well have been local bands. There wasn't any real security at the clubs in those days so the shows were WILD! If the crowd wasn't thrashing hard enogh, Paul Bayloff would insult them by saying stuff like,"My grandmother thrashes harder than you and she's DEAD!" This book captures that period more than any other product I can think of. If you were there this book is a MUST! If weren't but you loved those bands,it's by far the best document of the Bay Area Metal scene at it's peak! Grab a six pack, crank up Bonded By Blood and let this book take you back to when it all started! Cheers to Harold O and Brian Lew for FINALLY making this book. "Bang that head that does not bang!"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By natas44 on January 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are into Thrash Metal whatsoever and especially if you lived in the Bay area you need to get this book.

I came into this scene about Half way through its peak cuz of my age and it brought back a lot of memories as well as some thing I didnt know about.

All the books from Bazillion points are so well crafted, huge heavy books well worth 5 times what you pay for on Amazon!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronald McGovney on April 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I know Brian and Harald and I strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in the early days of California thrash metal. The photos bring back memories that may have been lost in my aging mind. Thanks for the photos guys! It's great looking at pictures of myself with that poodle perm I had in 1982!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Harris on March 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An amazing collection of photos from a legendary time in Bay Area (and ultimately global) thrash metal history. More great shots than you can imagine and a stellar account of the origins of so many legendary bands. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Testament, Possessed, Forbidden, Death Angel. You really get to see how the lines between fans and bands ceased to exist and it was all about the music and the cause. It's a great thing that these pictures have been unleashed after so many years. From what I understand, there are more shots where these came from so I can only hope the next volume is as epic as this one. Adding to the greatness of this book are the first-hand accounts and stories from Harald, Brian, Ron Quintana, Gary Holt of Exodus, Alex Skolnick of Testament and Robb Flynn of Machinehead. Can't say enough great things about this book.

Well done. "bang the head that doesn't bang". I give this book two fists!

\m/ (-_-) \m/
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By icecelt on January 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's a book mostly of pictures, which works better in many ways to convey how the trash metal scene started - the feel of that time, the elements that led to that style of music (lifestyle, surroundings, venues, etc.), everything to make you feel nearly as if you'd been there.

Also a lot of fun to see so many candid pictures of people like James Hetfield, Gary Holt, Tom Araya, Cliff Burton, etc. etc. etc. (MANY etceteras - LOTS of people in this book from Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, Death Angel, Testament, Suicidal Tendencies, and more!) in their younger years.. the early thrash pioneers are all documented here in terrific photo quality. You get venue photos, photos from backyard parties, crowd shots, everything to transport you back in time.

Along with that, you get some great and sometimes funny words from both authors (Brian Lew and Harald Oimoen), plus Ron Quintana, Gary Holt, Alex Skolnick, and Robb Flynn. Not too many words though - extensive biographies of many of the top thrash bands are already out there - this is different, and a treasure for anyone who enjoys music history - especially the REAL history of thrash metal from the people who were there as it was born.
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