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Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces Paperback


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Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces + Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore + Swedish Death Metal
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Original edition (July 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030681806X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306818066
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Booklist, 7/1/09
“Skimming the cream of ‘extreme’ metal--death metal, black metal, thrash metal, and such—is a grisly task, but the gang at Decibel Magazine is on top of it. Their picks are landmarks of their kind, and each is presented here with accompanying interviews of all band personnel involved…What’s here is all dark, all bombastic, all great music.”

Record Collector, August 2009
“The choice of inclusion of albums by Botch, Converge, Down and The Dillinger Escape Plan indicate the breadth of tastes which underpins the book.”

Austin Chronicle, 7/17/09
“[Precious Metal’s] impressive scope covers every facet of the genre…The roundtable, oral-history approach leads to interesting contradictions and revelations.”

Blogcritics.org, 7/21/09
“The bookends are Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell to Converge’s Jane Doe. And there are some worthy stories in between…Precious Metal is a great book on its own terms.”

New York Post’s “Required Reading” column, 7/26/09

“How can you not like a book which quotes someone saying, ‘I guess I was never a real Satanist—it was just a pose.’…Editor Mudrian gives us a behind-the-scenes peak at 25 ‘extreme metal masterpeices.’”

Bookgasm.com, 7/30/09
“The book does exactly what it sets out to do, telling chapter-long ‘making of’ tales of more than two dozen albums…The Q&A format keeps the engine chugging…This is one for those guys who sat in the back of my bus in junior high school. Those guys who stepped on every morning with their sleeveless Iron Maiden T-shirts and glassy-eyed, vacant stares. This is for them, provided they read, provided they’re still alive.”

Examiner.com, 7/31/09
“Throughout the book, fans can revisit those genre-defining nuggets.”

MSN Music, Headbang blog, 8/3/09
“One of the best books ever written about metal…Whether you're a fan of the bands interviewed or not, it's a great read…Each chapter is a quick read, but packed with backstage trivia and weird stories from the studio and the road. Almost any metal fan will enjoy this, and return to it again and again. Highly recommended—by all means check it out.”

USAToday.com, Pop Candy blog, 8/3/09
“It's accessible to all types fans, and the interviews are intelligent but fun and not hyper-nerdy.”

InfoDad.com, 8/6/09
“Fans of both the music and the magazine will find Precious Metal golden.”

Los Angeles Times Jacket Copy blog, 8/25/09
“Detailed history lessons on 25 of extreme metal’s greatest albums. The book is as heavy as its subject matter—365 pages!—and bulges with interviews with every member of every band, as well as producers, cover artists and bit players. Most important to metal dorks are maddening amounts of trivia and minutiae.”

Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/11/09
“Offers a behind-the-scenes look into the making of some landmark albums…Precious Metal maintains the appeal of the original ‘Hall of Fame’ column, uncovering history while dispelling some of the mysticism surrounding metal music's pioneers.”

PopMatters.com Re:Print books blog, 8/12/09
“A gripping look at just how these extreme metal albums were recorded…The veteran metal journalists responsible for these stories know their stuff. Their questions elicit insights that will entertain both the dedicated metal fan and curious music reader…This book is like getting a master’s degree in metal and a few credits toward your doctorate.”

Cleveland Scene, 8/12/09
“An-depth look at some of the most brutal records ever made.”

A.V. Club, “Metal Box” blog, 8/12/09
“When it scores, it scores big. The sections on Slayer’s Reign In Blood, Meshuggah’s Destroy Erase Improve, and Napalm Death’s Scum are just like being there, and since there’s never going to be a VH1 Behind The Music special about these degenerates, this book is as close as you’re going to come.”

In Utah This Week, 8/31 and Salt Lake Tribune, 9/3
“Stands as the newest doctrine for headbanger worship…A fact-packed textbook fit to inform even the most well-read metalhead, and one skull-crushing way to spice up your library.”

Illinois Entertainer, September
“Awesome.”

DCMetalMusicExaminer.com, 9/5
“Most of the interviews have been expanded from their original print form, so that is a bit of a refresh for avid Decibel readers. If you are a metal nut, or just a music geek who loves to learn about the struggles in the recording process, then the book is an exceptional read.”

GuitarNoize.com, 9/7
“There was enough to have me reading way later into the night than someone with a 7 month old daughter should!...I skipped a few albums that didn’t interest me but that is the good thing about this book, you can read it in a non-linear fashion. It has some pretty informal interviews where the band members really open up and aren’t afraid to talk about band conflicts during the production process which is what makes the book interesting.”
 
ForeWord Magazine, Sept/Oct
“Mudrian manages to collect some important interviews from a variety of artists in the United States and Europe…The true story behind creating these masterpieces is thoroughly documented…Fans of this musical genre will undoubtedly enjoy reading how their favorite metal albums were constructed.”

AntiMusic.com
“There's plenty of good reading here doled out in chapters that are just the right length for visits to the porcelain throne.” 

Trademark of Quality blog, 9/13
“The chapters in Precious Metal provide a lot more insight and information into each album than was originally presented in the magazine…All of the interviews are interesting, and many are downright enlightening, and the Decibel staff do a uniformly good job at coaxing the story behind each album out of the musicians…The enthusiasm and knowledge shown by the writers is infectious…If you’re a fan of any form of heavy metal, you'll like Precious Metal.”

Campus Circle, 9/23
“Delivers the kind of quality analysis that can turn a clueless metalhead into music genius deity.”

San Francisco Book Review, October issue
“For heavy metal and/or death metal fans, Precious Metal is a must read…Metal enthusiasts, particularly those who are musicians, will find this book to be enlightening and entertaining…The influence that classic rock musicians had and how they perpetuated the heavy metal genre, along with music that came after it, is clearly seen when reading through the interviews. Thus, music lovers would certainly enjoy The Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces.”

Tucson Weekly, 11/19/09
“For the semi-literate metalhead in your midst, we gently ask you to crank up the literary volume to ‘11’ with the excellent Precious Metal…Mudrian uncovers the hidden stories behind some of the greatest death-metal, grind-core and doom releases of the last three decades…Once you read this fantastic series of interviews with the artists responsible for all of this top-notch noise pollution, you'll know why even the snobbiest rock critics have no choice but to throw up devil horns to these imaginative, if violent, works of sonic art.”

January’s “Holiday Gift Guide,” 12/13/2009
“This is seriously the best gift a metalhead could get…Since it combines not only some of metal’s top stories, but also some of the top writing about metal around, it’s just an incredible win-win…An absolute must for the metalhead on your list.”

Review

Booklist, 7/1/09
“Skimming the cream of ‘extreme’ metal--death metal, black metal, thrash metal, and such—is a grisly task, but the gang at Decibel Magazine is on top of it. Their picks are landmarks of their kind, and each is presented here with accompanying interviews of all band personnel involved…What’s here is all dark, all bombastic, all great music.”

Record Collector, August 2009
“The choice of inclusion of albums by Botch, Converge, Down and The Dillinger Escape Plan indicate the breadth of tastes which underpins the book.”

Austin Chronicle, 7/17/09
“[Precious Metal’s] impressive scope covers every facet of the genre…The roundtable, oral-history approach leads to interesting contradictions and revelations.”

Blogcritics.org, 7/21/09
“The bookends are Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell to Converge’s Jane Doe. And there are some worthy stories in between…Precious Metal is a great book on its own terms.”

New York Post’s “Required Reading” column, 7/26/09

“How can you not like a book which quotes someone saying, ‘I guess I was never a real Satanist—it was just a pose.’…Editor Mudrian gives us a behind-the-scenes peak at 25 ‘extreme metal masterpeices.’”

Bookgasm.com, 7/30/09
“The book does exactly what it sets out to do, telling chapter-long ‘making of’ tales of more than two dozen albums…The Q&A format keeps the engine chugging…This is one for those guys who sat in the back of my bus in junior high school. Those guys who stepped on every morning with their sleeveless Iron Maiden T-shirts and glassy-eyed, vacant stares. This is for them, provided they read, provided they’re still alive.”

Examiner.com, 7/31/09
“Throughout the book, fans can revisit those genre-defining nuggets.”

MSN Music, Headbang blog, 8/3/09
“One of the best books ever written about metal…Whether you're a fan of the bands interviewed or not, it's a great read…Each chapter is a quick read, but packed with backstage trivia and weird stories from the studio and the road. Almost any metal fan will enjoy this, and return to it again and again. Highly recommended—by all means check it out.”

USAToday.com, Pop Candy blog, 8/3/09
“It's accessible to all types fans, and the interviews are intelligent but fun and not hyper-nerdy.”

InfoDad.com, 8/6/09
“Fans of both the music and the magazine will find Precious Metal golden.”

Los Angeles Times Jacket Copy blog, 8/25/09
“Detailed history lessons on 25 of extreme metal’s greatest albums. The book is as heavy as its subject matter—365 pages!—and bulges with interviews with every member of every band, as well as producers, cover artists and bit players. Most important to metal dorks are maddening amounts of trivia and minutiae.”

Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/11/09
“Offers a behind-the-scenes look into the making of some landmark albums…Precious Metal maintains the appeal of the original ‘Hall of Fame’ column, uncovering history while dispelling some of the mysticism surrounding metal music's pioneers.”

PopMatters.com Re:Print books blog, 8/12/09
“A gripping look at just how these extreme metal albums were recorded…The veteran metal journalists responsible for these stories know their stuff. Their questions elicit insights that will entertain both the dedicated metal fan and curious music reader…This book is like getting a master’s degree in metal and a few credits toward your doctorate.”

Cleveland Scene, 8/12/09
“An-depth look at some of the most brutal records ever made.”

A.V. Club, “Metal Box” blog, 8/12/09
“When it scores, it scores big. The sections on Slayer’s Reign In Blood, Meshuggah’s Destroy Erase Improve, and Napalm Death’s Scum are just like being there, and since there’s never going to be a VH1 Behind The Music special about these degenerates, this book is as close as you’re going to come.”

In Utah This Week, 8/31 and Salt Lake Tribune, 9/3
“Stands as the newest doctrine for headbanger worship…A fact-packed textbook fit to inform even the most well-read metalhead, and one skull-crushing way to spice up your library.”

Illinois Entertainer, September
“Awesome.”

DCMetalMusicExaminer.com, 9/5
“Most of the interviews have been expanded from their original print form, so that is a bit of a refresh for avid Decibel readers. If you are a metal nut, or just a music geek who loves to learn about the struggles in the recording process, then the book is an exceptional read.”

GuitarNoize.com, 9/7
“There was enough to have me reading way later into the night than someone with a 7 month old daughter should!...I skipped a few albums that didn’t interest me but that is the good thing about this book, you can read it in a non-linear fashion. It has some pretty informal interviews where the band members really open up and aren’t afraid to talk about band conflicts during the production process which is what makes the book interesting.”
 
ForeWord Magazine, Sept/Oct
“Mudrian manages to collect some important interviews from a variety of artists in the United States and Europe…The true story behind creating these masterpieces is thoroughly documented…Fans of this musical genre will undoubtedly enjoy reading how their favorite metal albums were constructed.”

AntiMusic.com
“There's plenty of good reading here doled out in chapters that are just the right length for visits to the porcelain throne.” 

Trademark of Quality blog, 9/13
“The chapters in Precious Metal provide a lot more insight and information into each album than was originally presented in the magazine…All of the interviews are interesting, and many are downright enlightening, and the Decibel staff do a uniformly good job at coaxing the story behind each album out of the musicians…The enthusiasm and knowledge shown by the writers is infectious…If you’re a fan of any form of heavy metal, you'll like Precious Metal.”

Campus Circle, 9/23
“Delivers the kind of quality analysis that can turn a clueless metalhead into music genius deity.”

San Francisco Book Review, October issue
“For heavy metal and/or death metal fans, Precious Metal is a must read…Metal enthusiasts, particularly those who are musicians, will find this book to be enlightening and entertaining…The influence that classic rock musicians had and how they perpetuated the heavy metal genre, along with music that came after it, is clearly seen when reading through the interviews. Thus, music lovers would certainly enjoy The Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces.”

Tucson Weekly, 11/19/09
“For the semi-literate metalhead in your midst, we gently ask you to crank up the literary volume to ‘11’ with the excellent Precious Metal…Mudrian uncovers the hidden stories behind some of the greatest death-metal

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Well written and providing ample space for each narrative.
adam
An essential read for all metalheads, from the same folks that brought you "Choosing Death", an indespensible history of death metal and grindcore.
Rich L.
Overall, an excellent reference book for any metal fan's library!
jazzhead

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jazzhead on November 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book fascinating cover to cover. Being able to kind of see behind-the-scenes of the making of many classic metal albums has really made me enjoy them even more. There's not much technical audio engineering/production info, but more of the vibe of the recording sessions and how the songs were written and pieced together. Also, reading about bands and albums I had never heard before definitely made me go check them out and add them to my collection. Overall, an excellent reference book for any metal fan's library! Would love to see a Vol. 2 someday!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sean Crook on July 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Everyone knows Decibel is the best metal magazine around right now. Their Hall of Fame feature is the most popular. This book has some extended Hall of Fames that give detailed perspective on the making of the albums. The writing is exceptional and this book (and the magazine) are highly recommended!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rich L. on September 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An essential read for all metalheads, from the same folks that brought you "Choosing Death", an indespensible history of death metal and grindcore. If you're a music junkie, you'll read every chapter, even if you don't know about or like the album being discussed. The albums selected are all worthy of the lengthy treatment they're given. Imagine condensing the "33 1/3" series into pocket-size essays on 25 albums, and you've got the idea. The problem is, they only write these reviews (in the book, expanded versions of articles from "Decibel" magazine) when they can track down and interview everyone associated with the album in question. The intro explains why several albums can't and won't be part of the ongoing magazine series. Also, if a band member is deceased, they won't choose that album (being as how they can't get a fresh "looking back" opinion from that member/members), so that explains why such artists as Metallica, Pantera, and Death are not included in their selections. Still, there's lots of info here, sure to please just about anyone who has listened to metal from 1980-on. Can't wait for a sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By claustro1988 on May 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting, endlessly entertaining, often inspiring. Personal favorites going in were Kyuss, Sleep, and Opeth. Learning about other amazing albums that I hadn't yet checked out has been a goddamn treat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By njprof on September 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Precious Metal" is comprised of a series of fascinating interviews that provide a first-hand look at what it took to create some of metals most important collections of music. The interview with the Dillinger Escape Plan is superb.
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