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Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal Paperback – April 29, 2014
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“Whether you’re the sort of man who knows everything from who first threw the Devil Horns to the correct pronunciation of Yngwie Malmsteen, there is something fascinating to learn from Louder Than Hell . . . Shed[s] new light on the making of Satan’s Music.” (Esquire)
“Presents the collective memory of heavy metal through the ages and eras in the voices of the men who lived it . . . It’s an aficionado’s delight.” (New York Daily News)
“Louder than Hell is a love letter to the misunderstood genre of heavy metal music, written by trusted companions who had a front row seat on the devil’s rollercoaster. The definitive chronological testimony by the people who were there, including some who are no longer with us.” (Mark McGrath, Sugar Ray and co-host Extra)
“A great read and an instant classic.” (The Onion's A.V. Club)
“This is the best oral history I’ve read since Please Kill Me. Louder than Hell is the first book that really delivers the brutal truth from the mouths of the artists and key players themselves! I couldn’t put it down.” (Matt Pinfield)
“Two devil horns up!” (USA Today)
A compelling, first-person account of a seemingly unstoppable force . . .the book reads like an extended, uncensored, shockingly satisfying episode of VH1’s Behind the Music. (Washington Post)
“An amazingly comprehensive book on all eras and genres of hard rock and heavy metal. The stories and attention to detail make it an instant must for anyone who ever was or is a fan.” (Eddie Trunk, DJ and host of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic)
Often hilarious, occasionally, ‘God, I wish I hadn’t read that!’, sometimes profound, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes infuriating . . . no one holds back on any subject. . . you come away from this book with a crystal-clear vision of this world (The Huffington Post)
“The authors inclusiveness give this examination a weight that is just as heavy as the music.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A who’s who of heavy music . . . What makes Louder Than Hell un-put-down-able are the stories . . . Essential.” (Revolver (4 stars))
“No one’s gone quite as deep into the genre’s recesses as this 746-page oral history, which covers everything from the birth of Black Sabbath to Dave Mustaine’s departure from Metallica to the disaster that was Woodstock ‘99.” (Rolling Stone, four stars)
“Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman know metal. Louder Than Hell is an amazing gathering of different breeds of heavy metal rockers telling the tales metal fans want to hear.” (Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine)
“If you love metal, great stories, and music history told by the people who made it, then Louder than Hell is a must-read. This is the book every metal fan should own. (Alice Cooper)
“Louder Than Hell comes straight from the twisted minds of rock icons and flows seamlessly through various eras of heavy metal. . .I really dig this book.” (Riki Rachtman)
“I’ve said thousands of times that reading ‘totally sucks.’ But this book does indeed not suck. Books on the history of even something as cool as metal can be a bit antiseptic and boring-not this one.” (Brendon Small, Dethklok)
“Who likes rock n roll here?? Well if you do, this is the book for you! . . . This is the definitive chronicle of all that is heavy metal and I’ve read them all!” (Chris Jericho, Fozzy)
“As definitive as it gets, bonding historical anecdotes to pieces of debauched mythology from the scene’s platinum superstars and fringe icons . . . as indispensable as a skull-adorned leather jacket.” (Entertainment Weekly, A-)
From the Back Cover
Louder Than Hell is the definitive oral history of heavy metal, crafted from more than four hundred interviews with icons of the genre from its inception to today, including Ozzy Osbourne, Eddie Van Halen, Tommy Lee, Lars Ulrich, Vince Neil, Axl Rose, Corey Taylor, Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and Dimebag Darrell. From groundbreaking innovations such as the dawn of distortion and the birth of cookie monster vocals to amazing tales of destruction and wild sexcapades, Louder Than Hell is packed with raw, unflinching stories, eye-opening admissions, and the truth behind some of metal's wildest moments.
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Top customer reviews
The Good - It really is exhaustive covering the early days of metal, the NWOBHM, thrash, glam, metalcore, nu metal, and so on. The interviews are great, and the authors did a fantastic job of editing them together to form a cohesive, readable narrative.
The Bad - There are fact errors all over this book, surprising for something apparently written by two journalists. Some of them might have been just typos due to transcribing the book into the Kindle format, little things like saying something happened in 1985 when it was clearly 1995 that was actually being talked about. At least that is what I am hoping happened. However, the book starts right out of the gate with a reference to the urban legend that William Burroughs used the term "heavy metal" in Naked Lunch. One might notice that the actual quote from Naked Lunch is never presented in this book or anywhere else -- probably because such a quote doesn't exist. It is very well documented in other more academic treatments of metal that while the phrase does appear in a later book by Burroughs, the Naked Lunch connection is only myth. Little inaccuracies like this plague much of Widerhorn and Turman's narrative in the few places where their writing carries the story forward.
Conclusion - Despite some questionable research by the authors, the collection of quotes and their editing together to create an overall "story of metal" make the book very much worth checking out. Just be aware that when you stray from the quotes that you might want to double check some of the authors' facts for accuracy before claiming them as gospel to your metalhead friends.
fascinating read and consistent with my experiences. The overview given by the book tended to confirm a number of my opinions of these folks
and the their music. This music has never been "fashionable" and yet the artists/players in this book are some of the most influential musicians in rock music. In some parts of the book, it tended to focus a bit too much on the things we all know, ie: that these guys got laid a lot, but given the
excessive nature of this lifestyle and music, I guess it was a needed "device" for the purposes of the book. If you have ever "banged your head" or given the Dio "horns", you should read this book, you will enjoy it...