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“Sound Of The Beast: The Complete Headbanging History Of Heavy Metal” by Ian Christe

Title: “Sound Of The Beast: The Complete Headbanging History Of Heavy Metal”
Author: Ian Christe
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2/17/2004
Rating: 8/10

When you take a visit to the local Barnes and Noble or Borders bookstore nowadays you will see quite a few musical biographies on the shelves. As a fan of the Heavy genres it is quite pleasurable to see that a number of these books focus on the lives and exploits of some of music’s most colorful characters (often in very vivid and frank detail). I have enjoyed and recommended several of these so far with Motley Crue’s “The Dirt”, Lemmy’s “White Line Fever”, and the number of releases by KISS’ Gene Simmons; all of them capable of bringing you deeper into their lives of celebrity. You were able to enjoy their war stories, road tales and excitement, and often heartbreak as well. Different from the various biographies mentioned this book takes us on a very historic journey back in time to the beginnings of Heavy Metal music. Taking key moments from heavy music history beginning around the time of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple; author Ian Christie gives us a highly detailed look inside the way it all began with “Sound Of The Beast: The Complete Headbanging History Of Heavy Metal”. I approached the read of this book with a large amount of enjoyment for having finished a couple of biography pieces I was interested in finding out how a Music History book would be presented. Christie does start out from the beginning and of course references the one and only Black Sabbath, however there might be those that feel this area is not covered as much as it could be. The author does make sure to cover many of the vast and varied aspects of the Heavy Metal genre and all the sub-divisions that had sprouted from the doomy-blues laden beginnings of Sabbath. Coverage is given to the bigwigs of the seventies KISS and Judas Priest among others as well as some insight to the NWOBHM and bands that fell under this acronym. A full chapter is devoted to the Black and Death metal bands and to be honest some of that stuff will creep the reader out when they find just how serious they take their various causes. The tail-end of the book leans a lot towards Metallica and one might find fault in that it seems to close out with their being the “be-all, end-all” Metal band.
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