By Eric Danville - Backbeat Books

As a lover of all things musical (and esoteric), it is always a cause for much celebration when a new reference tome appears on the shelves. Rudy Sarzo, Motley Crue, and Ozzy have all offered up fine metal oriented biographies in recent years, but it has been a good long while since a nerd-worthy compilation of statistics has been available for our perusal. Enough time has passed for metal to come back into vogue for the average punter, but for the true devotees, it never went away for a second. Adoring metal legions hoarded every iota of information they were able to absorb and consequently, the addition of a couple drinks to the average group of said metal fans will virtually guarantee passionate discourse stretching on well past the point of spousal tolerance or hope of resolution. The recent surprise success of the Anvil documentary and the great ratings TV shows like That Metal Show and Talking Metal have garnered of late demonstrates that people care about metal as a genre and all the minutiae that comes with it, whether it be the number of groupies their favorite band bedded, amount of drummers they went through or even the kind of amps their favorite shredder uses. But where to get such info? There is the internet, but how many bathrooms are wired for such things? Here is where this book comes out on top. As the name belies, this collection purports to be The Official Heavy Metal Book Of Lists. Iím not sure by whose authority other than Danville, but the book is a fun read, nonetheless. Those needing a narrative to keep their interest would do well to look elsewhere, but there are small concessions made for the short attention span set. Case in point: the number of illustrations from Cliff Mott for those that are more visually inclined. In my mind the cartoons are a little too sophomoric, but it would be wrong to think of The Official Heavy Metal Book Of Lists as some sort of highbrow endeavor. Separated by various chapters concerning metal mainstays like Drugs and Alcohol, Sex, Violence, and The Road, each chapter is rife with lists compiled by Danville and a gang of minor metal luminaries. Metal titan Lemmy pens the foreword, but from there the personally curated lists get considerably more small time, featuring guest appearances from various minor luminaries like Ken Susi from Unearth and members of Circus Of Power and Cycle Sluts From Hell. Great bands, and definitely metal, but hardly titans of the genre. Things get a little subjective, but that is sort of the point. Whether you are a casual fan or slavish fanboy, you are bound to come away with something considerably more positive than what youíll get from an encounter with the average groupie. The Official Heavy Metal Book Of Lists scratches the itch for situations where it becomes imperative to reference the best hung men in metal, or what the ten sickest moments are that members of GWAR have encountered live.

By Rob Browning



©2010 Skyscraper Magazine.
All material is the property of Skyscraper Magazine and may not be reprinted, copied, or redistributed without the expressed written consent of the editors.
Site by: Joshua R. Jones