Metal Blade Records are one of the biggest and most important metal record labels out there. Their impact on the scene has been enormous and legions of fans and all of the fantastic releases can testify that and leave us legacy that can hardly be surpassed. But, do not get me wrong, this label still goes strong now almost fourty years since its inception and this book is the story about how Brian Slagel, lifer in metal started it all. From early eighties and first Metal Massacre compilation till today, Brian tells us story about start of label in his mother´s house, gradation to being big, nineties grunge invasion and downfall of metal retreating to rebuild and regroup across metalcore and bringing story to temporary closure in nowadays of digital download and streaming. Story is told through Brian´s eyes but also through interviews with many scene people like James Hetfield, Johann Hegg, King Diamond, Brian´s friends and associates from the label and many more. What I like about this book is that it taught me a lot. Business side of things, a bit of luck you must have and also there are lots of anecdotes in this one, making it one nice read. Above all and most important is Brian´s love for metal and lifetime devotion to the scene he helped create and much respect and love for that.
I have waited for a long time to read this one and now that I have, I must say that I am satisfied with this book. Bad Religion are one of the most important punk rock bands in the world and especially in melodic punk hardcore genre and they recently celebrated 40 years in the scene. This book is an autobiography of all ups and downs, from early days till today. Depicts all line-up changes and heartbreaks, alcohol and drug abuse problems and major label controversy. Also, this book has healthy dose of anecdotes that I wanted to read about mixed with more historical contents, like the rise of Epitaph Records and all that punk rock boom in the nineties. This band was always special to me, because through their album Generator I discovered melodic punk and skatepunk scene and my life hasn´t been the same since, that being my other love besides metal. This book is easy to read, it is interesting and doesn´t let up until the very end making you go play all your favorite BR records and songs over and over again celebrating this great band. I saw them play live only once in 2018 and I will definitely check them out as soon gigs and festivals start again. Until then, go get this nice book.
I love Iron Maiden. That was the first band I heard from metal and so called harder scene when I was a 14 year old kid. I got my hands on No Prayer For The Dying tape and discovered the whole new world and listened to it until it got so worn out that it hardly played. Then I discovered that this band has more albums that came out before this one and even better albums than No Prayer…Nothing was the same anymore for me. Later on, my friend made me a tape, side A was Slayer, side B was Kreator and that is how I got into more harder side of metal and nothing was the same anymore, later discovering punk rock through Bad Religion, Gorilla Biscuits but that is another story.
This is great book, telling Maiden story from the early start and ending after Dance Of Death was released so couple of years are missing because this book is a bit older. It is an interesting story, through line up changes, victories and setbacks caused by departure of Bruce Dickinson from the band and triumphant return, ups and downs and never giving up thus becoming one of the most famous metal bands in the world. Through story there are also interesting interviews with contemporaries, former band members, caterers, roadies, cover artists, so it is really worth reading. But, I feel like a little bit is missing, don´t really know what, but this book did not hit me in the eye like some do. So, it is an interesting read, good one, but only 4/5.