‘Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History Of Metal’

October is Metal Month at Radio.com. Throughout the month, we’ll have artist interviews as well as mini-documentaries about metal, metal fans and the birthplace of metal. And book reports: reading is fundamental, even for headbangers, and we’ll have reviews of some of the best recent metal biographies and retrospectives. Horns up!

Whether you’re just passing by the history of metal or you have been ingrained in it for years, you must read Louder Than Hellan extensive, nearly-700 page record of the genre.

Metal fans will surely recognize the names of both authors: Wiederhorn writes for RevolverGuitar World and has written for Metal Hammer and has also worked for non-metal mags including Rolling Stone, Spin and even TV Guide. Plus, he can tolerate insanity: he co-wrote Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen’s recent autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels Of Al Jourgensen (read more: Hate and War: A Phone Conversation With Al Jourgensen). Turman, meanwhile, was the editor of RIP magazine, and also wrote for the Los Angeles TimesRolling StoneSpin and Billboard and used to work as a music producer on The Sharon Osbourne Show.

Adding to the book’s cred is the fact that Scott Ian of Anthrax wrote the forward, while the “Metal God” Rob Halford of Judas Priest penned the afterword. From the earliest days of metal to more recent artists playing black metal, death metal and the much maligned subgenre, nu-metal, the book covers it all (although Wiederhorn and Turman told Radio.com that a chapter on “grunge” and ’90s alternative rock had to be cut, as the book was getting to be too long).

The book starts off in the pre-metal era of the ’60s, covering the Stooges, the MC5 and Alice Cooper (when “Alice Cooper” represented a band, not just the frontman). It quickly moves to the early ’70s, starting with the formation of Black Sabbath and, shortly after fellow Brummies Judas Priest.


The “British Steel” chapter follows Priest’s progression, as well as Black Sabbath’s evolution after firing Ozzy Osbourne and replacing him with Ronnie James Dio, and the rise of Iron Maiden.


Read more at Radio.com.

— Brian Ives, Radio.com 

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