NEIL DANIELS – Metallica: The Early Years And The Rise Of Metal

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Metal Express Rating: 7.5/10
Release Date: 2012-08-29
Email: mick@

Neil Daniels is fast gaining a reputation as one of the leading Rock scribes around.  With a prolific run over the past couple of years covering bands as diverse as Judas Priest and Journe,y to Bon Jovi and Iron Maiden, as well as a series of books giving a fascinating insight into the ever-so-shady world of music journalism, Daniels has covered a lot of ground — producing over a dozen books since 2007.

For his latest book, Daniels has ambitiously tackled the world’s biggest Metal band of them all, Metallica.  This, however, is a biography with a difference.  Instead of looking at the band’s whole career from the start to the current time, he instead has focussed on those early formative years from the very start of the band up to and including And Justice For All.

To most Metallica fans this is the golden era of the band, when they stayed true to their roots, developed and pushed the boundaries of the Thrash genre, and seemed free of corporate interference.  This is the story of Metallica when they still belonged to the Metal community, before they broke worldwide with the Black album.

Daniels has an enthusiastic writing style and clearly has a passion for Metallica, creating a book that is very easy to read, flows well and doesn’t get bogged down in waffle.  There are plenty of comments from those close to the band at the very start and throughout their rise to the cusp of superstardom, as well as sound bites from the band themselves taken from contemporaneous media articles, adding to the detail of their story.

Throughout the text there are plenty of facts and figures and details of set lists from the tours over the years to ensure that there’s enough trivia for even the most ardent Metallica anorak to revel in.

An unusual, but enjoyable, part of the book is the appendices that give a brief look of the Black album onwards era, an overview of Metallica`s Thrash peers, a discography, timeline, and an excellent section containing references to books on Metallica and a range of other Metal acts (as well as a number of Web links).

This is a book that can easily be dipped into from time to time on a casual basis or read in one or two sessions.  For a biography of the early years of Metallica, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better book than this.  Highly recommended.


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