The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal – A Very Resourceful Metal Music Book


Ozzy small picI’m always looking for good deals on my Heavy Metal Music purchases, from albums, CD’s to memorabilia and books. Upon one of my recent stops into a local thrift store, I happened upon quite the Heavy Metal find indeed, for the ripe price of fifty cents. Yes, fifty cents. The find you ask? Well, none other than The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal – and it is quite the book for me. (This book is a 1st printing, printed in 2005 by Rough Guides). While perusing the book aisle at this thrift store, the image of none other than Ozzy Osbourne caught my eye. What is this? I could not believe what I had found! Knowing immediately too, that any book in this thrift store is only fifty cents… I was Metal stoked. As a bonus, this book stared right at me in gem mint condition as well. As I picked it up and browsed through it’s Heavy Metal filled pages, it was obvious to me that the previous owner of this book never bothered to read it. As crisp of a new book you will find. Life is a sweet journey sometimes, especially when you can stumble on a 410 page book, when you least expect it, that is dedicated to your favorite music genre… Heavy Metal.

Alright, enough about how I found The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal and onward with it’s review. This richly factual book is written by Essi Berelian, with a foreward by the legendary front man for Iron MaidenBruce Dickinson himself. There are over 300 bands and/or musicians that are covered in this book. (Hey, to make a definitive book of Heavy Metal bands would not only be a task of the ages, the page count would reach a bizarre number as well). Therefore, there are going to be bands that are missing, (I am disappointed that Enslaved did not get aknowledged), plus there is that band here and there where I can’t exactly label as Heavy Metal, (Asia has a write-up in this book). I like Asia, yet I do not see the connection here. I will bend and say Foreigner has a loose connection to the genre of Heavy Metal, they are represented in The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal. Diversity is shown in the representation of bands, The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal even acknowledges Lynyrd Skynyrd and their link to heavy music.

From Ozzy Osbourne and Kiss to King Diamond and Magnum, with the likes of Venom and UFO in between, a fabulous smorgasbord of movers and shakers are touched upon with factual integrity and reverence. I am smitten that Slayer, Motorhead, W.A.S.P., Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kreator are well covered here too. Something that Essi Berelian did here, that impresses me most, is the inclusion of legendary Punk Rock Bands such as the Misfits and Ramones. Still, where are the Sex Pistols? C’mon, if you include Punk Rock into a voluminous book such as this, it is not a bright move to ignore the Sex Pistols! Plus, whenever writers refer to the 1970’s Hard Rock band Sweet as “The Sweet”, it drives me crazy. Anyone familiar with this band knows them as Sweet… period. The only album I am aware of, that has the moniker of “The Sweet” is their very first album, which was titled Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be back in 1971. Give me a Metal break.

Essi Berelian deserves much praise and credit, despite the few flaws mentioned, that in reality, I can overlook. Each band or musician represented in The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal has it’s history and discography touched upon in enough detail that suffices for me. Interesting anecdotes and facts are also provided throughout this entire book, making for a very resourceful guide on the history of Heavy Metal. The genres of Heavy Metal are explained very well too, giving the reader an in depth explanation to it’s respective origin and impact on the world of music. From Christian Metal to Black Metal, the genres of Heavy Metal are given their own spotlight. The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal is also loaded with plenty of black and white photographs, (group and individual shots, album covers and concert photos), giving this book that much more appeal.

At the end of the Metal day, The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal makes for an extensive and detailed read into the bands that started, shaped and expanded the world of Heavy Metal Music. Whether you are a life long fan of this incredible genre of music or a brand new fan, this book is rather difficult to put down. I most highly recommend The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal to all, it really isn’t that rough at all. Hey, for the fifty cents it set me back, this book is worth every penny. I cannot shake the Metal grin on my face each time I pick this book up to read.

Ozzy large pic

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