Friday, June 17, 2011

Enter Night: A Biography of Metallica, by Mick Wall



(hb; 2011: rock biography)

From the inside flap:

"As Led Zeppelin was for hard rock and the Sex Pistols were for punk, Metallica became the band that defined the look and sound of 1980s heavy metal. Inventors of thrash metal followed - Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth - but it was always Metallica who led the way, who pushed to another level, who became the last of the superstar rockers.

"Metallica is the fifth-largest selling artist of all time, with 100 million records sold worldwide. Their music has extended its reach beyond rock and metal and into the pop mainstream, as the band moved from speed metal to MTV with their hit single, 'Enter Sandman.' Until now there hasn't been a critical, authorative, in-depth portrait of the band. Mick Wall's thoroughly researched, insightful work is enriched by his interviews with band members, record-company execs, roadies and fellow musicians. He tells the story of how a tennis-playing, music-loving Danish immigrant named Lars Ulrich created a band with singer James Hetfield and made his dreams a reality. Enter Night follows the band through tragedy and triumph, from the bus crash that killed their bassist Cliff Burton in 1986 to the 2004 documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, and on to their current status as the leaders of the Big 4 festival that played to a million fans in Britain and throughout Europe and continues in the United States in 2011."

Review:

Excellent biography of the band.

Wall, a longtime music critic and friend of Metallica, chronicles the personalities, music eras and facts/opinions in an entertaining, straightforward and informative write. His take on their music, both its faults and merits, is pointed, kind and constructive - the best thing any critic or friend can be.

Worthwhile read, if you're fan of the band, past (Cliff Burton-era or pre-Load) or present.

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