Everyone that considers itself a metalhead at some point of their life have done a metal list, it was either a top 10 best album of the year, a top 10 favorite bands, a top 50 of unmetal bands, or simply the top 5 songs your girlfriend/boyfriend loves. We as a culture have the habit of putting everything in perspective of how good, how bad, how funny, or how terrible everything is. We will judge it all.
Howie Abrams and Sasha Jenkins did exactly that in their new book The Merciless Book Of Metal Lists, from the lists of the albums they listened during the writing process of the book, to their favorite bands of all time, even a list of observations on Lemmy’s warts (yeah, I did have a WTF moment while reading that one). But the truth is that their lists are very accurate and reflect what is relevant for the genre, but I must recommend that if you are a follower of the hipster metal, the “modern metal” or the Djent scene you might be disappointed, so better go back to your room, close the door, and keep practicing those Meshuggah tabs, while ranting on how Veil Of Maya is not headlining Mayhem Fest 2013, because this book is not for you. On the other hand, if you are a Slayer, Nuclear Assault, Iron Maiden, Metallica freak, you will love this book.
Where to start with the lists, they are so many of them, even some of them I have never thought about. For example, is a list about The Ten Best and Worst Things About Being in a Metal Band From Brazil by Max Cavalera, or The 11 Things That People Say to Scott Ian of Anthrax to Start a Conversation. There is also lists on best guitar players, bass players, drummers, vocalists, and a handful of information on songs we loved or hate. For example, The Best Metal Instrumentals, The 15 Great Cover Songs by Metal Bands, and of course there is The 25th Most Fuck-up Song Titles by Cannibal Corpse.
But metal lists would not be what they are without their content, and one of the lists that will take a big chunk of time to consolidate is the best bands EVER, do you like it or not the creation of such list is a bitch. The Merciless Book Of Metal Lists has created a blueprint of the best albums list, including works by bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Sepultura, Exodus, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Venom, Anthrax, and so on, so is a real help at the time to create such difficult list. Now besides bands, albums and songs this book brings to light a great resource of information on history, from the most important demo tapes, tape traders, and metal fanzines to fashion Do and Don’ts, band logos, and embarrassing album covers.
Another important part of this book is the educational value in it, as we get information we would never guess, like bands that are considered metal but they are not, or The Ten Reasons Why EVERYONE Loves Raining Blood by Slayer. We also get an important resource of educational Heavy metal reading material, and a list of The Best Metal Blogs (I swear, we will appear on the volume 2 of this book) that brings you the news about your favorite metal bands every day.
Overall the book is a resource of metal information that either complements our knowledge about the genre or if you are just getting into it, the book will take you to the right path of metal knowledge. A great and fun read that brings back the importance of the metal roots and the bands that built up the genre with lots of sex, drugs and rock and roll, the fun and ugly about heavy metal, and some stories that will surprise you.