On Page 8 of Hellraisers, the book's Introduction, the following rules are established with regards to heavy metal:
- Metal is awesome.
- Metal is not for everyone.
- Metal can be funny.
- Just because something's awesome doesn't mean it's metal.
- Listen to metal above all else.
If all of those rules make sense to you, then Hellraisers -- subtitled A Complete Visual History Of Heavy Metal Mayhem -- scores a perfect 10 when it comes to ratings. If some or none of those rules are understandable for you, then this book will probably rank as a 6 out of 10. So when an 8 out of 10 rating? Because, if I paid enough attention in math class, the middle-ground of 6 and 10 is 8.
Hellraisers begins with exploration into metal's forefathers, like Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper and AC/DC. In turn, it is apparent that authors Axl Rosenberg (Metalsucks) and Christopher Krovatin (Revolver Magazine) know what they are talking about, even if the book is full of jokes. The historical perspective is there and the photos look great, but the captions on a lot of photos should have you laughing hard.
Fortunately, the pages of Hellraisers span all eras of metal and hard rock. While it is clear that the most respect goes to the usual suspects (e.g. Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Metallica), plenty of bands from the 2000s are featured, including Killswitch Engage, DragonForce, High On Fire and Deafheaven. And as an added bonus, the book's foreword was written by Trivium's Matt Heafy. So, long story short, buy this book for the smart, humor-having metalhead in your life.
Written by: Axl Rosenberg, Christopher Krovatin Publisher: Voyageur Press (October 24, 2017) Format/Length: Hardcover, 288 pages
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