I don’t care if you don’t know your Megadeth from your Metallica, your Fates Warning from your Mercyful Fate, it’s certain that you’re gonna lose several hours to The Merciless Book of Metal Lists. Yes. it’s that good.
Complied by former music A&R rep Howie Abrams and music writer Sacha Jenkins, the book is a fantastically entertaining look at all things metal – from logos and t-shirts to bands, list and list of teeth-rattling metal bands. And yes, I realize book of music lists are nothing new, but Abrams and Jenkins have managed to reinvigorate this well-trod book form thanks to some pants wetting-humor and an obvious passion for turning the knob to 11.
By their very nature, lists are meant to be debatable (the authors’, for example have a very unhealthy fascination for the band Manowar; and while Motley Crue makes their list of metal bands, AC/DC does not). And there is plenty of room for debate among the various groups that are name-checked and those that are ignored, you can almost see the Jager spilling to the floor in the ensuing fights this will cause.
There is a forward by Slayer’s Kerry King and an afterward by Philip Anselmo (formerly with Pantera) and contributions from a slew of other metal greats like Anthrax’s Scott Ian and Lemmy’s wart! But the best inclusion by far is a fantastic fuck you to Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine titled “10 Reasons Dave Mustaine Probably Declined to Participate in This Book”. Two Devil horns in the air for the authors.