There is no shortage of books out there about the love ‘em or hate ‘em thrash band Metallica. But at almost 400 pages, and just the first part of a two volume set, Birth School Metallica Death, might just be the only book you need on the band.
While many of the stories in the first volume are lore at this point, the access these two longtime metal music writers had to longtime acquaintances of the band and former producers gives the book the weight that many previous bios on the San Francisco band just didn’t have. Despite clearly having an affinity for the group and their music, the duo doesn’t gloss over the rough spots on the bands’ resume: James Hetfield has some anger issues, the band treated bassist Jason Newstead like crap and Lars Ulrich, well Lars is pretty much a dick (no one interviewed for this book seems to disagree with that sentiment).
Volume one begins with the early childhood of all band members, the early miss-starts, the hiring and firing of Dave Mustaine, the tragic death of Cliff Burton, and ends with the release of the band’s self-titled fifth album, and anyone familiar with Metallica (and the brilliant documentary Some Kind of Monster) knows that shit’s about to go down in Volume II – which is coming out in 2014.
Birth School Metallica Death – The Biography, Volume 1 By Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood /Hardcover/392 pages/Da Capo Press/2013
Birth School Metallica Death: The Biography, Volume 1 By Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood (Book)