Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide: Precious Metal: Decibel Presents 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces edited by Albert Mudrian

Understand going in that this is a book for the already converted. If you -- or the person you’re trying so hard to find the perfect gift for -- is not already deeply infected by heavy metal music, then Precious Metal (Da Capo) is not for you. Or them. But if they are... if they are this is seriously the best gift a metalhead could get.

And why? These are the untold stories. Okay: that’s not strictly true. These are the selectly told stories, originally told in Decibel Magazine -- the voice of extreme music. The 25 tales collected in Precious Metal are the best of the best of Decibel’s Hall of Fame pieces. As a result, they’re pretty great. If you’re unfamiliar with Decibel’s Hall of Fame and how it works, in the words of editor Albert Mudrian, it goes like this:
Take a classic extreme metal record (as determined by our staff) released at least five years ago, track down and interview every band member who played on it, and present them questions exclusively about the writing, recording, touring and overall impact of said album.
The result is, well... obvious, right? There’s a reason Decibel is simply the best in its field. It pushes itself beyond the readily apparent, beyond the everyday and comes up with stuff like this.

So who did Mudrian determine should be included in this round up of best of the best? Well, as I said, there are 25, so I’ll just hit some of the albums that I feel are the highlights: Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell, Morbid Tales by Celtic Frost, Napalm Death’s Scum, Paradise Lost’s Gothic, Eyehategod’s Take As Needed. It’s an incredible list and since it combines not only some of metal’s top stories, but also some of the top writing about metal around, it’s just an incredible win-win.

Precious Metal is an absolute must for the metalhead on your list.

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