May 17, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Louder Than Hell

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Jon Wiederhorn, Katherine Turman
publisher
It Books
genre
History
We gave it an A-

Heavy metal’s many splintered subgenres make it difficult to crystallize into a single tome. This exhaustive oral history of the blues’ much-maligned bastard cousin, Louder Than Hell, is as definitive as it gets, bonding historical anecdotes to pieces of debauched mythology from the scene’s platinum superstars and fringe icons. Tales like Ronnie James Dio’s invention of the ”devil horns” hand signal will be familiar to true heads, but having Van Halen’s hotel-room destruction lead seamlessly into Judas Priest’s acid trips makes Louder as indispensable as a skull-adorned leather jacket. A-

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