Reviews – Books

Deep Purple and Beyond: Scenes From The Life of a Rock Star

I won’t ruin this wonderful rollercoaster ride through the history of rock with spoilers, but man! I will say it’s like the reader suddenly enters a time machine and travels back to through the history of rock and metal, and finds it’s both better and worse than they ever believed. And of course, everyone from Yul Brynner, Ozzy, David Coverdale (which is as it should be!) to Tony Iommi turns up!

Orgasmatron: The Heavy Metal Art of Joe Petagno

If the title, or Orgasmatron image on its cover, wasn’t enough, the foreword – in the words of Lemmy Kilmister himself – marks this coffin table eye-catcher a worthy piece of Motörhead paraphernalia. And it’s Petagno hand, after all, that gave the band’s viciously iconic mascot its unmistakable face.

AC/DC: High-Voltage Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Ultimate Illustrated History, by Phil Sutcliffe

“Written by veteran British music writer Phil Sutcliffe, High Voltage Rock ‘n’ Roll follows the model set by the Jim DeRogatis book on the Velvet Underground: a good sized, hard-bound book crammed with extensive essays and a plethora of band photos and memorabilia. However, seeing how a) we’ve already seen numerous AC/DC biographies come along over the years, and b) the band put out an illustrated coffee table book as part of last year’s Backtracks extravaganza, just how essential is Sutcliffe’s volume?”

Adrien Begrand reviews AC/DC: High-Voltage Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Ultimate Illustrated History, the new book by Phil Sutcliffe

Book review – Only Death is Real: An Illustrated History of Hellhammer and Early Celtic Frost 1981–1985

Like many pioneers, Hellhammer took their lumps from everyone, including its own members. They were hobbled by geography and underdeveloped talent, but they built a great mystique around themselves as they toiled to spread their malodorous gospel, only to be sent back to the drawing board after every recording session and demo release. This unlikely but glorious book celebrates their restless existence and enduring influence. It all goes to prove that history—this little slice of history, anyway—is written by the victors.

Rob Hughes reviews the new Hellhammer photo/history book, Only Death Is Real, released recently by Bazillion Points.