Mick Wall is not a creampuff writer. His pages are lashed with dark history, hidden secrets, and the tumultuous histories of the musicians about whom he writes. In Enter Night, Wall dissects the legend and career of Metallica, arguably one of the most important bands to emerge in the metal/thrash oeuvre since Black Sabbath and Deep Purple pumped out their groundbreaking riffs decades earlier.
Not only does Wall describe how
and why the band formed: he sets this against a backdrop of what was happening musically in the world and explains in a cultural sense - though not too deeply as to read like a schoolbook - how he quartet grew out of the scene. He runs down the corridors of metal and name-checks Iron Maiden and Sabbath and all the usual suspects, but he ties it all together in a way that you've never read before.
What makes this book so wonderfully magnetic is the fact that Mick Wall was
right there with Metallica in dressing rooms, backstage, and hotel rooms. He's interviewed them multiple times and was one of the earliest English writers to pick up on the band's strengths - and weaknesses. This is not a third-person accounting of what one person said to another; this is guerilla nonfiction, and Wall is there in the trenches giving as good as he gets.
Everything is covered here, from the death of original bassist Cliff Burton to the Napster debacle. Wall uncovers all the blemishes and erases all the myths. If you read Enter Night - as well as Joel McIver's books To Live Is To Die: The Life and Death of Metallica's Cliff Burton and Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica - you'll never have to read anything else about the band.
Wall carries a sharp pen - he loves his heroes but cuts them no slack, and that's all we can ask from our storytellers.