Precious Metal
Albert Mudrian
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Buy *Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces* by Albert Mudrian online

Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces
Albert Mudrian
Da Capo Press
384 pages
July 2009
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Though Decibel magazine is considered one of the bibles for all things metal, this collection of interviews from their pages doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. There are question/answer sessions with Ozzy, Diamond Head, Slayer, and 22 other ultra-metal musicians. The artists talk about their music and how and when it was recorded; guitar players talk about creating their tones; and there is the usual coverage of mayhem and madness typically associated with these types of bands.

It's just that the writers aren't very inventive in their interviewing styles. The questions are more times than not pretty basic and rarely touch some nerve that might make one of the artists sit up and think a little bit. In fact, this reviewer has interviewed dozens of metal bands (including a book on Black Sabbath that is now in its third printing), and these queries come across as pedantic, pedestrian, and pretty boring.

Adem Tepedelen, when talking to Tony Iommi and Ronnie Dio, asked these ridiculous questions:

"Since Ronnie's voice and style are so distinctive, was there ever consideration as to how he would fit into Black Sabbath?"
That question doesn't even warrant a civil response. Does this question imply that if Ronnie didn't have any style and his voice was not distinctive, then Sabbath would have been more likely to choose him?

In an interview by Chris Dick with the band Opeth, he asks group leader Mikael Akerfeldt, "Wasn't the silhouette photo on the back of Orchid (name of album) taken in Sorskogen?" Who cares, dude? You have this very talented musician in front of you and you waste his time with this dreck?

Indeed, most of the questions here border on superficial. Rarely does an interviewer try and dig deeper to unearth a thought and response that might be new or something the musician has never before uttered. There are better collections of interviews available. All this does is leave a loud and annoying ringing in your ears.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Dteven Rosen, 2009

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