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METALLICA – The Biography
Anyone familiar with rock and metal over the past 3 decades will be familiar with English writer Mick Wall. PR man and publicity impresario, one of the leading lights of not only KERRANG! magazine but also more recently CLASSIC ROCK magazine, he was also involved in the short-lived HARD n’ HEAVY video magazine of the early nineties.
Wall walks tall amongst the very few who transcended the realms of rock journalism to become as notorious and well-renowned as the rock stars he writes about, and after exhaustive and weighty tomes on W Axl Rose – who famously name checked Wall in the song ‘Get In The Ring’ – Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden, he has turned his meticulous gaze upon the mighty Metallica.
If ever you needed a masterclass in how to approach rock biography as an artform, Enter Night should provide you all the lessons you need.
Cannily realising that his own life story has flitted in and around Metallica’s tale since they were rookies, he makes this primarily the story of Hetfield and Ulrich, as well as that of all they come into contact with - including himself, humanising the saga by starting each chapter with an anecdote from his own experiences with the band and their people.
What you really get here is one man’s honest appraisal of the band’s back catalogue, a fair and knowledgable assessment of their influences, influence and demeanour, and no stone is left unturned as he delves into the temperamental natures of the bands’ two star-crossed ego-driven main men. One highlight herein is excerpts from one of the very few interviews with the late Cliff Burton’s parents after his passing.
Thankfully there is no wasting time with an accountant-like figure-lust, the story is told as honestly and factually as can be, and the book is chock-full of interesting insider information from Wall’s peers and industry & muso types who were involved along the long, strange trip that has been the saga of this one-time thrash behemoth.
The pace slows towards the end as the once-upon-a-time “biggest band in the world” go off the rails with the “St. Anger” debacle, and the book signs off as the band teeter on the edge of a new chapter in their life, seemingly rejuvenated and at peace with each other and the ever looming shadow of Metallica. Well… MOSTLY at peace…
Throughout the writing is exemplary, as expected from Wall, and the story is fascinating – even to someone who knows the public version well enough already. In short, indespensible to any fan of the band.