Designed as an all-encompassing tale made of stories and insights, exploring touchstone bands and seminal albums, this book tells us about the hardest facets of rock, from the English grandchildren of Chicago blues to the most extreme metal experiences in recent decades.
In 2020, heavy metal celebrated 50 years. But the urge to crank up the amps has its roots in a group of British blues-loving bands like The Who, The Yardbirds and The Kinks who, in the Beatles’ heyday, wanted to make their sound more powerful, experimenting with distortion and equipment capable of sustaining unthinkable decibel levels. Soon enough, a whole new paradigm was created, leading to the birth of hard rock giants like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, and heavy metal giants like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and AC/DC. Over the years, influences have been traded back and forth between Europe and the United States; hard rock and heavy metal have passed through different phases, from the underground dimension of the thrash scene to the commercial peak of the Eighties; from the fury of death metal to the atmospheres of black metal; from the contaminations of the Nineties to all the varieties of the new millennium; and the new ways of interacting brought about with social networks and streaming.
The book’s forewords are penned by Michael Weikath (Halloween) and Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride). The book itself is divided into independent sections that follow a basic chronological order but also explore the broader themes of hard rock and heavy metal as a whole, focussing on the different scenes and their social context. The book also takes a look at the Italian hard & heavy scene.