Heavy Metal Thunder: Kick-Ass Cover Art From Kick-Ass Albums review
"The most righteous, bone-crushing, heart-pounding, head-banging metal album covers of all time..." is what it says on the back... wait, were you thinking about actual covers of songs? If you're like me, you're going to ignore the part where it says "Kick-Ass Cover ART from Kick-Ass Albums." Yes, this is an actual book on how the art of an album cover made THAT much of an impact on a wide audience of those willing to listen to music!
Even by reading the forward, done by appropriately named Scott "NOT!" Ian, the whole concept of this book is perfect genius. Back in the day it was how the album looked, its first impression that made you want to either continue with purchasing the album or ignore it, and it really was something I would never thought of. Now, with that settled, the book does a good job stating what albums and what bands had the music to impact us metal-heads, and how the art on the albums were able to grab our attention. It mainly focuses on the aspects of how Glam/Classic/Extreme (and by Extreme I mean just Death and Black Metal) Metal album covers impacted us, but you do get a taste of other genres like Thrash, Nu and... I'll refer to it as the Grunge and Modern Rock eras (for a lack of better terms).
When you decide to read the actual book and not pick up the book only to go inside and go, "Ooh! Look at the pretty picture!" it feels like a watered down version of the history of how the mentioned genres had managed to create itself and attract fans. It's not bad, just a bit generic in my point of view, but then again, if he didn't do that part, it would probably be a bit more difficult to write the book itself. There are also sections of the book where they talk about certain artists and their albums with much needed respect towards the art. While it is a great concept, I mostly just rolled my eyes after reading the section because, again, it seems generic but I attribute that to the bands that were selected (Burzum, Mayhem, Mötley Crüe).
Two main problems for me are, once again, the specific sections. The first one is how there's an entire section dedicated to Derek Riggs. Don't know who he is? He's the creator of Eddie the Head (formerly known as Electric Matthew). My problem with this is why just Riggs? Aren't there other mascots that had just as much of an impact towards the audience target? How about going through an entire section of the dude who created Snaggletooth? Don't know who he is? It's the mascot for Motörhead. Seriously, you should know this.
On the other hand, the second problem is that you got the entire ending saved and prepped up specifically for Manowar. While their album covers do attract the metal spirit, to me the album covers don't make THAT much of an impact. Let me rephrase that: the album covers (in terms of what the author was looking for) deserved a LOT of credit in terms of the target audience, but the author is giving them too much credit. I could probably care less about how their album covers did since they seemed basic to me. I found the Death and Black Metal album covers more attention-grabbing than a half naked dude killing things with a girl with big boobs at his side.
Overall, it's somewhat interesting. I'd recommend it to that dude who knows most of his metal but thinks he can get better at it, but if you're a pro in the metal circuit I'd only recommend this book as either a reminiscing book or a "compare your thoughts" kind of book. Also, if you do get the book, promise me you're not going to pick it up just to look at the art and go, "Ooh! Look at the pretty pictures!"
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