Book Author Says Most Extreme Metal Musicians Are 'Everyday Joes'

D. Shawn Bosler of The Village Voice reports: In his new book "Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore" (Feral House), metal journalist (and editor in chief of the excellent Philadelphia-based metal magazine Decibel) Albert Mudrian gives an in-depth play-by-play of the origins, record label battles, rise, fall, and return of a genre that would come to be known as the final frontier of loud guitar rock. "Death metal and grindcore are responsible for basically all that you see going on in extreme music today in one facet or another," says Mudrian.

"Death metal and grindcore are an amalgamation of hardcore and thrash metal," he adds . "The first time I heard NAPALM DEATH, I just couldn't get my head around it at all. . . . Why would anybody want to listen to this? But you kind of go back to it out of curiosity. Your first impression is, Jesus Christ, what is going on here?"

Interestingly, unlike in hip-hop or black metal (death metal's ugly Norwegian stepchild of face-painted, in-scene murdering, church-burning Satanists), the grinders in the bands never murdered each other, and their lyrics apparently never inspired any copycat killing by fans. "Extreme music is a different kind of culture," explains Mudrian. "Hip-hop culture is often rooted in an environment where violence is a way of life, whereas metal — let's be honest — is mostly a suburban white-boy thing; violence was never their reality. Besides what these guys were singing about, I think most of these guys were just everyday Joes." Read more.

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