A Biography of Metallica
By Mick Wall
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312649890, 480pp.
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Their roots lie in the heavy rock of 70s groups like Deep Purple. The music they played--heavy metal mixed with punk attitude--became its own genre: thrash. Their bassist died and they survived to became the biggest-selling band in the world. As grunge threatened to overtake them, they reinvented themselves. Then their singer went into rehab and they almost fell apart. They are Metallica, the most influential heavy metal band of the last thirty years.
As Led Zeppelin was for hard rock and the Sex Pistols were for punk, Metallica became the band that defined the look and sound of 1980s heavy metal. Inventors of thrash metal--Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth followed--it was always Metallica who led the way, who pushed to another level, who became the last of the superstar rockers.
Metallica is the fifth-largest selling artist of all time, with 100 million records sold worldwide. Their music has extended its reach beyond rock and metal, and into the pop mainstream, as they went from speed metal to MTV with their hit single "Enter Sandman." Until now there hasn't been a critical, authoritative, in-depth portrait of the band. Mick Wall's thoroughly researched, insightful work is enriched by his interviews with band members, record company execs, roadies, and fellow musicians. He tells the story of how a tennis-playing, music-loving Danish immigrant named Lars Ulrich created a band with singer James Hetfield and made his dreams a reality. "Enter Night" follows the band through tragedy and triumph, from the bus crash that killed their bassist Cliff Burton in 1986 to the 2004 documentary "Some Kind of Monster," and on to their current status as the leaders of the Big Four festival that played to a million fans in Britain and Europe and continues in the U.S. in 2011.
"Enter Night" delves into the various incarnations of the band, and the personalities of all key members, past and present--especially Ulrich and Hetfield--to produce the definitive word on the biggest metal band on the planet.
"[Y]ou want this. You want Mick Wall's Enter Night. The Metallisaga is fascinating, almost an epic, and Wall is well up to the task of telling it."--Boston Phoenix
"They may be the greatest band of all time, but Metallica have been plagued by a load of artistic misfires and band-member squabbles. In this extensive biography by British rock journalist Mick Wall, no lowlight goes unnoticed...His narrative is straightforward and fast-paced - it's fun to see the band transform almost overnight from scruffy, Mötorhead-loving teenagers to hard-partying gods of thunder." --Rolling Stone (3 and ½ stars)
"Enter Night, Mick Wall's biography of Metallica confirms this grizzled veteran to be [an] engaged and waspishly authoritative chronicler of metal's most hirsute behemoths." --Independent on Sunday (UK)
"[A] flaming juggernaut of a heavy-metal biog... the author writes a deceptively casual-looking, sincere but half-amused prose." --Guardian (UK)
'It takes a writer of Mick Walls' pedigree and calibre... to present the whole wild, wonderful and emotionally draining tale all over again and make it as consistently fascinating and momentous as Enter Night...this is the definitive account of heavy metal's biggest band of all." --Classic Rock"Millions of words have been written on Metallica, but few journalists have been present at so many of the band's milestones... [Wall's] eye for detail through the early years makes the book truly enlightening in the way it captures the character of the major players." --Rock Sound