100 Greatest Metal Guitarists
Publishing (Book Review)
One of the most annoying trends in media is the onslaught of useless
best of lists, books and TV specials.
They are usually pompous, do not know what they are talking about and
can be as condescending as they are shallow.
Then there are books like Joel McIver’s 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists (2008) that actually know what they
are talking about and are as smart as they are consistent. There are those who still have a problem
separating Hard Rock from Metal, but McIver does a good job. Also, we recommend the chapter of Don &
Jeff Breithaupt’s incredible book Precious
& Few (1996) called Planet of the
Apes – Hard Rock for further clarification.
book is a terrific coffee-table-sized book at 224 pages with hard paperboard
cover (coated) and high quality paper stock in between. Inside, he does the countdown backwards
(which I prefer) and often including black & white illustrations. After naming the player and band(s) played
in, he wraps up each artist with a box that describes what he sees as their
“Genius Moment” and you can see he has a real love and history with this genre.
though most of the players were new names to me, I still managed to question
the order of the picks in those I knew and what even McIver was saying, but
that is part of the fun of a book like this.
It is also by extension one of the best books on the subject of Metal,
as McIver is able to explain to the reader what metal is in all kinds of ways
and does not make the fatal mistake of thinking the reader will know who or
what Metal is.
addition, he also includes (on page 220) an Appendix of 100 runner-ups on his
Metal list and an additional list of non-Metal guitarists he calls Shredders,
guitarists who might have drifted into the genre in their work, but are not
Metal guitarists in the purest form. In
this I agreed 100% and it almost calls for another book, which McIver could pen
if it were as interesting as this one.
In the meantime, 100 Greatest
Metal Guitarists is a library, reference quality book worth your time if
you like Rock and Metal music.
- Nicholas Sheffo