Released: 2008, Bloomsbury
The 33.3 series focuses on the making of certain albums. Started in 2003 they have published about 100 titles (as of time of writing). These pocket sized paperbacks are about the size of CD and are pretty streamlined with not many frills.
The 33.3 (or technically thirty-three and one-third) book series has taken a largely anti-Hard Rock and anti-Metal stance with only two books about Metal (Black Sabbath, Slayer) out of the 100 books published in the series so far, namely 2% of the total. There are also two Hard Rock books, Guns’ Roses and AC/DC. Many people have submitted Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums to be covered but only to be rejected. However, we do have to be thankful that the owners of the series have allowed a couple of Metal albums into the exclusive club of mainstream pop albums they usually focus on.
REIGN IN BLOOD is number 57 in the series and was first published in 2008. D.X. Ferris is an American writer from the mid-west and his work has appeared in some mainstream press. I'm not convinced he is a huge Metal fan as he seems to spend an inordinate amount of time of this short book talking about non-metal bands and the Def Jam Record label (a rap label) and Rick Rubin.
Aside from that, the book is quite well done, lots of great trivia and information about the studio, the recording process, and the people behind the scenes. There are quotes from pretty much everyone involved, engineers, the producer, the band and an extended piece on the cover art which is now lost (or at least held in a private collection where very few people know where it is). Memories get short after 20 years but there is enough fresh info to keep the ravenous Slayer fan happy. The info on the actual recording of it is a little thin and much of the book are quotes rom people saying how great Slayer is. I suppose those quotes from modern Metal guys are important to show the current generation how innovative and ground-breaking REIGN IN BLOOD is. There is also a song-by-song analysis and some good commentary on the controversy of certain songs.
This quick easy read is the perfect companion piece to the album and nicely captures a point in time that older Slayer fans will remember fondly.