Released: 2009, Indie
I’d heard about this book over the years and I finally decided to buy it. Originally published in 2001 and updated again in 2004 this is the English version published in 2009. Essentially this is the bible of French Metal.
In terms of production and presentation, this reminds me a bit of Griffin’s excellent book THE AUSTRALIAN METAL GUIDE. What I mean by that is the quality of the information is world-class but the presentation is a bit lacking. MADE IN FRANCE is a 153 page photocopied book, on regular paper, with a thicker paper stock front and back cover and a spiral coil binding. It’s basically home-made. The front cover is colour but everything else is black and white. The layout is much like a fanzine, cut and paste and looks like a bit of a scrapbook.
Production and layout issues aside, this is a very interesting and extremely comprehensive look at the French Metal scene from 1978-2008. The author, Raskal, had a buddy translate it into English, for which I am glad because I can finally enjoy this work even if the language is a bit rough in spots. This is a labour of love. Raskal has a first hand knowledge of the French Metal scene from way back in the early days. He has put together a truly broad overview with many fine features.
He starts with an eleven page, detailed essay documenting the history of French Metal. He breaks the scene and years into various stages and I found it very informative. Then from page 16-96 comes the bulk of the book, namely the encyclopedia of French Metal. Listed alphabetically of course Raskal details hundreds and hundreds of French bands, with label info, format and lots of lots of small album cover shots.
Other excellent features include a list of all the videos shot by French Metla bands, a photo gallery, old interviews with bands like Oxenkiller and Vulcain, playlists from old gigs, re-printed reviews, reprints of old ads, a 7-inch vinyl cover art gallery and more, this thing is absolutely loaded with info.
Over the years some people has said that Metal from France has been lacking in quality and quantity. We certainly know that is not true and MADE IN FRANCE demonstrates the depth and quality of the French Metal scene. Raskal has done his nation proud and his knowledge and passion for Metal is demonstrated in this fine work.