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The Encyclopedia Of Australian Heavy Metal (Book Review)
Released: 2008, Indie
Back in 2002 I reviewed an independent publication called THE AUSTRALIAN METAL GUIDE. It was one of the very first book reviews I ever wrote for this site. Here we are over a decade and 200 more book reviews later, and THE AUSTRALIAN METAL GUIDE has morphed into THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AUSTRALIAN HEAVY METAL.
This actually was updated and published in Germany by Iron Pages in 2004 and this version appeared in 2008, so I’m a bit behind in reviewing this title! The simple 87 page photocopied guide is now a fully-fledged bound book running over 400 pages long. This title is still an independent publication with not much in the way of style or extras, but again content is king. The paperback is totally black and white, no pictures and no bonus features. Even some of the excellent indices from the first version have not made this version. One feature that I found less than pleasant was the triple column type set, with each page having three rows of narrow text. In terms of presentation and content, this version is a big improvement over the initial version.
Author Brian Giffin is still the undisputed master, historian and archivist of all things Metal from that great nation. He does not play favourites and includes all genres of Metal; from Black to Metalcore and back again. The book is easy to read with a simple format. Each band has an individual entry with a listing of who was in the band, but these are not completely comprehensive. Each entry has a discography and a brief history of the band noting important members, events, concerts and so forth.
I feel that THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AUSTRALIAN HEAVY METAL needs a make-over. It could benefit from a nicer colour cover, an introductory essay, a forward, some lists and indices, table of contents, some photos, quotes from artists, and maybe even a sampler CD of underground Aussie Metal, and re-typeset the whole damn thing, would take this great book to truly fantastic. As it stands it is still the first and best, most authoritative source on Australian Metal.