Mudrian, Albert (ed.) The Decibel Hall Of Fame Anthology Volume III (Book Review)

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: September, 2020
Released: 2019, Decibel Books
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: JP


Here we go with Round Three of Decibels illustrious Hall of Fame anthologies. It is hard to believe that the first book in the trilogy, PRECIOUS METAL was published ten years ago.

Volume III has the same design and layout as Volume II giving this well-done hard cover more of the sense of a series now, as compared to Vol I and Vol II that looked different and had different titles. At 360 pages this is a good value for the price.

In case you are not familiar, Decibel Magazine runs an interview series called ‘Hall Of Fame’. They take an iconic album and ask the members of the band the same question. The twist is that to qualify every member of the band must be alive and participate. This is quite clever because we get a really deep dive into each album. For example, the first interview covers Scorpions IN TRANCE. I’m sure over the decades the singer (Meine) and guitarist (Roth) have been asked questions about this album, a hundred times, but when was the last time anyone interviewed Rudy Lenners, the Belgian drummer who played on that record? Maybe never! Thus is where the series really shines. The oft-ignored bassists and drummers all get equal time and that really rounds out the comprehensive examination of the album in question.

I have reviewed Vol I and Vol II and noted that not all of the albums being inducted were to my taste. In this third volume, the highest percentage of the 25 albums inducted I would consider worthy.  There are a couple of outliers and even the writers admits they might not be as ‘classic’ or sell as much as others on the list, and not surprisingly they are the albums I don’t have, the three punk rock ones.  See below for a list of the inductees.

A Decibel subscriber might ask, “Why should I pay for this book when I can just go back and look through my own issue of Decibel that has the interview?”  Fair question but Mudrian tried to add value by expanding interviews, more photos and a bonus inductee for Bloodbath. Besides it looks good on your bookshelf, supports the magazine and collects everything in one tidy package. Worth it!

According to Mudrian’s interesting and revealing introductory comments there is a lot of love and effort put into these special interviews and it shows. In the past, I’ve gently chided Decibel for being trendy and politically correct but the truth is they do really good work and this anthology is a fine example of the hard work and dedication of all of the staff involved in the Hall Of Fame series.

Hall Of Fame Inductees

Scorpions, In Trance
Judas Priest, Stained Class
Satan, Court in the Act
Hellhammer, Apocalyptic Raids
Kreator, Pleasure to Kill
King Diamond, Abigail
Candlemass, Nightfall
Napalm Death, From Enslavement to Obliteration
Tormentor, Anno Domini
Judge, Bringin’ It Down
Dismember, Like an Ever Flowing Stream
Ripping Corpse, Dreaming With the Dead
Entombed, Clandestine
Cynic, Focus
My Dying Bride, Turn Loose the Swans
Carcass, Heartwork
Cradle of Filth, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh
Deadguy, Fixation on a Coworker
Cryptopsy, None So Vile
Emperor, Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Refused, The Shape of Punk to Come
Opeth, Blackwater Park
Watain, Casus Luciferi
Mastodon, Leviathan
Bloodbath, Nightmares Made Flesh (previously unreleased)