PERFORMING ARTS

Raising Hell: Backstage Tales from the Lives of Metal Legends

Diversion. Jan. 2020. 480p. ISBN 9781635766493. $30. MUSIC
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Drug-fueled orgies, frenzied concerts, and mosh-pit mayhem—even the seemingly tamest of heavy metal bands have shocking stories to tell. Compiling some of the wildest accounts from Judas Priest, Quiet Riot, Sepultura, Morbid Angel, Fear Factory, Anthrax, Slayer, Pantera, and other groups, music journalist Wiederhorn takes a slightly different approach than with his previous book, Louder Than Hell, a heavy metal oral history. There is no overarching narrative here, just a collection of tales organized by topic: confrontations with law enforcement, drug and alcohol use, and sexual encounters. The loose organization makes this volume easy to dip into at any point rather than read straight through. Not all of those quoted are well-known artists, but nevertheless the entries will all entertain. One gem involves Mark Slaughter, lead vocalist for Slaughter, who dove off the stage into the crowd at a concert and was dragged out of the venue by a security officer who mistook him for an unruly fan.
VERDICT Metal devotees will devour, casual fans will enjoy browsing, but all music lovers will have a blast.

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