I didn't mean to read this again. I just sort of did it. I was looking for something music related and I figured it'd been a while since I had read this so I cracked it open and it was consumed rather quickly thereafter.
I didn't realize that it was ten years old. Death Metal stops at 2003. Pretty odd to read in 2015 and not hear about what's been going on for the last dozen years. I really should have purchased the newly re-released version which has a bunch of updates. Oh well. I guess I'll just wait another decade and buy the next iteration. ;)
I hope you like Napalm Death, boyeee. Cuz this book is centers Death and Grind firmly around the boys from Birmingham. Somehow they're the center of the metal universe. Ah well.
The book is good, though. It's definitely got a narrow focus. Albert chooses to hone in on about ten very important, seminal death metal bands and follow their evolution over a decade or so. Repulsion, Death, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Entombed, Carcass, Napalm Death, Nile...they're the main players in this story for sure. Plus some others of course. Plenty of cameos from NY, Florida, Cali, and Sweden. There are a million bands you could say "why didn't they talk about so-and-so more", but for me the biggest omission was Bolt Thrower. They have a few mentions in there but to me they could have been another 'big' band to follow their trajectory. Whatever. I didn't write the damn book so I can't complain.
It's gotta be hard to try and write a book of this scope. Ultimately narrowing the focus and crafting a story from characters, rather than a laundry list of releases and dates, was the way to go. It reads well. It bounces back and forth across the pond easily. I remember reading a book on the history of Swedish Death Metal and it felt more like a text book of "this band did this, then this band released that, then this demo came out, then this guy picked his nose on this date." It didn't flow. It was too comprehensive. Of course, I'll read it again, but still, it didn't have the flow that Choosing Death does.
This is a solid read and my only regret is that I should have ponied up the cash to buy the updated and expanded edition and read about the last ten years of DM and Grind. Maybe one of my boys will buy it and then I can borrow it and read those new chapters. ;)