The best books to buy a metalhead this Christmas

Jeremy Corbyn

It’s cold outside and all you want to do is sit down in front of the fire with a good book. But wait. What the hell do you read?! Over the past 12 months, millions of pages have been printed about music, and it’s hard to know where to start, but Hammer has got you covered. We’ve picked the best books for metal fans to get for Christmas. So if you’re buying for a friend or are stuck for things to ask Santa for, look no further than the stories below.

For The Sake Of Heaviness: The History Of Metal Blade Records by Brian Slagel

Amazon says: An inside look at how Brian built Metal Blade from a one-man operation in his mom’s non-air-conditioned garage to the preeminent international home of heavy music that it is today. He shares his insights into signing and working with Amon Amarth, Anvil, As I Lay Dying, Behemoth, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse, Cirith Ungol, Corrosion of Conformity, D.R.I., Fates Warning, Flotsam and Jetsam, Gwar, King Diamond, King’s X, Lizzy Borden, Manowar, Mercyful Fate, Overkill, Raven, Sacred Reich, Six Feet Under, Trouble, Unearth, Voivod, Whitechapel, and others.

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What Does This Button Do? by Bruce Dickinson

Amazon says: In What Does this Button Do? Bruce contemplates the rollercoaster of life. He recounts – in his uniquely anarchic voice – the explosive exploits of his eccentric British childhood, the meteoric rise of Iron Maiden, summoning the powers of darkness, the philosophy of fencing, brutishly beautiful Boeings and firmly dismissing cancer like an uninvited guest. Bold, honest, intelligent and funny, this long-awaited memoir captures the life, heart and mind of a true rock icon, and is guaranteed to inspire curious souls and hard-core fans alike.

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A History Of Heavy Metal by Andrew O’Neill

Amazon says: Award-winning comedian and life-long heavy metal obsessive Andrew O’Neill has performed his History Of Heavy Metal comedy show to a huge range of audiences, from the teenage metalheads of Download festival to the broadsheet-reading theatre-goers of the Edinburgh Fringe. Now, in his first book, he takes us on his own very personal and hilarious journey through the history of the music, the subculture, and the characters who shaped this most misunderstood genre of music.

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America 51: A Probe Into The Realities That Are Hiding Inside ‘The Greatest Country In The World’ by Corey Taylor

Amazon says: The always-outspoken hard rock vocalist Corey Taylor begins America 51 with a reflection on what his itinerant youth and frequent worldwide travels with his multiplatinum bands Slipknot and Stone Sour have taught him about what it means to be an American in an increasingly unstable world. He examines the way America sees itself, specifically with regard to the propaganda surrounding America’s origins (like a heavy-metal Howard Zinn), while also celebrating the quirks and behaviour that make a true-blue American.

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The Heroin Diaries: Ten Year Anniversary Edition by Nikki Sixx

Amazon says: In honour of the ten-year anniversary of The Heroin Diaries, Nikki Sixx’s definitive and bestselling memoir on drug addiction is reissued with exclusive new content. This shocking, gripping, and at times darkly hilarious memoir explores Nikki’s yearlong war with a vicious heroin addiction. Now more than ever, with opioid addiction ravaging our country and rising by twenty percent in the past year alone, Nikki’s story of both his descent into drug-addled decay and subsequent recovery and transition into a rehabilitation advocate are now more relevant than ever.

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On Power: My Journey Through The Corridors Of Power And How You Can Get More Power by Gene Simmons

Amazon says: Inspired by Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, Simmons offers his unique take on the dynamics of power in every realm of life, from the bedroom to the boardroom, to the world of rock, celebrity, and social media, to politics. With one-of-a-kind anecdotes from his life and career, as well as stories from historical and contemporary masters of power, including Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, Warren Buffett, Michael Jordan, Oprah, and Elon Musk, Simmons crafts a persuasive and provocative theory on how the pursuit of power drives civilisation and defines our lives.

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Experiencing Black Sabbath: A Listener’s Companion by Nolan Stolz

Amazon says: In Experiencing Black Sabbath: A Listener’s Companion, musician and scholar Nolan Stolz leads the reader through Sabbath’s 20 studio albums and additional songs, offering a close look into their music and the storied history of the band. Along the way, Stolz highlights often-overlooked key moments that defined Sabbath’s unique musical style and legacy. Band members’ own words illuminate certain aspects of the music, and Stolz makes connections from song to song, album to album, and sometimes across decades to create an intricate narrative of the band’s entire catalogue.

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The Road To Roo Inn by Mörat

Amazon says: The difference between wizards and warlocks is that warlocks are hairier and tend to hang a bit lower. The difference between Aberrant MC and other outlaw motorcycle clubs is that Aberrant has a wizard. And an orc, a bridge troll, and a hobgoblin. Unfortunately, they don’t have a plan. This is Metal Hammer writer Mörat’s killer follow-up to The Road To Fero City.

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Owls, Trolls & Dead Kings’ Skulls: The Art Of David Thiérrée by Dayal Patterson

If you ever thought that folklore-related art verged on the twee, the immersive and mesmerising Owls, Trolls & Dead King’s Skulls: The Art Of David Thiérrée will very quickly put you straight. Having cut his teeth in the black metal world, going from illustrating demo tapes to drawing covers for the likes of Behemoth and Gorgoroth, his work has now branched out into a fully realised fantasy world, where the titular creatures are rendered in levels of detail that border on the mystic, as potent in black and white as they are in lysergic layers of colour. Featuring 200 career-spanning images, alongside histories, and commentaries from Nergal, Mortiis and Nocturno Culto, Owls… is a measureless trove of wonder.

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Up to 46% off your Metal Hammer magazine subscription

If you’re looking for something new to read THIRTEEN TIMES A YEAR (yup, more than once a month) then subscribe to Metal Hammer for 2018! Get the magazine delivered straight to your door days before it arrives in stores, so you can read all the biggest interviews from the best bands in metal without ever having to leave the house. What could be better than that?

And we’re giving you a massive discount because it’s Christmas and we’re big softies.

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