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Music journalist Malcolm Dome dead at 66

Malcolm Dome
(Image credit: Future)

Malcolm Dome, the pioneering rock and metal journalist and long-term contributor to Classic Rock, Prog, Metal Hammer and Louder, has died aged 66.

Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. 

His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and has also been a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.

He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio, which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.

"Malcolm was a great friend to me from the very first time I met him as a writer just starting out, as he was for many other writers as well," says Ewing. "The word legend gets bandied around far too often these days but Malcolm most certainly was. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge about music and was one of the most genuinely widely loved and respected men I know. I will miss him terribly."

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome at Download Festival, 2014 (Image credit: Brad Merret)

Looking back over his career for Earache record's Wicked World website, Malcolm remembered the era in which he first started writing. "It was a time when there was genuine feeling that we in the UK had the most exciting bands in the world," he said.  "These were acts who could take the energy of punk and the class of 70s metal, and take it to another level. 

"Suddenly, there were young British metal bands who were confident, powerful and relevant. And it did change the world. The band who best summed it up have to be Iron Maiden – they represented everything that was good about the genre. But what NWOBHM did best of all was bring it back to the roots and to the people. The fans, the bands – we were as one. Such an era has never happened again."

Iron Maiden tweeted: "We are all very much saddened and shocked to hear about the passing of our friend Malcolm Dome. He was fearless, intrepid, passionate and forthright as a journalist and latterly a broadcaster and we respected him immensely."

Tributes have also come from Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne, Lars Ulrich, Slash, Motley Crue, Hawkwind, Foreigner, Bernie Marsden, Mike Portnoy, Black Star Riders, Blackie Lawless, Devin Townsend, Doro Pesch, Motorhead's Phil Campbell, Saxon, Luke Morley of Thunder, Charlie Benante, Derek Sherinian, Dino Cazares, Banger Films, Frankie Kazarian, Metal Allegiance, Sick Of It All and more.

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Tony Wilson of TotalRock commented: "Malcolm was a key part of Total Rock, joining us before we were even called TotalRock. He was part of our DNA and his absence among us will leave a void that no other can fill."

Orange Goblin's Ben Ward paid tribute on Facebook: "Malcolm was a great friend, a true inspiration and legend of the Heavy Metal world, THE best music journalist ever, someone's whose opinion I always valued and just a lovely, humble, intelligent, kind, generous and very funny man."

Mark Powell of Esoteric records, for whom Dome wrote sleevenotes, commented: "Malcolm was one of life’s kind and charming people and his encyclopaedic knowledge of rock music knew no limits. My heartfelt condolences to his friends and family. Will miss you very much Malcolm, so will the world of music journalism."

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Jerry Ewing

Founder and Editor of Prog Magazine. Enjoys almost all progressive music in its many guises, but is especially partial to a slice of post rock.