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Jim McCarthy & Brian Williamson: Metallica: The Graphic Novel

A novel approach.

A meticulous retelling of the multifaceted Metallica tale in comic-book format, Nothing Else Matters provides an undoubted relief from the stodgy traditional band biographies that clog the shelves. Such a shame, then, that the script – written in a stilted first-person Metalli-voice – doesn’t quite ring true.

(Mind you, if author McCarthy had captured accurately the speech patterns of drummer Lars Ulrich, there probably wouldn’t have been room for any of Williamson’s pictures…) Speaking of which, too many of the monochrome illustrations have obviously been copped from well-seen band mugshots. You find yourself referencing “Metal Hammer photo session 1994” when you really should be immersing yourself in the story.

Still, no stone is left unturned, not even the band’s controversial collaboration with Lou Reed on Lulu. “We soldiered on… you win some and you lose some,” we read. Much like this book, in fact.

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.