Sound of the Beast

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Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal
Ian Christe - Sound of the Beast.jpg
Author Christe, Ian
Language English
Subject Heavy metal music
Genre Musicology
Publisher Harper Paperbacks
Publication date
Media type Paperback
ISBN 0-380-81127-8
OCLC 50080235
781.66 21
LC Class ML3534 .C475 2003

Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal is a 2004 book by Ian Christe, documenting the history of heavy metal music and its origins.

The book argues that heavy metal began with Black Sabbath in 1970, eschewing the concept of 'proto-' heavy metal. As such, Christe devotes several chapters to documenting the band's history. He continues to chart the emergence of NWOBHM, practiced by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, and thrash metal acts such as Metallica. His analysis extends to Slayer and their influence upon grindcore and death metal.

Brent Burton, writing for the Washington City Paper, deigned that "Like Nick Tosches' 1977 Country, Christe's Sound of the Beast takes a deep-focus view of music that most regard as one-dimensional—drawing attention to some of the rawest purveyors of each subgenre. However, unlike Tosches' writing, Christe's descriptions of the music he so clearly loves are often ungainly. On his beloved Sabbath: 'Above all else they had the best riffs, the huge guitar and bass lines that last a lifetime.' And on Metallica: 'Kill 'Em All might have been the first record fast enough that when fans played it to the point of skipping, a full chorus could be captured in a single revolution of the vinyl.' Christe also falters when he inexplicably attempts to beat metal's 'white music' rap without any ammo: Hard rockers Phil Lynott and Slash are among a mere handful of names enlisted for the cause."[1]


  1. ^ Burton, Brent (June 27 – July 3, 2003). "South of Heaven". Washington City Paper. 23 (26). Retrieved 2009-04-05. 

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