The Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal, Volume 4: The ’00s
By Martin Popoff and David Perri (Collector’s Guide Publishing, Inc.)
By Mike Delano
It’s an odd feeling to have for a book that features entries on Defleshed and Bloodbath, but The Collector’s Guide can be a comforting read. Of course, any time you pick up a reviews compilation such as this, which gathers all of the metal reviews these authors can muster from the past decade, your first inclination is to bounce around to your favorite artists to see if the writers’ opinions match your own. Beyond that, most reference books go on the shelf, resigned to an occasional looksie when you discover a new artist and your taste needs to be validated. It’s a testament to the writing in Volume 4, then, that it’s good enough to read from beginning to end, discovering new artists as you go just to hear the author’s take. Lollipop alum and Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles EIC Martin Popoff and his protégé David Perri have such a comfortable, knowledgeable tone – free of unnecessarily flowery language or bizarre tangents – that reading through a big chunk of reviews, many for bands you’ve never heard of, is a treat. Their great taste is varied and unpretentious (Nasum and Deftones are loved in equal measure), and while their picks may sometimes confound you (Fozzy has the album of the decade?!), this trip through 10 years and 3,300+ reviews is well worth taking for metal stalwarts and curious newcomers alike.