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Review: The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal
Book Review
The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal
Publisher: Collector's Guide Publishing Inc.
Author: Martin Popoff
Year published: 1997
ISBN: I-896522-32-7
Pages: 540

Rating: 4/5

Review online: November 27, 1999
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal

Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)

Well-know heavy metal critic Martin Popoff (BW&BK magazine, puts together about 3700 reviews of hard rock, heavy metal, speed, trash, death metal and a few other related genres in this single 540-pages book.

The book was published in 1997, so you will not find many albums published that year and later.  This is a book of reviews, and that is what you're getting.  The book is arranged alphabetically by artist, making it very easy to search for a specific album.  Anyone used to reading Mr. Popoff's reviews will immediately recognize his writing style.  He will sometime defend his rating (all ratings are 0 to 10), I especially liked his defense of his rating of Metallica's "black album", which is a good comment considering the "quality" (or lack of) of the music coming out at that time (for most of the '90s for that matter.)

As is common in Mr. Popoff's style, some of the reviews made me literally burst out laughing as some of the comments were simply hilarious.  I do not agree with all of the reviews, music taste being very personal by nature, but I always value Mr. Popoff's comments no matter what. There are a few errors and omissions in the book, which I'm told have mostly been corrected.

Included with the book is a 19-track compilation of Century Media artists, and I must say it is one of the best compilation CD I have (and I've got a lot...)  The CD contains music for all tastes (metal-wise) which made me discover a few good bands.

The book can be used as a quick reference to look for specific albums, but is also an easy read from beginning to end.  I find it to be an invaluable tool when shopping for pre-1997 albums (at used record stores or other), and I grab it from time to time to get a feel of bands I am not familiar with.  I am definitely looking forward to the next edition of this book.  If you do not know Mr. Popoff's reviewing style, you can get a pretty good idea by visiting  Some reviews in the book have been re-worked and/or enhanced, but you'll get a good feel of it by visiting the site.

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