Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces

Edited by Albert Mudrian, Editor-in-Chief of Decibel magazin, Precious Metal takes you inside the recording studios where the most intense heavy metal albums of all time were created, providing background on the savage guitar sounds and bloodcurdling screams that have defined a musical genre.

To compile this book, Mudrian pored through Decibel and expanded its interviews to bring you face-to-face with each and every band member who contributed to twenty-five immortal albums. Revealing the operatic scope of each band’s vision and their uphill battles to lay down tracks that would endure, the pieces offer a fly-on-the-wall look at three decades of rocking out. Highlights include:

  • Ozzy Osbourne’s devastating departure from Black Sabbath—and their reinvention with Heaven and Hell, which captured a new generation of metal fans.
  • The quick rise and fall of Diamond Head, whose proto-thrash classic Lightning to the Nations (a one-week recording demo) catapulted them into the pantheon.
  • Sleep’s 52-minute one-track release, Jerusalem, and the 1.316-second song “You Suffer” that earned Napalm Death a world record.
  • A double arrest for Emperor—the guitarist for arson, the drummer for murder—that threatened the completion of In the Nightside Eclipse.
  • The grotesque, taboo-shattering lyrics of Cannibal Corpse—and the shocking Tomb of the Mutilated cover art that decimated the limits of zombie pornography.

Delving deep into the bands’ diverse influences—ranging from the usual suspects like Led Zeppelin to Wagnerian opera (Kyuss) and reggae (Napalm Death)—Precious Metal celebrates the legacy of their landmark albums and amplifies the risks taken along the way.

To celebrate the book’s release, on Friday, July 31st at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, Decibel is holding a special book release show. Grindcore legends Repulsion will kick off our with a once-in-a-lifetime performance of their Hall of Fame-inducted classic Horrified in its entirety. Pig Destroyer and Brutal Truth will be there to tear the venue a new one, too. A few tickets are still available and can be purchased here.


“I guess I was never a real Satanist—it was just a pose.”

—Nicke Andersson Entombed, Left Hand Path

“It felt so good to play live—it felt like you were killing somebody.”

—Josh Homme Kyuss, Welcome to Sky Valley

“The blood, the guts and the gore—that’s what it’s all about.”

—Bob Rusay Cannibal Corpse, Tomb of the Mutilated

“Everything’s an experiment, you know? That’s the beauty of art.”

—David Vincent Morbid Angel, Altars of Madness

“Eyehategod was started as a way to piss people off. All the heavy music around here was fast, thrashy stuff, so Eyehategod slowed it down as much as possible…And it worked, man. People fuckin’ hated ’em.”

—Brian Patton Eyehategod, Take as Needed for Pain

“[There were songs about] making dog food out of humans…I just thought it was turning things upside down.”

—Michael Amott Carcass, Necroticism

“We rehearsed in the dark, so we could play the songs without looking, which is fucking stupid.”

—Mikael Åkerfeldt Opeth, Orchid

“Every stereo I’ve seen has a volume knob, but for some reason, people seem to demand that their records be obscenely loud.”

—Kurt Ballou Converge, Jane Doe

“You can be as pretentious as you want if you’re growling lyrics…You could be the death metal Poet Laureate if you wanted to.”

—Nick Holmes Paradise Lost, Gothic

“When I eventually got sobered up, which was three years later, I listened to Heaven and Hell, and, to this day, I cannot remember doing some of the songs. I can’t remember what studio it was. I can’t remember playing it at all. I have no memory.”

—Bill Ward Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell


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