Sinister Urge: The Life And Times Of Rob Zombie

Click here to order.


Hal Leonard, 2015; foreword by Jeremy Wagner of Broken Hope

An unofficial (but, if I may say so, awesome) analysis of the music, films and improbable career trajectory of America's best-known heavy metal ghoul and film auteur.

"Drawing on original research and new interviews with bandmates and associates, Sinister Urge takes a detailed look at Zombie's challenging oeuvre, offering close analysis of his albums and films alongside tales of his life and work on and offstage" Carabas



Cannibal Corpse: Bible Of Butchery, The Official Biography

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Metal Blade, 2014; foreword by Gene Hoglan

The official Cannibal Corpse biography, penned by me and fully authorised by the band, lovely chaps that they are.

"A welcome companion to the band's latest studio album, worth the read... It's not going to make you jump out of your seat and go on a killing spree, but it will definitely enlighten you regarding the band's origins and musical career path" Planet Mosh

"A tale of horror and comedy set over the past 30 years... a beautifully destructive-looking piece of literature. 10/10" Metal Hobbit Speaks

"This biography is as much a history of death metal itself as it is a story of a particular band... interesting and compelling" All About The Rock

"Bible of Butchery reveals the commonality of Cannibal Corpse with heavy metal bands since the dawning of the genre. Instead of serving as a kind of unpaid advocate for serial killers everywhere, this band acted as a continuation of the heavy metal tradition of upsetting parents and delighting kids... McIver shows us Cannibal Corpse as they are, and lets their story tell itself and reveal the undiscovered history behind what for most people is the public face of death metal" Death Metal Underground

"For the completist and the mad fan, there's probably not another book that comes close to covering the band's history" Moshblog

"Very informative, and really rather funny" Powerplay

"Both a tribute to the band's past achievements and a nod to whatever the future may hold" Eternal Terror



Glen Matlock's Sex Pistols Filthy Lucre Photo File

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Foruli, 2014; foreword by Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith

This is a memoir by Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols of the 1996-7 Filthy Lucre comeback tour, co-written by Glen and me over the last couple of years.

"A breath of fresh air. What could be more enticing than a Sex Pistol blowing the cobwebs off his own dusty archive and sharing it with the rest of us? Glen bravely supplements the content with honest feelings and opinions, including the internal dynamics of the band itself. Here's the reality"

"Beautifully designed" Drowned In Sound

"Montages of ephemera collected by the magpie-like Matlock" Design Week

"Extremely well presented, featuring many previously unseen photographs from Matlock's own collection interspersed with copies of press surrounding the reunion. It's an honest and engaging read, at times fascinating and essential for any Pistols fan or those with an interest in punk and its enduring legacy" Room Thirteen



Know Your Enemy: Rage Against The Machine

Click here (US) or here (UK) to order.

Omnibus Press, 2014

Reviews pending...


My Bloody Roots: From Sepultura To Soulfly And Beyond

Click here (US) or here (UK) to order.

Jawbone, 2014; foreword by Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl

This is the autobiography of Sepultura and Soulfly founder Max Cavalera, co-written by Max and me between 2011 and 2013. Also available in Portuguese and Polish: French, Italian and other languages coming soon.

"If you are passionate about this story, [and] if you care to get to the bottom of the bloody roots of Max Cavalera, this book is for you" Soundsblog

"A unique story that mixes tales of excess with personal exorcism" Metal Hammer

"Max really captivates the reader... An excellent book that deserves to be read again and again" Metal Samsara

"This was a book that I could not wait to get my hands on. After reading and dissecting it over the past few weeks, it did not disappoint... it's a phenomenal look inside the head of one of the greatest legends of our time... a definite must-read" Skulls N Bones

"Like all good books, My Bloody Roots doesn't just function on a musical level. Rather it's an all-embracing human story, from a talented, brave, and supremely honest individual. I liked Max at the end of his story, warts and all, he is the real deal. And I'm sure when you read it, you will too" Destructive Music

"When Cavalera talks about the death of his stepson, Dana, it's hard to hold back the tears... a must-read for any Soulfly, Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy or metal fan" The Front Row Report

"A pleasant narrative that suddenly gets serious in tone and detailed when an important point arises but does not, like most rock bios, leave fundamental questions unanswered by glossing over them with a trivial acknowledgment or anecdote"

"A shocking if all too human tale about life in the grips of alcoholism. Told in a forthright and conversational tone, it is all the more real. This is a book about tragedy and triumph and the courage of a boy in the face of all but impossible odds. You will be uplifted in the reading of it" Curled Up

"Max delves into his eventful childhood, family life and problems with drugs and alcohol, giving readers an interesting insight... highly recommended to his many worldwide fans" Sea Of Tranquility

"Max has chosen to tell his life story so far from a very humble and honest perspective, not glossing over his mistakes or over-inflating his triumphs, as he takes the reader on the journey of his life in and out of metal... you have to be impressed with the candor put forth by Max and venerable music journalist Joel McIver. It's definitely a warts and all account" Ghost Cult

"Joel writes brilliantly... an awesome book" With Guitars


Buy this book [Portuguese] [Polish] [other languages to be announced]


My Life With Deth: Discovering Meaning In A Life Of Rock'N'Roll

Click here (US) or here (UK) to order.

Simon & Schuster, 2013; foreword by Alice Cooper

The autobiography of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, which he and I co-wrote between 2010 and 2013. Look out for overseas editions very soon.

"A classic tale, simply told" Metal Hammer

"After reading this book, one walks away with a huge amount of respect and admiration for Dave. One may, or may not, agree with what he did, how he did it, or what he believes in, but one can't argue that he believes in it and that he is extremely grateful for what he has and is totally passionate about life. This is a book that contains honesty, integrity and sees the good guy win in the end. Rating: A" Classic Rock Revisited

"A fascinating backstage read" Publishers Weekly

"A sustained celebration" Classic Rock

"A positive, gripping testimony... Ellefson doesn't try to persuade or preach" Record Collector

"My Life With Deth works on multiple levels. It's a behind the scenes story of Megadeth, it's a story of overcoming drug addiction and it's the story of a man's walk of faith. What could have easily been a life ruined and wasted turned into a life that was redeemed and restored, and Ellefson's story of how it all happened is extremely interesting and inspiring" Heavy Metal About

"This is not a 'Christians Only' book, nor is it a 'Metalheads Only' book. It is simply the story of a man with struggles who came out in the end in a much better place. In an industry that can be full of tragedy and excess, this is an inspiring tale of someone who was able to find meaning while continuing to live the rock & roll life for over 30 years" Screamer Magazine

"A superb job... a coherent and engaging story" Destructive Music


Inside The Machine: The Story Of Machine Head

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Omnibus Press, 2012; foreword by ex-Machine Head drummer Chris Kontos

"A comprehensive history of the modern metal titans... Machine Head geeks will relish the details" Classic Rock

"Joel McIver's latest biography charts MH's rise, fall and rise again, complete with all the attendant drama. He doesn't over-intrude on the telling of a classic rock'n'roll story, and doesn't flinch from the more painful moments" Metal Hammer

"McIver's true talent in the writing is making [the band's] passion and drive constantly jump from the pages. He draws comparisons to their Bay Area contemporaries and uses the rise of thrash metal in the region as a parallel to Robb Flynn and eventually Machine Head's rise... Machine Head: Inside The Machine is a detailed, funny and fond salute to one of the heaviest, most powerful and devastatingly underrated metal bands" Geeks Of Doom

"Machine Head are perhaps most notable for a dramatic new aesthetic within heavy music... McIver does a fine job of explaining this sea change and the band's role within it, looking as much at metal's development at this time as developments within the group... an informative look at one of metal's biggest and most longstanding names" Record Collector

"It wasn't until Joel's timely book that I realised the struggles the band have endured. It has made me appreciate the band more than ever" Destructive Music

"McIver has a knack of uncovering artists whose stories have not been fully told, co-writing Glenn Hughes' autobiography and Max Cavalera's upcoming life story among them. You can include this biography of US metallers Machine Head, whose 20 years of startling highs and devastating lows have not been documented to this extent. Refreshingly, McIver doesn't merely toe the line regarding much-maligned nu-metal flirtations; his viewpoints will incite debate" The Music


Glenn Hughes: The Autobiography

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Jawbone, 2011; foreword by Lars Ulrich of Metallica

This is the extended paperback version of Glenn Hughes's autobiography, for which I was Glenn's co-writer, as below.

"A remarkably personal document… astonishing in a number of ways" Word

"Even Hughes's staunchest fans will be stunned by this biography" Hard Sounds

"Easy to read, but heavy enough to handle the real gravity of Glenn's life" Bass Guitar Magazine

"Glenn Hughes: The Autobiography isn't just a must-have book for the rock music fan, it's a must-have book for anyone who wrestles –- no, make that 'battles' -– with addictive demons" Boomer City

"Hughes tells the tale with passion, honesty and self-deprecating wit" Record Collector

"If you buy only one rock book this Christmas, you must make it this one" Classic Rock

"Hughes and his co-author Joel McIver have done an amazing job of telling the bassist/singer's fascinating and often sordid tale" Dave Ling

"Glenn doesn't pull any punches in this refreshing autobiography. Unlike many bios, Glenn actually does let the reader in. You get his emotions and his motivations" Dinosaur Rock Guitar

"One of the best rock autobiographies I've read in a long time" Metal Rules

"An incredible read that really tugs on your emotions... not only the chronicles of a wild and sometimes out-of-control rock star, but the tale of a true survivor" Secret Identity

"Aside from the obvious sincerity that shines from the pages, Hughes's conversational style and the way he frames his story conveys a friendliness and down-to-earth personality that the average reader can relate with... Glenn Hughes is living proof that a nice guy can finish first" Blurt


Deep Purple And Beyond: Scenes From The Life Of A Rock Star

Buy here.


Foruli, 2011; foreword by Lars Ulrich of Metallica

This is the limited-edition, super-luxurious original version of the autobiography of Glenn Hughes, for which I was Glenn's co-writer.

"A remarkably personal document… astonishing in a number of ways" Word

"Even Hughes's staunchest fans will be stunned by this biography" Hard Sounds

"Easy to read, but heavy enough to handle the real gravity of Glenn's life" Bass Guitar Magazine

"Glenn Hughes: The Autobiography isn't just a must-have book for the rock music fan, it's a must-have book for anyone who wrestles –- no, make that 'battles' -– with addictive demons" Boomer City

"Hughes tells the tale with passion, honesty and self-deprecating wit" Record Collector

"If you buy only one rock book this Christmas, you must make it this one" Classic Rock

"Hughes and his co-author Joel McIver have done an amazing job of telling the bassist/singer's fascinating and often sordid tale" Dave Ling

"Glenn doesn't pull any punches in this refreshing autobiography. Unlike many bios, Glenn actually does let the reader in. You get his emotions and his motivations" Dinosaur Rock Guitar

"One of the best rock autobiographies I've read in a long time" Metal Rules

"An incredible read that really tugs on your emotions... not only the chronicles of a wild and sometimes out-of-control rock star, but the tale of a true survivor" Secret Identity

"Aside from the obvious sincerity that shines from the pages, Hughes's conversational style and the way he frames his story conveys a friendliness and down-to-earth personality that the average reader can relate with... Glenn Hughes is living proof that a nice guy can finish first" Blurt


Crazy Train: The High Life And Tragic Death Of Randy Rhoads

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Jawbone, 2011; foreword by Zakk Wylde, afterword by Yngwie J Malmsteen

"Diligent research... the book comes into its own when tackling the intricacies of Rhoads' guitar style" Classic Rock

"A fascinating read" Steppin' Out

"Thorough and well-researched" Bill Kopp

"A great read, along with being an important record of the life of Rhoads" Heavy Metal About

"Like his book and its subject, McIver's a class act all the way... a warm, loving, and immaculately researched biography... McIver's research is unassailable, and his writing style so engaging it's difficult to put down". Jas Obrecht Archive

"Here's a biography that was missing from the book market... I am familiar with Joel McIver's writing career for many years now and I can wholeheartedly say that I appreciate his deep knowledge, his judgement but mainly his style of writing" Rock Pages

"All the answers are here. We're just lucky that author Joel McIver, in his beautifully-written book, was able to uncover them all" Curled Up

"A great way to learn about the mentality of a rock star who... changed the way we look at modern rock music" Raw Talent Guitar

"McIver paces his book carefully, examining Rhoads' early life and time in Quiet Riot, before looking in detail at the short and occasionally troubled days spent working with Ozzy" Record Collector

"At last, here we have a book that expertly delves into every nook and cranny of Randy's short, yet incredibly accomplished career... filled with accounts from musicians that played with and were inspired by Randy, including Ozzy Osbourne himself, and also his family, offering a unique and detailed insight into Rhoads' life and career" Guitar Buyer

"A fabulous job" Hellbound

"The parallels between Crazy Train and the author's best-selling To Live Is To Die: The Life and Death of Cliff Burton (Jawbone 2009) are intentional and obvious. Both books deal with a musical prodigy who died tragically in his mid-20s; both men have a vast following and a profile which has risen and risen in the years since their deaths; and both men have a large coterie of friends, family and associates prepared to tell their stories for the very first time" Guitar World


Overkill: The Untold Story Of Motorhead

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Omnibus, 2011; foreword by Glenn Hughes

“McIver, author of books about Slayer, Cliff Burton, Randy Rhoads and a number of other metallic subjects, here takes on the tale of the original speed metal band, chronicling their rise to stardom in the 70s and 80s and the high-octane life and habits of its frontman, one Lemmy Kilmister. Full of humor and insight, Overkill is an intelligent and well-worded telling of a band's life outside of the spotlight, accentuating the seamless merge of hilarity and personal drama that too often epitomizes the life of a band” Revolver

"An admiring, unpatronising but nonetheless frequently hilarious account" Classic Rock

"With 25 albums' worth of parties and debauchery, we'd expect this biography to contain some premium dirt, and it delivers" Loaded

"Oh, I loved reviewing this book, it was like a time machine back to a golden age... Joel has captured the characters (not just Lemmy) that have gone through Motorhead over the years. I recommend this book highly, and as a long-term Motorheadbanger I don't say that lightly" Hellbound

"McIver decides to present a more philosophical side of Lemmy without paying so much attention to the already well-documented drug abuse and debauchery on the road (although, you can't help but include some of them in a Motorhead biography, right?)" Rock Pages

"Rightly billed as 'the ultimate rock'n'roll saga'” I Heart AU

"A very readable account of how it all panned out" Record Collector

Holy Rock & Rollers: The Story Of Kings Of Leon

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Omnibus, 2010

"A rollicking biography... if it's really this much fun being in a rock'n'roll band, Christ surely won't be returning as a carpenter next time " Q

"Well researched and written" Classic Rock

"A comprehensive history-to-date of a fine and interesting band" Record Collector

"Traces the lives of the Followills from from garage kids with bad mullets to the slick stadium behemoths they are today" NME

"Loaded with anecdotes from their crazy early days" The Sun

"Plenty of discussion and analysis on the musical development of the band" Houston Press

“All about grit and groove… it honours both the band's most recent and earliest incarnations” Uncut

"There is no doubt that the Kings Of Leon have a story worth telling, and author Joel McIver executes Holy Rock & Rollers in such a way that they are almost telling it for themselves" Knowshi


Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica (Updated Edition)

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Omnibus, 2009; foreword by Tom Gabriel Fischer, Triptykon/ex-Celtic Frost

"This book is so well known and so respected that years later it seemed like a moot point to throw my pithy little commentary into the fray. There are so many reviews of this book and they all (pretty much) say the same thing, it's the best of the best of the Metallica biographies" Metal Rules

"Phenomenal" Metal Kaos

"Originally released in 2004, Justice For All was notable for its unbelievable attention to detail, providing Metalli-nuts with more info on the band than perhaps even James Hetfield knows... you'll still be bowled over by the colossal amount of work and detail that's gone into this" Kerrang!

“With the Four Horsemen now seemingly back on fine form and riding the crest of the Death Magnetic wave, this updated edition seems more than timely… if you're a Metallikat who hasn't purchased this must-have tome yet, what are you waiting for? A backstage pass?” Terrorizer

"Painstakingly researched, McIver has dredged interviews out of the archives to show how as their career progressed four vulnerable young men simultaneously struggled with stardom and their demons" Rave

"The best biography even written about Metallica" Rockpages

"A fantastic analysis of Metallica's body of work and the development of Metallica as a band" Stephen Baker Media


To Live Is To Die: The Life And Death Of Metallica's Cliff Burton

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Jawbone, 2009; foreword by Kirk Hammett of Metallica

“When we toured with Metallica in 2008-2009, I read Joel McIver's then-just-released Cliff Burton biography To Live Is To Die. If you haven't, do yourself a favor, and pick up one of the best biographies you'll ever read” Robb Flynn, Machine Head

"Joel McIver is rapidly gaining a reputation for turning out well-heeled rock biographies... diligently researched, musically insightful, and flecked with a nice array of original interviews. Particularly good on the enormous influence Burton had on the rest of Metallica" Mick Wall, Classic Rock

"A superbly detailed account... paints a picture, not just of Burton himself, but also what it was like to be in 'Tallica back in the early days" Kerrang!

"To Live Is To Die is, to me, the very best book about a rock band,
artist or topic that I have ever read. It's better than The Dirt. It's
better than David Lee Roth's Crazy From The Heat. This book is a grand slam home run, hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, to win your team's first ever World Series. It's that good... especially to any Metallica fan out there" Pitriff

“Essential… will surely bring a tear to the eye of many an old-school fan of the band, and sheds some light on their troubled early years for the whipper-snappers” Terrorizer

"A great job" Bass Guitar Rocks

"It's awesome! This book is easily a decade, if not two overdue, so to finally have it available to read and absorb is something of a gift from the metal gods... this book is about the closest thing we'll ever get to
knowing or trying to understand Cliff Burton" None But My Own

"Wonderfully put together... even if you're not into rock biographies, this is one that I recommend picking up and getting to grips with. It’s a book that is meant to pay proper tribute to the man and does so in droves" Blogcritics

"No-one writing today is more capable than author Joel McIver of
interpreting and presenting this complex character... In 2004, the
Englishman wrote Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica, the
bible for Metallica-heads everywhere. Now, with this definitive
portrait of the legendary bass player, he completes the picture" Curled Up

"McIver accurately notes that Burton's influence has been the greatest in the realm of technical death metal, with bassists from Cynic, Atheist and Suffocation having all cited Burton as an influence... an immensely readable book" Chronicles Of Chaos

"This lovingly-assembled biography only adds to the legend" Record Collector

“Engaging and informative… an indispensable look at Metallica's formative years and the headbanging bassist with a penchant for bellbottom jeans who helped create an entire genre of music” Metalocalypse

"Genuinely emotional" Rock And Roll Army

"Provides real insight into the life of Cliff Burton, and the effect of his death on those he left behind" Heavy Metal About

"McIver has given us a reason to... celebrate the short life of a gifted individual who was taken away from us way too soon" Sea Of Tranquility

"A well-rounded account... detailed musical insight... an excellent read" Everlong

"A daring and much-needed tribute... McIver really shows his salt in this thing with his outstanding tech and music theory knowledge... thank God someone took a chance at telling Cliff Burton's story"
Ray Van Horn, Jr

"McIver makes a strong case that it was Burton's knowledge of composition and theory... that gave Metallica the extra dimension" Blurt

"Must read for any serious Metallica fan, as well as both aspiring and established rock bass players" Metal Underground

"All you ever need to know about an important member of the Metallica family who fell from us at an early age" Mass Movement

"McIver's book correctly credits Burton with helping elevate the band to another level" Antimusic

"The definitive Cliff Burton book. It weaves through the all too short life of this truly amazing man. Any fan of Cliff, Metallica or bass guitar should pick up a copy of this truly great biography" Ultimate Guitar

"A fine volume... Burton's profound creative input is revealed in a series of interviews with those close to him" Vintage Guitar

"If you're a Metallica fan you NEED to read this book" Colpop

“A definitive, uniquely genuine and well researched book” Altsounds

"Grade A" Campus Circle

“There are only a few times when a biography can be said to be ‘definitive', and that certainly is the case here… It is inspiring, it is exhaustive, it is informative, and most of all it is a damn good read that I found hard to put down… Undoubtedly one of the most important biographies released covering this style of music.” Amplified

“Well-researched… will leave a lasting impression… required reading” Guitar Edge

"A sensible, cognizant story... avoids wasting time and ink rehashing the mountainous 'Alcoholica'-era debauchery and typical rock star excesses that other rock authors tend to glorify. Instead, To Live Is To Die tells the story of a contradictory man, quiet, unassuming to many, but clearly a determined, focused musician who was a genuine force to be reckoned with... a wonderful tribute" Hard Rock Haven

“Joel is a writer I have a lot of respect for, I really enjoyed his fine book on Slayer… McIver has done a fantastic job, talking to all the people who knew Cliff personally, covering his tenure in Metallica in great detail and with a great deal of compassion… A fine book from a talented and passionate writer and one that deserves the widest audience possible” Live4Metal

“A must for all you Metallicats out there” Bulletbelt

"Probably the best book that could ever be written about Cliff... Highly recommended" Matt Keil

“Does a great job of bringing Cliff to life as a friend, bandmate, and all-around well-adjusted music-lover” Blastitude

“I pretty much inhaled the book… McIver does a great job of getting quotes directly from the people that knew Cliff the best.” Bass Guitar Rocks 

“I finished this book a few weeks ago, yet have had an arduous time writing about it because there's a part of me that knows I will never be able to give this book justice… Joel McIver's book is long overdue and is a magnum opus of rock biographies, as it's meticulously researched, discerning and illuminating in ways I never could have anticipated. McIver does more than just offer the reader a distinctive viewpoint, but makes you feel as if you had known Cliff personally and intimately, hence why I sat in silence when I finished reading it. There are those who believe this is one of the best books on heavy metal to ever be written. I'll go one step further and say it's one of the best biographies of music I've ever read. I felt as if I was right in the thick of the action during Burton's life and was sharing a beer with him on numerous occasions. McIver has a way of placing you right in the thick of the action, and if you never even knew of Cliff Burton before this book, when you are done with it, you will feel as if you have lost a dear friend. With this book, Joel McIver has secured the legacy of Cliff Burton” The Screen Door

"This is an essential book for a lot of people. Everyone who is a fan of Cliff Burton, a fan of Metallica, a fan of thrash metal (or just metal in general) and most importantly, a fan of greatness that was snuffed out unfairly early, should buy this book. If you're close enough to Burton's music, who knows, you might just shed a silent tear as well. I know I did" Thought Processor


Buy this book [English] [French] [German, Italian, Japanese, Finnish and Spanish versions on their way in 2011, plus other territories to be announced]


Unleashed: The Story Of Tool

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Omnibus, 2009

"It's to Joel McIver's credit that this enlightening study is rich in primary-source material and runs rich in spot-on critique... the band's esoteric interests are astutely documented" Classic Rock

"Praise Satan, someone has decided to definitively commit Tool's tale to print... as the first complete account of the band's long and bizarre history, it's well worth a read" Kerrang!

"Reveals the band in sharp, objective focus" Metal Hammer

"Comprehensive and eye-opening... if you think you know absolutely everything about Tool, think again until you have read this book" Classic Rock Presents Prog

"McIver, a knowledgeable and prolific rock scribe, sets the heavy rock act named after genitalia in the context of the turbulent musical years of the 90s... this is a must-read" Record Collector

"Delves deep into the collective mind of a band renowned for their reluctance to explains themselves" Rhythm

"Highly recommended" Destructive Music

"There has never been a band like them, and probably never will be. Joel McIver captures this perfectly in this book" Suite 101

"Tool has become known for their astounding live concerts, controversial videos, and an uncompromising style that defines definition. There has never been a band like them, and probably never will be. Joel McIver captures this perfectly in this book" Entertainment Books


Buy this book [English] [foreign-language versions on their way in 2009]


The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists

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Jawbone, 2009; foreword by Glen Benton of Deicide

"Joel McIver, over not very many years at all, has become heavy metal’s premiere journalist... Joel’s choices are sure to cause kitchen-table knife-fights (and wait until you get into the Top 20!)" Martin Popoff, Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles

"Joel McIver's judiciously grafted tome comes packed with facts, insights and info, explaining techniques and providing a useful bluffer's guide in the process" Metal Hammer

The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists might be the most complete overview of metal guitar on the planet” Message

“Talk about a read that will leave you not only entertained but also ready to run into the town with torches blazing… This one will surely cause some controversy” Piercing Metal

"Compelling and engaging... after reading it you'll want to make your own list, email Joel McIver to argue about his list and seek out music to revisit or discover these outstanding guitarists" Heavy Metal About

"Joel McIver's The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists will help the headbanger in your life see in the New Year with a smile" The Daily Mirror

“McIver is no-one to fuck around with –- the man certainly knows his material, and he puts on quite a display of knowledge here… if you call yourself a metal fan, McIver just wrote you something you can proudly display on your black bookcase next to your Slayer shrine”

“McIver knows what he is talking about. This isn't just a half-hearted list thrown together to make a quick buck” Innocent Words

"The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists is an interesting read, and isn't short on controversy. Let the debate rage on" Beatroute

“A hell of a fun read for anybody interested in either heavy metal or guitars… in an entertaining style that is equal parts fanboy enthusiasm and rockcrit perspective” Blurt

“An antidote to guitar lists… when I told one of my mates who made the No. 1 spot, he classed it a moral victory” Subba Cultcha

“This author knows his metal, as his books on Metallica and Slayer attest… the top 10 is bound to spark fierce debate” Guitarist

"The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists is a terrific read. McIver brings impeccable credentials to the subject... the author's passion and knowledge are beyond reproach" Gibson Guitars

"Every entry is entertaining... an amusing and controversial book" Guitar (Germany)

“Well presented… this book is a good read for guitar players into metal… you will be entertained” Fretplay

"A good chance to read up on your metal history... This book is extensive and highly detailed, and should be the starting point of any guitarist who wishes to learn about the greats of metal" Altsounds

"McIver is a brave man to attempt such a task... fascinating and very hard to put down. The fact that McIver secured Glen Benton of Deicide infamy to do the introduction speaks volumes" Blogger News Network

"Respected UK music journalist Joel McIver certainly had his work cut out for him... a knowledgeable list of top guitarists for a change" Greg Prato, Guitarsite

"The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists will give you more insight than the typical metal book... you will not be disappointed"

“A book worth a thorough read... and then riff-filled debate. This is a list that any real metal fan would agree with... this guy knows his metal!” CBC Radio

"This was a fun read, and a book that has generated lots of heated discussion around metal and guitar circles" Sea Of Tranquility

“McIver brings a depth of knowledge and detail to each of the portraits here, starting with number 100 and continuing to the top” Sun Herald

“Joel McIver does the impossible… a coffee-table book you can bring to the studio to read in between takes” Mean Street

“Well-written and factual but also rates highly on the enjoyment factor. Recommended” Powerplay

“Wickedly brilliant… smarter than any other encyclopedia of its kind” Curled Up

"McIver hits the nail on the head, even in making his controversial selection for the greatest metal guitarist of all time... for those who seek to widen their metal knowledge and vocabulary with minimal effort, The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists is an excellent purchase" Lucem Fero

"The real value of this book is McIver's own passion. His pure love and appreciation for metal is apparent... the list gets especially juicy as it winds down into the top thirty" Premier Guitar

“A very strong point is McIver's knowledge of all genres, this is reflected in the book. Modern guitarists from relatively new bands are mentioned, as well as veterans” ME Metalhour

“A terrific coffee-table-sized book… one of the best books on the subject of metal” Fulvue Drive-In

"This collection's greatest achievement is that it triumphantly puts into words the terror, bombast, swarming power and clouds of terror emited from the amps of Trey Azagthoth, James Hetfield, Dimebag Darrell, Kerry King and the rest" Rocktober

"This is a complete listing, punctuated by comments from the players, most of whom comport themselves with intelligence and insight" Vintage Guitar

"Joel McIver can be seen as one of the most important
writers of books on music... this is a very cool book" Lords Of Metal

“The depth and knowledge of the subject matter is unquestionable… Required reading for all fans of the genre” Amplified

"You'll be drawn into this collection" Innocent Words

"Metal book of the year" City Of Devils

"One of the best books on the subject of metal" Fulvue Drive-In

"Definitely taught me a thing or two" Guitar Player

"The best list of guitarists I've ever read... a mandatory addition to your metal library" Metal-Rules

“This thoroughly-researched work is essential reading for anyone interested in the hyper-craft of metal guitar playing” Simon P Hopkins

“THE most controversial book you've EVER read in your life” Metal Storm 


Buy this book [English] [German, Italian and Spanish versions on their way in 2009]


The Bloody Reign Of Slayer

Omnibus, 2008; foreword by the members of Municipal Waste

"Thoroughly compelling... McIver's obvious passion for his subject shines through on every page, and such is the depth of detail that even the most rabid Slayer acolyte will surely stumble across a few nuggets of fresh information" Classic Rock

"Avoids hyperbole, and without tabloid dirt-digging, reveals the personalities of the band" Metal Hammer

"The ultimate (un)holy bible for Slayer fanatics... Joel McIver takes in staggering amounts of detail on their history that would put Simon Schama to shame. If you can find more info on Slayer than contained here, your name is Kerry King" Kerrang

"An expert biography" All Music Books

"Provides the commentary to the 25 years since Slayer's first release" Rock Sound

"Excellent... rich in detail and anecdote... an essential read"
Record Collector

"Covers the full history of the band... a worthwhile addition to any fan's collection" Rhythm

"A fascinating, absorbing read... recommendations rarely come this heavy, or this loud" The Crack

"A killer new book... in-depth and personal... plenty of inside scoop to keep every Slayer fan interested on every page. Great job Joel!" Steppin' Out, New Jersey

"Amusing tales of guitarist Kerry King's verbal spats with other musicians" Q

"A timely piece of work, and one that could find no better author... as a biography that presents and celebrates the music of an influential act, this is the first and the last word" Thrash Hits

"The Bloody Reign Of Slayer will appeal to both hardcore fans of the band and those not as familiar with their work. McIver balances general facts with deeper and more detailed information about the band members and the music. There's a lot of material, but it's well organized and an easy read. I enjoyed it and learned a lot about one of the great bands in heavy metal." Heavy Metal About

"The Bloody Reign of Slayer puts forth a wealth of information… McIver has done fantastic research… with members of up to 50 different bands interviewed beforehand, McIver wisely peppers his texts with quotes from Lemmy, Gene Hoglan, Steve Asheim (Deicide), Jeff Becerra (Possessed), Chris Reifert (Autopsy) the members of Darkthrone, Emperor and Cannibal Corpse's Alex Webster… the book brings out all the tension and drama that occurred both on, and off the road." The Left Hand Path

"A must read" Lords Of Metal

“Whatever he writes may as well be Book Of The Year every year” City Of Devils

"A good grasp on Slayer's sound and what makes it work" Nick Cato

"A fine, well-researched read" Hellbound


Buy this book [English] [Finnish, German and many other versions on their way later in 2008]

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

Omnibus, 2006

"Brilliant" The Sun

"McIver is especially good on the music" The Telegraph

"Packed with everything you've ever wanted to know about Sabbath" Big Cheese

"Not for nothing do I refer to Joel McIver as the James Brown of metal writing..." Hellbound

Plus reviews in Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Drummer, Total Guitar, Kerrang!, Rhythm... oh, everywhere

Buy this book [English] [Finnish]

The Making of The Sex Pistols' The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle

MQ Publications, 2006

Not reviewed anywhere because the publisher was breathtakingly useless, and believe me I've worked with some notable specimens.
Buy this book [English]

The Making Of The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik

MQ Publications, 2005

See the Pistols book. MQ Publications sucked massively, I wasn't surprised when they went bust...

Buy this book [English]

No One Knows: The Queens Of The Stone Age Story

Omnibus, 2005 (hardback), 2006 (softback); foreword by Kat Bjelland of Babes In Toyland

"Authoritative tale of pills, thrills and fistfights" Classic Rock

"Deep analysis of the long and chequered career of Homme et al"
Bass Guitar

"A rollercoaster read" Metal Hammer

Buy this book [English] [German]

Extreme Metal II

Omnibus, 2005; foreword by Mille Petrozza of Kreator

"The definitive guide" Metal Hammer Germany

"McIver has gone on to write other books including a best-seller about Metallica, a biography of Max Cavalera of Sepultura, retrospectives of Motorhead and Black Sabbath, a band history of Cannibal Corpse and most recently, a book about alternative band Rage Against the Machine. He demonstrates comfort at every level of above-ground and underground bands, but his instinct as a fan makes him a writer worth reading as he tears through metal, sorting the entropy from the growth. While one can write about underground metal to any depth, Extreme Metal II strikes the right balance of information and expediency and produces an excellent first step for any fan or researcher looking into these sub-genres of heavy metal"

Buy this book [English] [German]

Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica

Omnibus, 2004, updated 2006, 2009 and 2014; foreword by Thomas Gabriel Fischer of Tryptikon

"This book is as important as the band" Steppin' Out, New Jersey

"A book for the Metallica obsessive" Q

"Thorough and detailed in its research" Kerrang!

“A funny exploration of the pre-Metallica early years" Mojo

“Fascinating” Uncut

"Extensive research..." Classic Rock

“A great book” Total Guitar

"If you buy only one book on Metallica, make it this one" Hellbound

Buy this book [English] [German] [Italian] [Polish] [French] [Finnish]

Erykah Badu: The First Lady Of Neo-Soul

Sanctuary, 2003

"Sensitive and well-judged" Record Collector
Buy this book [English]

Ice Cube: Attitude

Sanctuary, 2002

"Emphasises the provocative strength of Cube's core records...
and describes their impact on America" Uncut
Buy this book [English]

Nu-Metal: The Next Generation Of Rock And Punk

Omnibus, 2002; foreword by Casey Chaos of Amen

"An essential purchase" Noise

"McIver's your man" Guitar

"Helpful mini-biographies" Q 

"Ideal for use as a reference point" Metal Hammer

Buy this book [English] [Polish] 

Slipknot: Unmasked

Omnibus, 2001; revised in 2003 and 2012

"Extremely detailed and insightful" HardRadio

"One of Joel's strengths as an author is his passion for the subject and that comes across well here, aside from the music, I found the human story fascinating, particularly how well Joel handles writing about the sad death of Slipknot's bassist Paul Gray" Destructive Music

Buy this book [English] [Italian] 

Extreme Metal

Omnibus, 2000; foreword by Jeff 'Mantas' Dunn of Venom

“A perspective on metal almost entirely missed by the popular media"
Little Rock Free Press

"The ultimate extreme metal book!" Everlong

"Written in a lively, unpretentious style, this A-Z has the answers" Mojo Collections

Buy this book [English] [Italian]