November 2004

9 out of 10

First of all, if you’re reading Terrorizer, you need a copy of this book on your shelves, because it’s far and away the most informed and comprehensive document on death metal and grind that you’ll ever see. Hundreds of interviews have been conducted and tons of rare photos located to give you what is surely the ultimate overview of heavy metal’s ugliest, most obnoxious, bastard offspring.

Mudrian weaves his intriguing tale chronologically, highlighting the birth of grind not only in the UK (the Midlands, to be precise, where Napalm Death and Earache Records quickly came to the fore of the emerging genre), but also in the US and Europe. His detailed account traces the stories of such legendary acts as Repulsion, Siege, Morbid Angel, Death, Obituary, Nihilist, Carnage, Deicide, and Carcass (to name but a few), during the glory years of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. Then he tackles the genre’s ill-advised flirtation with major labels such as Columbia and Warner, takes us through the lean mid-‘90s during the inevitable backlash against over-saturation by sub-standard bands, right up to present day and the likes of Arch Enemy, Nile, Akercocke, and Slipknot. Revealing interviews with the labels responsible for such groundbreaking releases lend an additional, welcome perspective.

Complemented by a (slightly brief) illustrated discography and forewords from both John Peel and former Terrorizer editor Nick Terry, Choosing Death has “definitive” written all over it. It’s beautifully presented, wonderfully realized and should be avidly consumed by all fans of extreme music.