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(US: Createspace, 2016; 557 pages, PB. ISBN: 978-1515073833)
Long regarded as the four greatest American metal bands of their generation, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax – collectively known as the Big 4 – emerged during the 1980s and dominated the metal scene in the USA and eventually worldwide. Chiefly inspired by the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and European metal heavyweights such as Kreator, Sodom and Accept the Big 4 went on to define an incredible era of metal and develop a genre of music known as thrash metal of which they became the most successful and influential exponents. They merged fast, technically challenged and intricate metal riffs with punk aggression and attitude.
Each band produced at least one bona fide masterpiece and gained a global following. By the end of the 1980s and into the following decade the Big 4 explored and stretched the boundaries of metal by trying new sounds and developing unconventional musical ideas. Some fans even said they turned their backs on thrash metal in the 1990s, but they were wrong.
In 2010 the Big 4 took the metal community by storm by appearing together onstage for the first time during seven massively successful Sonisphere Festival concerts around Europe. They established themselves as leaders of thrash metal and gained whole new global audiences as the live show in Sofia, Bulgaria on June 22, 2010 was transmitted live to hundreds of cinemas around the world. The Big 4 are now universally popular both as a collective force and as individual bands.
From the author of books on Judas Priest, Pantera and Iron Maiden, Big 4 Encyclopedia is an A-Z guide book that celebrates the thrash metal music of these four legendary headbanging American bands. There are also previously unseen live photographs of the Big 4 as well as contributions from various respected artists and music journalists.
Big 4 Encyclopedia is essential reading for metal fans. A scrapbook of lists, articles and reviews.