Gotta hand it to Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles veteran Martin Popoff for sticking to his guns and finishing up the latest edition of his Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal series, despite having his hands in so many different projects these days. This latest volume, covering 2000-2009, sees Popoff getting plenty of help from fellow BW&BK scribe David Perri, which kind of changes the flavor a bit from previous editions. Perri is obviously a bit younger than Popoff, and no doubt his tastes run more into the 'extreme' side of the metal spectrum. In some ways that's a plus, as Martin is surely an 'old school' metal fan who also likes plenty of the newer stuff, but in a decade where extreme metal seemed to take a strong hold over all the other sub-genres, having someone on board to help out with the plethora of extreme acts gives this book plenty of coverage. Perri is seemingly well versed in all things extreme, so he lets Popoff take a break and delivers a wide breath on all things black, death, thrash, doom, and more. However, it's when David tackles some of the older acts, and especially the power & prog metal releases, that this book starts to suffer slightly. As masterful as Perri is with covering a Cradle of Filth, Enslaved, or Behemoth album, he doesn't do any justice at all to acts such as Magnum, Vanden Plas, Primal Fear, or Epica,among others. We get it-you don't like most power metal, prog metal, or symphonic rock/AOR. It would have made more sense to leave these type of releases to Popoff.
That slight negative bit aside, like all the other volumes in this series, this is an entertaining read, whether you digest it cover to cover, or pick out just the albums you personally like. More often than not, you'll be left wanting to go back into your CD collection and pulling out many of the releases you haven't heard in years and reacquanting yourself with them all over again,or, ordering up stuff you just never got around to buying in the first place, and in the end, that's the point of a book like this anyway.
A bonus CD of songs from the Metal Blade roster is included, featuring tunes from acts like Behemoth, Amon Amarth, Hail of Bullets, Hate Eternal, The Black Dahlia Murder, Fates Warning, and more.