FAQs Re: Hellraisers: A Complete Visual History of Heavy Metal Mayhem


What the #$@&%*! is Hellraisers: A Complete Visual History of Heavy Metal Mayhem?

Well, as its title suggests, it’s a complete visual history of heavy metal mayhem. Put another way: it’s a coffee table book! The text is by MetalSucks co-founder Axl Rosenberg and Chris Krovatin, who you may know as ‘Emperor Rhombus’ (he’s also written for RevolverRolling Stone, Noisey, Invisible Oranges, and a punch of other outlets that are all more respectable than MetalSucks). It’s a really beautiful book that will look great on your coffee table or bookshelf or bathroom floor or wherever you keep that kind of thing. As a bonus, not a single one of Axl’s shitty Photoshop jobs appears in the book!

What about Vince?

Other than providing his usual love and support (i.e., sexual favors), Vince is not involved. Our sincerest apologies to all Vince fans. You know we’re the biggest Vince fans of all! #NeilsteinSoundscam4Life

Who did the cover art?

The one and only Mark Riddick!

Who wrote the foreword?

The one and only Matt Heafy!

Did you conduct any new interviews for the book?

We did! Specifically: Alex Webster and Paul Mazurkiewicz from Cannibal Corpse, Jesse Leach from Killswitch Engage, Dez Fafara from DevilDriver and Coal Chamber, Scott “Wino” Weinrich from The Obsessed and Saint Vitus, Misha Mansoor from Periphery, Mark Heylmun from Suicide Silence, Mirai Kawashima from Sigh, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix from Liturgy, Otep from Otep, Eyal Levi from Nail the Mix, and we think some other people we’re unfortunately forgetting right now.

What period or periods and genre or genres of metal does the book cover?

Everything! It starts with proto-metal acts like Led Zeppelin and goes all the way through to the backlash against the most recent Suicide Silence album. Along the way we dig into everything from NWOBHM to thrash to black metal to everythingcore.

Is there anything interesting about the way each chapter is formatted?

Funny you should ask! Each chapter is devoted to a particular genre, and begins with a list of the following items:

  • What is it: A description of what this genre sounds like.
  • Who it’s for: A profile of the average fan of this kind of metal.
  • Where does it come from: The parts of the world from which this type of metal rushes forth.
  • Bastard children: Our attempt to amass each genre’s many offspring.
  • The Big Four: The top four bands in this genre.

Then there’s the actual history of the genre, and then, at the end of the chapter, there’s a playlist of exemplary songs from that genre.

Did you guys argue a lot about who the Big Four of each genre should be?

Nah, we came up with a healthy system to handle all disagreements quickly: back alley switchblade fights in which victory was achieved by drawing first blood. Winner gets to choose the Big Four, loser gets to go to the ER for stitches. Honestly, Axl lost most of the time.

Does the book cover anything else besides all the various genres, sub-genres, sub-sub-genres, and sub-sub-sub-genres?

Yeah! There are a bunch of mini-chapters on various topics of interest to metalheads, including festivals, band mascots, the war over drum triggers, a defense of bassists, metal musicians who have been arrested, and even the role of sexuality in metal (hubba-hubba!).

Is the book very MetalSucks-y in tone?

If by “MetalSucks-y in tone” you mean highly tongue-in-cheek, opinionated, and potentially actionable, than yes! If by “MetalSucks-y in tone” you mean “riddled with typos,” than no!

Does it come with endorsements from anyone cooler than you assholes?

Indeed it does:

“I like books with pictures and I like books about heavy metal and this book has both. People like to compartmentalize their genres but this book shows that everybody is influencing everybody constantly and begetting lunatic metal children with Sabbath legs, Van Halen arms, Kiss torsos, Cannibal Corpse faces and maybe even cartoon feet. This is also a great gift for your idiot friend who doesn’t know anything about good music. There’s nothing better than giving a gift and insulting somebody at once. That’s just a good tip outside of this book.”
-Brendon Small, Metalocalypse/Dethklok

“HELLRAISERS cuts to the core of Heavy Metal’s history with a healthy dose of humor, the sincerity of a committed Jedi, and the familiarity of your closest metal brothers and sisters. Think of this book as the literary version of stealing your older brother/sister’s records when you were a kid, only there is so much to learn contained herein that even the most well studied metal scholars will find truth in these pages. For myself, reading about the genre of music I helped pioneer in context of this vast history is overwhelming. Most music is created upon the foundation of a love for music that came before it and this book does an amazing job of illuminating this relationship. In a time of fake news, fake music, fake pop stars, the fake reality that is the Internet, HELLRAISERS proves to be a much needed and much welcomed addition to the written history of heavy metal.”
– Mike Schleibaum, Darkest Hour

“Informative AND funny. I laughed so hard, my scrotum exploded.”
– J.R. Hayes, Pig Destroyer

“HELLRAISERS is sort of a crash course in all things metal. From Thrash Metal to Black Metal, Glam to Deathcore bullshit, this is a comprehensive book that covers a wide variety of bands and genres. Worth it even just for the pictures.”
– Joel Grind, frontman of Toxic Holocaust

How much liberal hog crap did you work into the book?

This book may turn your water gay.

Does Axl spend a ton of time swinging from Pig Destroyer’s nuts?

Not a ton of time, no. But only because we had a word limit. Keep your eyes peeled for his next book, Sonnets for My Love, The Destroyer of Swine.

Does Chris spend a ton of time geeking out about horror movies and other irrelevant bullshit?

Chris’ frame-by-frame analysis positing a hidden connection between Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and Ulver’s Bergtatt – Et eeventyr i 5 capitler was, unfortunately, also cut for space.

Does the book include a comments section in which I can tell you how much I loathe you?

No, books don’t have comment sections. But you can fill out a complaint form here.

Did you have a stoner brain fart and miss any obvious references like you did yesterday with the announcement of the new Electric Wizard album?

We don’t think so, but we’re sure you’ll let us know if we did.

Is there a running joke at a particularly douchie metalcore singer’s expense?

There is!

Is there someplace I can read some of it?

Yes! If you go to the book’s Amazon page and click the “Look Inside” feature, you can check out a pretty decent chunk of the book. We’ll also be debuting chapter samples on Metal Injection and MetalSucks in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for those!

This book seems fun but I hate you and don’t want to support you. What should I do?

Buy the book regardless of your feelings for Axl and/or Chris! Our royalty rate is something like a tenth of a penny for every million copies sold, so you’re really not helping us pay the rent or whatever.

So what’s this thing gonna cost me?

If you order it from Amazon now, it’s just $19.25. That’s 45% off the list price!

Do I get anything special if I pre-order it?

Our appreciation.

That’s it?

Uh… well… okay. E-mail us proof of purchase and Axl will write your obituary for you. To be used at your convenience, of course. How’s that sound?


Well, it’s the best we can do right now. Sorry.

What’s that pre-order link again?

Here ya go!

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