The best heavy metal books

1 authors have picked their favorite books about heavy metal and why they recommend each book.

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Confess

By Rob Halford,

Book cover of Confess: The Autobiography

I saved the best for last. Rob Halford has lived the life of the Metal God for decades. In his autobiography, Halford doesn’t shy away from anything. The title is truthful; the pages are his confession for a life lived on the edge. Halford begins with his childhood and how he grew to love singing. He has one of the widest vocal ranges in metal, and his influence over the past fifty years with Judas Priest or his solo works is undeniable. Where this autobiography stands out is Halford speaking about how he hid his homosexuality from everyone. The pain he explains is genuinely heartbreaking, and I found myself surprised by how moving his words are. Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t a sad book because Halford has fun telling his story to the world.

By the book’s end, when he comes clean to the public about his life in…


Who am I?

Brent Abell resides in Southern Indiana with his wife and Drake the Puggle. Brent enjoys anything horror-related. In his writing career, he’s had stories featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His books Southern Devils, Southern Devils: Reconstruction of the Dead, In Memoriam, The Calling, Phoenix Protocol, Dying Days: Death Sentence, Dying Days: Zealot, Death Inc., and Wicked Tales for Wicked People are available now. He is also a co-author of the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on a multitude of projects. You can hang out with him on his website for some rum, beer, and a good cigar.


I wrote...

Death Inc.

By Brent Abell,

Book cover of Death Inc.

What is my book about?

The Grim Reaper comes for us all eventually. When he comes, how do we know it is the real deal? After eons of acting as Death, Grim has turned his job into the Afterlife’s best profession. He also ushered in an era of commercialization in the realms of the dead. Grim is now the CEO of Death Incorporated, Death Inc. for short. Milo Anderson is Death Inc’s newest recruit, but when he botches his first Reaping, it sets off a chain of events throughout the Veil of Souls that will leave the Afterlife reeling with the fate of the Universe on the edge of oblivion.

Can Milo complete his task and bring balance back to the Veil? Or will the Morningstar finally have his revenge and his place atop the throne?

White Line Fever

By Lemmy, Janiss Garza,

Book cover of White Line Fever: The Autobiography

If a person ever personified being a metal god, it was Lemmy. The leader for the legendary Motorhead didn’t care about how he appeared to people. Lemmy wanted to kick ass on stage and leave a legacy marked by booze and smokes. This book shines the light on how Lemmy rose to become one of the most influential vocalists and bass players in metal. If you like an irreverent look at the price of fame, this book is for you.

Who am I?

Brent Abell resides in Southern Indiana with his wife and Drake the Puggle. Brent enjoys anything horror-related. In his writing career, he’s had stories featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His books Southern Devils, Southern Devils: Reconstruction of the Dead, In Memoriam, The Calling, Phoenix Protocol, Dying Days: Death Sentence, Dying Days: Zealot, Death Inc., and Wicked Tales for Wicked People are available now. He is also a co-author of the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on a multitude of projects. You can hang out with him on his website for some rum, beer, and a good cigar.


I wrote...

Death Inc.

By Brent Abell,

Book cover of Death Inc.

What is my book about?

The Grim Reaper comes for us all eventually. When he comes, how do we know it is the real deal? After eons of acting as Death, Grim has turned his job into the Afterlife’s best profession. He also ushered in an era of commercialization in the realms of the dead. Grim is now the CEO of Death Incorporated, Death Inc. for short. Milo Anderson is Death Inc’s newest recruit, but when he botches his first Reaping, it sets off a chain of events throughout the Veil of Souls that will leave the Afterlife reeling with the fate of the Universe on the edge of oblivion.

Can Milo complete his task and bring balance back to the Veil? Or will the Morningstar finally have his revenge and his place atop the throne?

Scar Tissue

By Anthony Kiedis,

Book cover of Scar Tissue

The path Anthony Kedisand his bandmates have taken from their beginnings through stardom is incredible. Amazingly, they’re still alive. Kedis begins with his childhood and spins tales of when Hollywood stars would be with drugs at his parent’s house. The scenes left an impression on Kedis that he’s fought his entire life. Drugs become a significant hurdle in his life that constantly threatens to take away everything the Red Hot Chili Peppers have built. The book can be depressing. Kedis recounts when Flea and himself blow all their royalty money and are squatting in an abandoned apartment taking heroin. Kedis sheds light on his relationships and drug use in a way that makes his story remarkable and uplifting.

Who am I?

Brent Abell resides in Southern Indiana with his wife and Drake the Puggle. Brent enjoys anything horror-related. In his writing career, he’s had stories featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His books Southern Devils, Southern Devils: Reconstruction of the Dead, In Memoriam, The Calling, Phoenix Protocol, Dying Days: Death Sentence, Dying Days: Zealot, Death Inc., and Wicked Tales for Wicked People are available now. He is also a co-author of the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on a multitude of projects. You can hang out with him on his website for some rum, beer, and a good cigar.


I wrote...

Death Inc.

By Brent Abell,

Book cover of Death Inc.

What is my book about?

The Grim Reaper comes for us all eventually. When he comes, how do we know it is the real deal? After eons of acting as Death, Grim has turned his job into the Afterlife’s best profession. He also ushered in an era of commercialization in the realms of the dead. Grim is now the CEO of Death Incorporated, Death Inc. for short. Milo Anderson is Death Inc’s newest recruit, but when he botches his first Reaping, it sets off a chain of events throughout the Veil of Souls that will leave the Afterlife reeling with the fate of the Universe on the edge of oblivion.

Can Milo complete his task and bring balance back to the Veil? Or will the Morningstar finally have his revenge and his place atop the throne?

The Restraint of Beasts

By Magnus Mills,

Book cover of The Restraint of Beasts: A Comedic Novel

The previous four books on my list have been pretty dark. “Heavy,” I guess, is relative. I find a lot of humor in them and, ultimately, that’s why I either have re-read them or plan to. This one isn’t as heavy on the violence as the previous ones. Often cited as a good example of dry British humor, written by a former bus driver, it’s the story of two fence-builders who travel the English and Scottish countryside in a caravan erecting fences. However, it seems like every time they’re on a job, they end up accidentally murdering someone. Rather than getting bogged down by things like remorse or guilt, they are much more interested in covering it up and saving their backs. One of them is obsessed with heavy metal and his hair. It’s a very weird and satisfying book.


Who am I?

Ever since reading Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal in high school, I’ve always appreciated books and stories that can tackle dark subject matter in a completely deadpan way. The creator knows what they’re doing is kind of a joke and they’re inviting you along for the ride. I enjoy reading books where I think the writer had a really good time writing it, even if that means occasionally torturing the reader.


I wrote...

Sociopaths in Love

By Andersen Prunty,

Book cover of Sociopaths in Love

What is my book about?

Boy meets girl. They fall in love. They move in together and start a new life. They're beautiful and they have new things, expensive things, the best of everything, whatever they want. But that's only the surface. Beneath the surface is something much different. Something much darker. Theirs is a love like no other and only one of them will survive it.

Whose Middle Ages? Teachable Moments for an Ill-Used Past

By Andrew Albin, Mary C. Erler, Thomas O'Donnell, Nicholas L. Paul, Nina Rowe

Book cover of Whose Middle Ages? Teachable Moments for an Ill-Used Past

I often use selections from Whose Middle Ages? in my medieval history courses, but this collection of short, insightful essays is a great resource for anyone interested in understanding what leading scholars think about invocations of the medieval past in contemporary culture. Touching on a wide range of topics, from Viking imagery in heavy metal music and Celtic crosses on white supremacist websites to controversies over Sharia law and papal heresy in the popular press, this volume serves as an ideal introduction to the use and abuse of the Middle Ages.   


Who am I?

I’m not ashamed to admit that my childhood fascination with the distant past was sparked by hours of leafing through The Kingfisher Illustrated History of the World and countless viewings of the “Indiana Jones” movies. Today, I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities at Mercy College and an archaeologist specializing in the eastern Alpine region during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. The author of three books and numerous scholarly articles, my research interests include ceramic technology, social identity, and the appropriation of the medieval past by modern ideologies.    


I wrote...

The Mirror of the Medieval: An Anthropology of the Western Historical Imagination

By K. Patrick Fazioli,

Book cover of The Mirror of the Medieval: An Anthropology of the Western Historical Imagination

What is my book about?

The Middle Ages—to paraphrase William Faulkner—are never dead. (In fact, they aren’t even past!) My book explores how the idea of the medieval has served as a funhouse mirror through which modernity sees itself, whether to celebrate our supposed triumph over barbarism and superstition or to lament the loss of a more innocent and rooted world. Drawing on history, archaeology, and anthropology, The Mirror of the Medieval not only traces how modern ideologies have appropriated the medieval past but also investigates shifts in technology, social identity, and religious belief from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages in the eastern Alpine region.  

Night Hunters

By Dave Baker,

Book cover of Night Hunters

Before a Friday night drink, turn on some heavy metal (or hard rock) and decide if you want to, “Become a cop or die.”

 This indie sci-fi graphic novel has style with thought-provoking themes that will make you wonder about our lives in the near future. 

The monochromatic color palette is not only stylistically cool but it frames emotion perfectly well. I loved the raw indie art by Ziritt, feels like a classic tattoo artist took his inks and drew inside comic panels. He frames a lot of statuesque and memorable moments with his violent, dystopian characters.

As an indie artist and writer, it’s awesome to see another indie story. Indie at its core is unfiltered, which is what makes it great. It isn’t watered down to hit the right tone to sell a lot of copies. It’s the creator’s voice being heard.

I suggest that you read this one…


Who am I?

I’m a writer/artist inspired by a lifetime of reading graphic novels. A visual artist at heart with a BFA in Industrial Design I have worked over a decade in conceptual thinking for research and development in the manufacturing sector. I love the experimentation that breaks the boring norms of industry standards. I wanted to use my talent, experience, and passion to create a sci-fi graphic novel, Bear Serum, and break the medium norms. I wrote and drew it to satiate my own wild ideas in the sci-fi category to push the medium further.


I wrote...

Bear Serum

By Kyle Fleischhacker,

Book cover of Bear Serum

What is my book about?

When the human race is battling for survival and leans on the military... humanity’s "evolved" cell phones into mental chips provide great strength but also lead to their demise when a central authority is controlling push notifications... molding the new world. Chaos is sure to ensue!

A soldier's life is saved by his mental chip and precious Bear Serum, we follow his journey as the world around him evolves and changes. Politics, power and greed shape his journey in the 4-level planet, Earth 2. A dystopian, stylistic and action-packed sci-fi graphic novel.

What Does This Button Do?

By Bruce Dickinson,

Book cover of What Does This Button Do?: An Autobiography

I am a huge Iron Maiden fan, like a devoted acolyte fan. Over the years, I’ve seen them multiple times, bought a closet full of concert shirts, and collected their beers/Funko Pops/album deluxe versions. Bruce Dickinson is the band’s second vocalist, and here he gives us the tales of his early days in Samson before joining Steve Harris and the Maiden crew. We get stories of his childhood and family in typical autobiography fashion, but it takes off once he gets into the meat of his time with Iron Maiden.

The book is captivating because he reflects on leaving Maiden to follow a solo career. The struggles he dealt with personally and professionally paint a picture of a man who had it all but wanted to try something new. The book’s final portion deals with his return to Iron Maiden and how he went through cancer. Cancer could’ve ended his…


Who am I?

Brent Abell resides in Southern Indiana with his wife and Drake the Puggle. Brent enjoys anything horror-related. In his writing career, he’s had stories featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His books Southern Devils, Southern Devils: Reconstruction of the Dead, In Memoriam, The Calling, Phoenix Protocol, Dying Days: Death Sentence, Dying Days: Zealot, Death Inc., and Wicked Tales for Wicked People are available now. He is also a co-author of the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on a multitude of projects. You can hang out with him on his website for some rum, beer, and a good cigar.


I wrote...

Death Inc.

By Brent Abell,

Book cover of Death Inc.

What is my book about?

The Grim Reaper comes for us all eventually. When he comes, how do we know it is the real deal? After eons of acting as Death, Grim has turned his job into the Afterlife’s best profession. He also ushered in an era of commercialization in the realms of the dead. Grim is now the CEO of Death Incorporated, Death Inc. for short. Milo Anderson is Death Inc’s newest recruit, but when he botches his first Reaping, it sets off a chain of events throughout the Veil of Souls that will leave the Afterlife reeling with the fate of the Universe on the edge of oblivion.

Can Milo complete his task and bring balance back to the Veil? Or will the Morningstar finally have his revenge and his place atop the throne?

Monsters of River & Rock

By Adrian Smith,

Book cover of Monsters of River & Rock: My Life as Iron Maiden's Compulsive Angler

Adrian Smith is one of the lead guitar players in Iron Maiden. Adrian has a passion beyond the stage and his career; he loves fishing. When I first picked up the book, I wasn’t sure how the book would be at keeping me engaged and interested. I’m not a fisherman, and I don’t relish going outside much. The book begins with him recounting how he started his love of fishing near his childhood home when he was younger. The book then uses his touring and recording schedules to recount his fishing trips and most extraordinary catches spanning the globe. Each catch is part of a tapestry woven through his life on the road. In the end, I found myself in awe of how much Adrian loves to fish and how seriously he takes it as a hobby.

Who am I?

Brent Abell resides in Southern Indiana with his wife and Drake the Puggle. Brent enjoys anything horror-related. In his writing career, he’s had stories featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His books Southern Devils, Southern Devils: Reconstruction of the Dead, In Memoriam, The Calling, Phoenix Protocol, Dying Days: Death Sentence, Dying Days: Zealot, Death Inc., and Wicked Tales for Wicked People are available now. He is also a co-author of the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on a multitude of projects. You can hang out with him on his website for some rum, beer, and a good cigar.


I wrote...

Death Inc.

By Brent Abell,

Book cover of Death Inc.

What is my book about?

The Grim Reaper comes for us all eventually. When he comes, how do we know it is the real deal? After eons of acting as Death, Grim has turned his job into the Afterlife’s best profession. He also ushered in an era of commercialization in the realms of the dead. Grim is now the CEO of Death Incorporated, Death Inc. for short. Milo Anderson is Death Inc’s newest recruit, but when he botches his first Reaping, it sets off a chain of events throughout the Veil of Souls that will leave the Afterlife reeling with the fate of the Universe on the edge of oblivion.

Can Milo complete his task and bring balance back to the Veil? Or will the Morningstar finally have his revenge and his place atop the throne?

Heart-Shaped Box

By Joe Hill,

Book cover of Heart-Shaped Box

Though Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King, he has never relied on that fact, and it is solely his talent as a writer that has got him success in his career. Heart-Shaped Box, his first published novel, shows that talent on every page. This story of an aging rocker haunted by a vindictive ghost, and the lengths the rock star and his much younger girlfriend will go to in order to rid themselves of the malevolent spirit, quickly draws the reader in and holds you there all the way through. 


Who am I?

I have been a horror fan almost all my life, starting with watching horror films with my friends when I was a kid after school and on weekends, and reading spooky stories the rest of my spare time. When I met a local author when I was around eight years old, the spark was lit in me to be a writer, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do in the future. Naturally, when I attempted to try my hand at writing a novel, it was the horror genre I gravitated to, a scary vampire story being my first, and I haven’t looked back since.


I wrote...

Ritual of Blood (Vampire Hunter Trilogy Book 1)

By C.J. Wright,

Book cover of Ritual of Blood (Vampire Hunter Trilogy Book 1)

What is my book about?

In Victorian England, after the body of a young girl is found in the woods near her home, and with the majority of the search party that had been sent to find her gone missing, the mayor of the local town sends for a 'Vampire Hunter.'

He was the best there had ever been. But he had not been out on a hunt for three years, not since the death of the woman he loved. He was told that this was a simple investigation, find out if vampires were responsible for the girl's death, and if so, deal with them. However, things were far more complicated than anyone could have suspected.

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