Metallica by Chris Ingham – Book Review

Metallica by Chris Ingham – Book Review

Metallica by Chris Ingham

The Stories Behind the Songs

Author – Chris Ingham
Publisher – Carlton Books
Pages – 208
Released – 11th July 2019
ISBN-13 – 978-1787392779
Format – ebook, hardcover
Review by – Stacey
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.


Metallica: The Stories Behind the Songs explores the writing and recording of the band’s greatest records, including classic albums such as Master of Puppets (1986) and Metallica (“the black album”) (1991), right through to 2016’s Hardwired… to Self-Destruct.

This is the perfect book for any metalhead who wants to get an insight into the creative process of one of the heaviest bands of all time.

Review new 2021

Being born in the seventies and growing-up in the eighties it was hard not to notice the rise and popularity of heavy metal bands. I’ve always had a keen interest in music and often people are surprised when they ask me what music I enjoy or which is my favourite music genre, because I don’t have one – If you saw my playlist on my phone you would probably laugh as I have everything from sixties songs, through to pop, rock, classical, hip-hop, grime, heavy metal – I just have a love for good music.

However, if you asked me what genre of music is often playing in my house or the car then I would have to say heavy metal as my husband and my youngest son are massive fans, and that is the beauty of music is that it is timeless. My fourteen-year-old son enjoys the same songs that his dad did at his age. Whilst my hubby has a love for numerous bands in the genre, my son tends to stick to just one though – Metallica.

This is what made me decide to read this book, I wanted to know more about the group and the songs that have influenced my family so much for years. I am not completely clueless about the group, I know their names, where they are from, my hubby has all their albums and so I know their songs, some of them word for word as they are played that often and some of their songs feature on my playlist too, but I wanted to know more.

The book starts with how drummer and co-founder Lars Ulrich got into first punk and then heavy metal, through his early influences including Iron Maiden and onto forming Metallica with James Hetfield. It follows the ups and downs that they have faced over the years and each of their songs is analysed.

We get to learn about each of the bands’ albums and the songs from the albums and how they came about, what they meant and sometimes what others believed the song was about. I was particularly interested to read about ‘One’ as it is my son’s favourite son and he strums along to it on his guitar. It was interesting to read that people thought that the song was an anti-war song and yet the group had a different idea behind the lyrics. It is about a man with no limps, no speech, no sight, and no hearing after he has stepped on a landmine. It’s about how he would feel about the situation and him asking to be killed by his nurse.

The book is filled with amazing photographs and lots of information about the band. This book would be perfect for any metalhead, whether you purchase it yourself or if you are giving it as a gift. This is a book that can be read front to back or you could just find the album or the individual songs you want to know more about.

Book Reviewer – Stacey

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About the Author

Chris Ingham is one of the UK’s most experienced metal journalists and Group Publisher of the Classic Rock and Metal Hammer brands for Future Publishing. He wrote Nothing Else Matters: The Stories Behind the Biggest Metallica Songs and The Book of Metal. He lives in London.

What did you think of Metallica: The Stories Behind the Songs? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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2 Responses

  1. Shelley W says:

    My partner is a massive heavy metal fan and Metallica are in his top three groups. I might have to treat him at Christmas with this book.

  2. I hope he enjoys the book, if he loves Metallica he really will find it interesting.