When we’re not passing along Star Wars parodies on YouTube
and, um, working, co-worker D.X. Ferris and I usually argue about music. He’s into metal; I’m not. Most of these “discussions” end with him making some comment about my mom and stalking off to listen to some song about three-horned beasts rising from the depths of hell to set things right here on Earth.
All of that devil-worshipping has paid off for Ferris. One of our all-time favorite book series, 33 1/3
, just published Ferris’ Slayer: Reign in Blood
, a 150-page discourse on the metal band’s 1986 album. Other books in the 33 1/3 series have covered such rock-crit faves as The Velvet Underground and Nico
, the Replacements’ Let It Be
, and Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited
. Reign in Blood
is only the second book devoted to a metal album (Black Sabbath: Master of Reality
written by the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle beat it by a couple months).
Ferris interviewed tons of people for the book, including all four band members, producer Rick Rubin, and Henry Rollins. The 33 1/3 books always inspire me to go back and listen to the albums they cover. From what I’ve read of Reign in Blood
so far, I could be a Slayer fan by the time I finish it. And then Ferris will have to find someone else to call an “indie-rock jackass.” --Michael Gallucci