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BOOK REVIEW: Dave Mustaine: A Life In Metal

January 24, 2011 by  

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BOOK REVIEW: Dave Mustaine: A Life In Metal

Dave Mustaine: A Life In Metal
Published by Harper Collins
Rating: 4/5
by Adam Smith

Dave Mustaine is arguably the most divisive figure in metal. His successes with Megadeth would have fuelled a prosperous outlook for many individuals, yet his one-man crusade against the commercial behemoth that is Metallica has tarnished his public image considerably.

His book outlays all of the sacrifices he made to make it in the business, and illustrates that he was unrepentantly driven from the first day he learned ‘Smoke On The Water’. However, even after reading Mustaine’s anecdotes of debauchery, promiscuity and mistrust, it is difficult to disregard his acrimonious relationship with James Hetfield and co. Did Dave Mustaine excite crowds for his own enjoyment, or was it simply latent one-upmanship?

In truth, after reading 300+ pages on the man’s life, it is still impossible to answer that question. On numerous occasions, Mustaine denotes that usurping Metallica is his aim and while metal rivalries make for compelling reading, you have to feel sympathy for a man who has submissively let another set of people play such a large role in his life.

Music autobiographies are often an exercise in narcissism for the industry’s most conceited personalities, but as a by-product of this, they often make for remarkably humourous reading. ‘The Dirt’ laid the foundations for what rock fans expect from their heroes chronicles, yet Dave Mustaine does not possess the lassez-faire attitude held by Vince Neil. Contrastingly, Mustaine’s aggressive on-stage persona merely seems to a façade for a vulnerable human being who let an adoration of music transform his own conscience.

– by Adam Smith




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