HardReviews 3
by Martin Popoff

Garry Sharpe-Young - Black Sabbath - Never Say Die 1979: 1979 - 1997

Bringing heaven to metal particularists everywhere, archivist legend Garry Sharpe-Young has unearthed a myriad of back scene Sabbath alumni and barelys, to tell their story of life within the tangled web of rock's greatest institution. Never Say Die, through its tales of endless auditions, machinations, firings and quittings, actually poops out a moral - that making it, or making good music, is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. It's hard work getting it right, and despite the reputation of the Sabbath albums of the '80s and '90s (the slide is pretty much considered to start after Dio leaves), Tony was endlessly and sincerely looking for the perfect collaborator in each supporting slot. There are explosive revelations in here, but more than anything, one gets a sense of the smallness of the metal community, the barrel of monkeys that gets dipped into time again for fresh, and sometimes not so fresh, blood. A fascinating read, that, despite its academic worthiness, never loses its quick pace. After devouring this thing, you'd be kidding yourself if you said you didn't learn at least 500 things about the Sabs you didn't know before.
Rating 9

Jerry Allen - Tales From The Pit #5
(Metallian Productions)

This bare bones series has been going forever, but it's still a really cool watch. What you get is essentially a San Fran-centric video version of any issue of BW&BK, with an emphasis on thrash and traditional metal. Jerry Allen has the vocalists from Vio-lence and Death Angel hosting the thing, as we oscillate between live footage, interview footage, stupid stuff like drinking and puking... a no holds barred, uncensored look at all the things deemed necessary to headbang. Favourite part was the intro, which included early interview footage from the likes of Phil Anselmo, David Wayne, Gene "Light Bulb" Hoglan, Paul Baloff, and Glen Benton. The tape (VHS only) runs three hours, and it's hard to put down, 'cos it moves fast - not too much time spent on any one artist - and the viewer is constantly bombarded with true, no pretense behind the scenes camaraderie, resulting in a feeling that you're getting footage you won't be seeing on the band's official DVD. Bands covered include Dio, The Haunted, Halford, S.O.D., Cannibal, Death Angel... like I say, BW&BK for those who can't read! Contact metallianprod@earthlink.net or go to www.talesfromthepit.com for more info.
Rating 8

Hard Reviews Page 4