"Hell Bent for Leather" Book (Fourth Estate; 2004)

Reviewed by Snidermann

"Hell Bent For Leather" is an autobiographical account of Seb Hunter's early life in London and his quest for heavy metal greatness. It is an introspective and funny look at his rock'n'roll trials and tribulations.

The book is broken down into to timelines: one is actually his story and the other a breakdown of heavy metal in general. I was amazed by the pure hunger and drive of young Seb as he embarks in his pursuit of greatness with this deeply personal account of life in the 1980s and of England's music scene at the time.

Hunter also has a profound knowledge of heavy metal music and he has a unique style in which he breaks down this information and presents it in a very understandable way. For example, Hunter writes about a European metal sub culture that is I have never heard of and that I found fascinating.  

Reading "Hell Bent for Leather" is like you're sitting there with Hunter and his friends in a seedy, smoky metal club; enjoying the metal music and checking out leather-clad chicks strutting around with all the metal gear.   

I also found "Hell Bent for Leather" insightful when it comes to the overall mindset of heavy metal today and how it affects its fans.  Although I may not agree with everything Hunter says in his book, I must say that I enjoyed reading it and, in fact, I look forward to reading it again.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:17:12 -0400.