RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Sean Kelly – Metal On Ice: Tales From Canada’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Heroes (Book)

Rating: B+

Most people living south of the Great White North (that’s Canada eh?) probably don’t realize just how many great hard rock and metal bands have come out of our country. Yeah, well maybe the fact that I’m Canadian makes me a bit biased, but so what, you’ll just have to deal with it. Fact of the matter here is that my fellow Canuck, Sean Kelly has written a fabulous and insightful little tome called Metal On Ice (love that title) that takes you behind the scenes of the dreams of Canadian bands reaching for that ever elusive American record deal.

If anyone is the perfect candidate to pen such a book, it’s Kelly. A classically trained guitarist, the man has certainly put in his time and logged his fair share of miles on the road, a lot of that with his band, the vastly underrated Crash Kelly and more recently with Helix. By drawing on his own personal interviews with journalists, artists and focusing primarily on a handful of bands, such as Helix, Anvil, Coney Hatch, Killer Dwarfs, Honeymoon Suite and Harem Scarem, Kelly is not only able to get a unique perspective on the motivations behind what made these bands tick, but in some cases, just what a struggle it was for them to get recognized outside of their own country.

The book is an easy read and Kelly adds even more flavor to it by adding a lot of his own personal (and often very comical) stories from the road as well. What really stood out for me though, and where the connection was really made, is first and foremost just how much of a fan Sean Kelly is and believe me that comes through loud ‘n clear on these pages. We are roughly in the same age group (over 35 is all I’ll admit to), so I could definitely relate to a lot of the timeline narrative here.

Metal On Ice is a solid and thoroughly entertaining read from start to finish and if that isn’t enough to satisfy ya, in addition to the book you can also order the music companion as well. What you get is re-recorded versions of some of the songs that are mentioned in the book, sung by their original vocalists. Do yourself a favor and pick up the book and the music, you can’t go wrong either way.    

 Pick up a copy here: http://www.metalonice.com/

By Ryan Sparks