Bazillion Points Publishing has announced the first definitive book on the elusive world of progressive metal, written by esteemed metal crusader and prog manic Jeff Wagner. Scheduled for release in autumn 2009, the book will detail the common movements of pioneers like OPETH, WATCHTOWER, VOIVOD, ATHEIST, DREAM THEATER, PSYCHOTIC WALTZ, CELTIC FROST, SIGH, and FATES WARNING — metal bands who have gone against the tide of tradition and conservatism. Linked by a desire to push heavy metal forward, these varied bands with a couple hundred other black sheep form the hard-to-pin-down category of "progressive metal."
Beginning with the hugely influential mid-1970s efforts of Canadian band RUSH, Wagner's book explores the shared lineage of prog rock and metal. He unfurls the huge tapestry and examines the sounds and styles created during the genre's 40-year history, including: the "Big Three" — QUEENSRŸCHE, FATES WARNING, and DREAM THEATER; extreme prog pioneers VOIVOD and CELTIC FROST; Norway's post-black metal avant garde; and of course the huge global movement of Big Three-worshippers in the 1990s. The vastness of what can be considered "progressive metal" has proven to be one of the most viable, malleable forms in all of modern music.
Jeff Wagner has explored progressive metal for nearly 20 years in a variety of fanzines and magazines (including his own Symposium fanzine in the 1990s). He has penned definitive essays for official releases by DARK ANGEL, EMPEROR, POSSESSED, and NUCLEAR ASSAULT, but probably most notorious for his stint at Metal Maniacs magazine from 1997 to 2001. Says Wagner of his unhealthy obsession with VOIVOD, FATES WARNING, and other oddballs: "This undertaking, a book on progressive metal, is long overdue! The story will be told through my own warped views, with insights from the musicians that make progressive metal happen, plus comments from the specialty labels and crazed fans that kill for this stuff. And just to keep it interesting, I'm going to give the other side, the guys who despise any kind of progression in metal, a chance to defend their views."
Bazillion Points is "America's smallest but heaviest publishing house," started by author Ian Christe ("Sound of the Beast", "Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga", host of "Bloody Roots" on Sirius Hard Attack). Current titles include the mammoth "Swedish Death Metal" by Daniel Ekeroth, and upcoming releases include books by Andy McCoy (HANOI ROCKS), and Albert Mudrian ("Choosing Death").
Says publisher Ian Christe: "It's simple — this is the book Jeff Wagner was born to write."
For more information, go to www.bazillionpoints.com.