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Music Heavy Metal

Metal on Ice

Tales from Canada's Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Heroes

by (author) Sean Kelly

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2013
Heavy Metal, General, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

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A musical genre as tough and hard as the Canadian Shield.

Canada has produced many successful proponents of the genre known as heavy metal, which grew out of the hard rock of the 1970s, exploded commercially in the 1980s, and then petered out in the 1990s as grunge took over, only to rise to prominence once again in the new millennium.

The road to Canadian musical glory is not lined with the palm trees and top-down convertibles of the Sunset Strip. It is a road slick with black ice, obscured by blizzards, and littered with moose and deer that could cause peril for a cube van thundering down a Canadian highway.

Drawing on interviews with original artists such as Helix, Anvil, Coney Hatch, Killer Dwarfs, Harem Scarem, and Honeymoon Suite, as well as prominent journalists, VJs, and industry insiders, we relive their experiences, motivations, and lifestyles as they strove for that most alluring of brass rings – the coveted record deal. It’s a new perspective on the dreams of musicians shooting for an American ideal of success and discovering a uniquely Canadian voice in the process.


About the author

Sean Kelly is a dentist who barely remembers a time he didn't have at least one pet cat. As a dentist practicing just outside of Vancouver, Canada, he found that many parents had the same questions about caring for their children's teeth. Sean wanted a fun way to introduce children to the dentist while at the same time educating their parents about children's dental care.

Sean Kelly's profile page

Editorial Reviews

... it's a quick way to remember a time long ago, when MuchMusic ruled the airwaves and vans had astral princesses riding intergalactic dragons painted on the side.

Metal On Ice puts you onstage with a pointy guitar, in a van with no heat in Alberta, and inside clubs like Rock'N' Roll Heaven with the bands and in their own words. Awesome reading.

If this book were a song, it would be a lighter-waving power ballad to Canadian bands such as Helix, Coney Hatch, Honeymoon Suite, Killer Dwarfs and more.

San Antonio Express-News

Metal on Ice is a mini encyclopedia of Canadian Metal. It is a book of memories for those that lived it and a wealth of info for those that didn’t. Even if you were there or grew up in that era listening to the music you will enjoy reading the stories from the artists you looked up to as a teen. ...Essential reading for ALL metal music fans.

The book can be summarized as equal part history lesson, advice for musicians, as well as a long overdue shout out to those early Canadian hard rock heroes (too many to mention) who busted their asses, chasing their musical dreams.

Veteran rocker Kelly provides a fascinating history of Canadian hard rock.

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Just finished reading the Sean Kelly book Metal on Ice. For those of you who are fans of Canadian '80s rock this is a real page turner. Growing up, Sean was a real fan of Canadian bands like Coney Hatch, Brighton Rock, Honeymoon Suite, Harem Scarem, Killer Dwarfs, Helix, etc. and wrote this book about how it influenced his life. The book is filled with great interviews and road stories and fond (and not so fond!) memories of the '80s and early '90s Canadian Rock scene. Highly recommended!

Sean Kelly has done an admirable job of tracing the evolution of rock north of the 49th parallel...

Sean Kelly understands this need for documentation and celebration.

Metal on Ice is a walk down memory lane with a group of friends you never met, yet they have sung their hearts out to you over many years.

...if there truly is a School of Rock, there is no doubt that Metal on Ice will be on the curriculum.

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal

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