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Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew: "Murder in the Front Row" 

When: Sun., April 22, 5-8 p.m. 2012

Before Metallica became the mega-selling international band it is today, its members were a bunch of scraggly-haired heshers lighting up the local thrash metal scene at venues like Ruthie's Inn in Berkeley. During that time, bands like Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Death Angel, and Possessed established the Bay Area as an epicenter of a raw, punk-influenced sound that was the antithesis to the popular hair metal trend of the day. Capturing all of this on film were HaraldOimoen and Brian Lew, who weren't just photographers but were also deeply ingrained in the scene: As friends with many of the bands, Oimoen and Lew had unprecedented access, the results of which can be seen in a new 272-page book called Murder in the Front Row: Shots from the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter. Oiemoen and Lew will be on hand (plus Metal Mania fanzine creator Ron Quintana, who'll be DJing) at a special book signing on Sunday, Apr. 22, at Issues (20 Glen Ave., Oakland). A must-attend event for any thrash fan. 5 p.m., free. IssuesShop.com

— Kathleen Richards

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