Before getting into the film, I thought I'd give you a little background on my own journey to discovery of the metal realm. I have to admit that I was considerably late getting into music. It was the latter years of the 1980's and my first attraction was the pop metal that was popular at the time, bands like Poison, Warrant, Def Leppard, Europe, Motley Crue, and the like. My childhood best friend, and currently the drummer for Hatebreed, introduced me to the heavier side of metal. He had me listening to Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, WASP, Testament, among others.
I was attracted to the aggression and power that metal brought to the table. I made my way through the grunge and alternative scenes of the 1990s, but I always came back to some variety of metal. I cannot claim to have any in depth knowledge of the genre, but I do know that is where my music tastes are the strongest. I could go on talking about the widely varied bands that I like, but that isn't why you're reading this, you want to know about this documentary and if it is worth your time.
This documentary was birthed by anthropologist, and lifelong metalhead, Sam Dunn. He has decided to explore the roots of the metal culture. He takes a look the culture of the fans, the origin of the genre, and the numerous subgenres that it has spawned over the years. It is not the most in depth documentary you will find on the subject, nor is it the most professional that you will see. Despite those potential shortcomings there is one thing that it does exceedingly well, and that is entertain and give you some good information about the metal world. This is good for longtime fans and the curious alike.
I admit to being slightly trepidatious as I approached viewing this film. I have been burned on band oriented documentaries in the past, they tended to be unauthorized and contained no music by the band and had no interviews with the subjects, rather they relied heavily on talking heads of "friends" and other worthless talking heads. I am happy to report that my fears were unfounded, this film is filled with interviews with important members of the metal world, as well as with live performance footage of some of the included bands.