Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey

Metal – A Headbanger’s JourneyMetal: A Headbanger's Journey is a 2005 documentary directed by Sam Dunn with Scot McFadyen and Jessica Wise. The film follows 31-year-old Sam Dunn, a Canadian anthropologist, who has been a heavy metal fan since the age of 12.

He sets out across the world to uncover the various opinions on heavy metal music, including its origins, culture, controversy, and reasons it is loved by so many people. The film made its debut at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released as a two-disc special edition DVD in the US on September 19, 2006.

The film discusses the traits and originators of some of metal's many subgenres, including the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, power metal, Nu metal, glam metal, thrash metal, black metal, and death metal. Dunn uses a family-tree-type flowchart to document some of the most popular metal subgenres.

The film also explores various aspects of heavy metal culture. Notable segments include Dunn taking a trip to the Wacken Open Air festival, an interview with Dee Snider providing an analysis of the PMRC attack on heavy metal music, and an interview with several Norwegian black metal bands, many of whom are Satanists. (Excerpt from

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Ratings: 8.20/10 from 5 users.

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78 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Black Metal

    Wonderful documentary by Sam, watched at least 10 times, btw he's got a yt channel: bangertv. Keep the Metal flowing

  2. Richard Neva

    It does not exist, what a waste considering all the junk here that remains!

  3. Richard Neva

    This video does not exist because it was good one no doubt, all the lame documentaries are still running though!

    1. jaberwokky

      I've watched this doco at least 10 times, along with everything else Sam Dunn has produced. You're right, it's a good documentary. In my eyes it's actually an important documentary because Sam cares about this subject so much and presents it like it never has been presented before. When I listen to the guy talk I feel his passion like a cause. What he did for the history of the metal genre deserves a medal.

      If you're a metal fan then I'd recommend his other big one "Global metal". It's not anywhere near as good but it does do a fair job of balancing it from a wider "global metal" perspective.

      NB. None of these docs are ever gonna be as honest as "Until the light takes us"

  4. Damos Abadon

    What a lousy, over-rated so-called docu. this was! I'm soo glad i didn't pay money the first time i watched it.

  5. gavin doig

    why wont this play?

  6. ProudinUS

    It says I can't watch it. Does any one know where I can? I love metal and would love to see it.

    1. cheap lacoste polo shirts

      I love classical, opera, funk, folk, Reggae, rock, Thrash, alternative, a bit of pop, Irish i mean the list could go on.

  7. Blankso

    Well said, Kuboa

  8. Kuboa

    Seen this documentary before.. All I remember is that it was completely biased and didn't take into account that music taste is subjective.

    Only pushing that heavy metal has an history, appeal and fanbase. Isn't this the same with all styles of music?

    The main thing that appeals to me in music as a whole is the idea of the hybrid which has never been done before because that s@#$ is what is truly "heavy". (and is this not how "Heavy Metal" came about?)

    If you think about music in universal terms... who gives a f@#$ about the genre of heavy metal exclusively.. because isn't everything connected anyway? Doesn't all music today have the same origin, whether it's contrasting or not?

    In the end my least favorite thing about all this would be how the heavy metal genre itself is often depicted as "outsider" music... are you f@#$%' kidding me?!

    1. Spartan Høødlum

      of course it was biased it's entirely about metal, look at any other documentary about any other genre of music or any other group of social difference and it'll be biased and yes every other style of music has a history, fanbase and appeal but this isn't about all other genres of music it is exclusively metal and it's appeal and fanbase it's not about jazz or hiphop and this documentary is here to separate heavy metal from the other genres of music and it's here to educate you on specifics of the genre, there are documentaries about most genres of music, so what's so wrong about this one? it's a great learning experience to newbies to the genre and it's a great learning experience for non-experts i understand you may have some discrepancies about the documentary or the genre of music but some people care about learning things about the music they love and some people care about expanding their horizons and if you pay attention heavy metal has always been depicted as an outsider's genre i mean look at it's history the first metal heads were the scum of the earth obviously times are changing but if you look at society "the man" looks down upon metal heads, not just metal heads of course but still they look down upon us because we portray the uncontrollable personalities "the man" doesn't like because society likes to have control... don't take my response to you in a wrong or argumentative way i do not mean that, i just felt you missed some things and i felt i needed to tell you i apologize if i have offended you or angered you i just felt as though you missed some key points. again i apologize if i have offended or angered you

  9. Blankso

    I have a few replies to some of the comments here.
    For those of you thats said Metal was simple...That is not completely true. There are a lot of Metal bands that are simple and a lot that are actually pretty freakin complex.
    And for they guy that said stuff about metal heads and uniforms and not conforming and blah blah...There are metal heads out there there that claim to be non conformist. But the majority of metal heads I have met and hanged (thats A LOT of metal heads) werent like that at all. They were like everybody else but nerdy for metal music. Some of them didnt even look like they would be metal heads either. And if your thinking "well, this guy probably dosent really know what a metalhead is" then your wrong , sir. I was a metal head for a long time....But know im a guy that just loves music. Alot of music (:
    Oh and this doc is good but there is still alot more to Metal.
    I typed a lot.

  10. Timarin

    Well regardless of what people are saying on this page, i still and always will love metal.
    Listening to koRn, Machine Head, Slayer, Slipknot, old school Metallica has not made me an ' unintelligent boy' as some people have rudely suggested to others on this page.
    It let out my aggression as a young kid, not with violence or taking it out on others, but slowly letting go of my hatred and depression, putting your own version of aggression into the artists songs. Also I just love head banging to much :D

    I love classical, opera, funk, folk, Reggae, rock, Thrash, alternative, a bit of pop, Irish i mean the list could go on.

    I have played guitar and keyboard/piano for nearly 10 years and i love picking up my electric and thrashing out some Slayer, AC/DC or Arch Enemy, yet i love to play and listen to 'Beethoven Moonlight Sonata' 'Green sleeves' 'Fleetwood Mac' 'The Beatles' and many many more.

    Each to their own view on this ONE topic of music. To me, unless you have seen it, felt it, experienced it. lived it, then you have no clue.

    Peace and Love

    Timeey P

  11. Timarin

    Well regardless of what people are saying on this page, i still and always will love metal.
    Listening to koRn, Machine Head, Slayer, Slipknot, old school Metallica has not made me an ' unintelligible boy' as some people have suggested to others on this page.
    It let out my aggression as a young kid, not with violence or taking it out on others, but slowly letting go of my hatred and depression, putting your own version of aggression into the artists songs. Also I just love head banging to much :D

    I love classical, opera, funk, folk, Reggae, rock, Thrash, alternative, a bit of pop, Irish i mean the list could go on.

    I have played guitar and keyboard/piano for nearly 10 years and i love picking up my electric and thrashing out some Slayer, AC/DC or Arch Enemy, yet i love to play and listen to 'Beethoven Moonlight Sonata' 'Green sleeves' 'Fleetwood Mac' 'The Beatles' and many many more.

    Each to their own view on this ONE topic of music. To me, unless you have seen it, felt it, experienced it. lived it, then you have no clue.

    Peace and Love

    Timeey P

  12. Timarin

    Well regardless of what people are saying on this page, i still and always will love metal.
    Listening to koRn, Machine Head, Slayer, Slipknot, old school Metallica has not made me an ' unintelligible boy' as some people have suggested to others on this page.
    I love classical, opera, funk, folk, Reggae, rock, Thrash, alternative, a bit of pop, Irish i mean the list could go on.

    I have played guitar and keyboard/piano for nearly 10 years and i love picking up my electric and thrashing out some Slayer, AC/DC or Arch Enemy, yet i love to play and listen to 'Beethoven Moonlight Sonata' 'Green sleeves' 'Fleetwood Mac' 'The Beatles' and many many more.

    Each to their own view on this ONE topic of music. To me, unless you have seen it, felt it, experienced it. lived it, then you have no clue.

    Peace and Love

    Timeey P

  13. Timarin

    Well regardless of what people are saying on this page, i still and always will love metal.
    Listening to koRn, Machine Head, Slayer, Slipknot, old school Metallica has not made me an ' unintelligible boy' as some people have suggested to others on this page.
    I love classical, opera, funk, folk, rock, Thrash, alternative, a bit of pop, Irish i mean the list could go on.
    I have played guitar and keyboard/piano for nearly 10 years and i love picking up my electric and thrashing out some Slayer or Arch Enemy, yet i to play and listen to 'Beethoven Moonlight Sonata' 'Green sleeves' 'Fleetwood Mac' and many many more.
    Each to their own selfish and weak minded views on one topic of music, unless you have seen it. felt it, experienced it. lived it, then you have no clue. Peace and Love

    Timeey P

  14. MY F$#$ing bloody boot in your @$$

    and the old cu nt who thinks music and violent games cause crimes well i doesn't we r to lazy to stop listening to music or playing these violent games to do it DUH

  15. MY F$#$ing bloody boot in your @$$

    if u hate metal u r a cunt

  16. MY F$#$ing bloody boot in your @$$

    stfu metal is fu cking brutal go pair and listen to it i am christian but i don't arson churchs i just listen and enjoy and to sirabhorn go fu ck your self u lil ku nt or is to lil bro doing it to you anyway

  17. Northrax

    Karen I read your comments about black metal and find them....uninformed. No one in Mayhem actually ate anyones brains it was euronymous who found Dead (the singer) not the whole band....go and watch the black metal doc "until the light takes us" then you might be able to make accurate statements about mayhem (or black metal).

    Also you'll find out that the church burnings and the necklace made of skull fragments weren't exactly...(what's the word and i may use the wrong one so forgive me)condoned by the whole band but while I agree with you to an certain extent that the interviewer let them off easily imagine BEING Sam when he interviewed that band and had full knowledge of its past and all the f@#$%^ up s@#$ thats happened concerning them....what did he have to be afraid of you ask? THEM thats what he was afraid of.

  18. SimpleGuy

    I don't know nuthin' 'bout 'narrow mindsets'! ;)

    My first musical socialisation was thrash and crossover in the mid/late 80s. To me and my friends it was all about being free and different and having a great time. However, truth be told, the scene has always had its fair amount of utter dumbos. At one point, all those dumbos raided their mothers' make-up boxes, moved up to Norway and decided to be really really evil, dude!

    I've only recently checked back with that kind of music and I must say I'm amazed at the levels of abstractness and weirdness the grindcore genre has evolved to. Well worth listening to again! On the other hand, if you're looking for some truly intelligent AND poetic lyrics PLUS good music, I recommend Japanische Kampfhoerspiele (in German, sorry :). For some amazing technical skills, check out Sleep Terror.

  19. Pug

    No mention of Iron Butterfly as the first Metal band? :(

  20. misslenu

    Does someone know the song beginning at 34:09?

  21. BrutalFolkMetalChick

    I think that Sam Dunn pretty much hit all of the main points on why metal attracts so many followers and what makes it so damn amazing (I mean I felt hella moved and inspired by it after I finished watching it). However I am a bit disappointed that he made no mention of Folk/Viking Metal and the metal scene in other European countries like Finland. Hell, those are pretty important too. Jeez. But anyways, I am just glad that someone went through the effort to make this documentary \m/ METAL FOR LIFE.

  22. the


    1. ...And justice for all
    2. Ride the lightning
    3. master of puppets
    4.kill'em all

    4 best albums ever made

  23. Chalky

    A great, rounded, comprehensive & truthful documentary. I have to let it be known that Australian 70s hard rock aka AC/DC is what got my blood pumping as a 5 year old and since then I have delved into the amazing world of rock...

    I love the fact that all of the sub genre's of metal were covered (some more comprehensively then others),nonetheless it gave me insight into areas I hadnt explored either because I was afraid at the time at how hard-core I perceived it....or I just didnt get Slayer and Sepultura as a 13 year old and now as a 30 year old I do.

    I feel Sam did an awesome job with this. He really organised the tour well and knew what he was talking about amongst the greats.

    To be honoured to interview the likes of Iommi and Dio, means that Sam is the real deal!

    Well done to him for doing his homework and covering areas he wasn't necessarily into, but felt the need to include them as they are part of the story.

    So what's my poison you ask?

    Well that ones difficult as I picked up guitar and bass palying howlin wolf,led zeppelin,james brown, nirvana, metallica,cream,hendrix, the smashing pumpkins, RHCP & Faith No More,sublime, janes addiction etc

    But through my journey, there were areas that I never had time to explore further until recent years including Bowie, Sepultura, Primus, Beatles, Alice In Chains, The Specials.

    Today QOTSA is on high rotation with Radiohead and Johhny Cash. Oz rock is sentimental to me and being an Aussie I get it, so it will always have it's special place.

    That is the beauty, there is soo much out there, that you only really scratch the surface in your entire lifetime.

    I cannot rave about classical or jazz and nor do I try. I appreciate where all music belongs and would love to give it all a go...however some take precedence over others :)

    I am opinionated with my music and I love the fact that lines are drawn in the sand for genre's in music that define one's personality.

    The songs were well picked in this documentary and the essence was captured.

    To me, Danny Way in the DC video doing the longest air into the highest air after busting his ankle with Orion as the soundtrack gets the hairs on my neck standing and I must specifically note Black Sabbath who took you on their mystical journey (and still do) with Iommis dark amazingly cool riffs and Ozzy's meshed wizard and warlock like vocals.

    This movie makes me want to get p1ssed, rip someone's head off and sh1t down their throats!

    Rock On ;)

  24. malloc

    I love metal, but I'm a bit finicky about what moves me and what doesn't. Nu-metal? Doesn't do it for me. Metallica, from 1983 to 1991, rock-effing solid. Testament, Anthrax, Pantera...Hell I'll even toss in Quiet Riot(R.I.P Kevin Dubrow)...But my all-time favorite metal band, and their 1990 thrash masterpiece album: Megadeth's Rust In Peace!!!

  25. charlesovery

    In all instancies above there is missing the word not!

  26. charlesovery

    Solon interesting your take on metal being full of nonintelligent boys. Shows us how unintelligent and what a biased begit you are. People like you should speak and your tongues should be removed from your body.

    @Karen...seriously gossipping and creating rumors are not cool. They did cook and eat their band mates skull. They made that a joke after a stupid comment by a reporter.

    @ HeavyMetalMaiden...I love the fact that girls got recognition in this doc as well. I LOVE the fact the you are into metal as other girls are too.

  27. Scott Tesler

    I don't think this idea of a metal culture is that relevant to today's 20 somethings. I listen to all types of music and its the same deal with all of my friends and people I talk to. Yes everyone favors some types of music over others. But I've taken my dave matthews lovers, radiohead enthusiasts, and rap faithful friends to metal concerts and they loved it. Metal has so many talented musicians that people don't ignore it, and the same goes for almost every other genre. This look into the metal culture was interesting because it goes beyond the music, but most people my age who listen to it aren't a part of this culture.

    And those who think that metal is a dangerous style of music you should google "sucide country music" I think most studies have found country music to be the most associated with suicide. As for homicides and crimes against others rap would have the highest association though that is probably because of socio-economic factors.

  28. Curtis

    Been a metal head for 25 + years and loved this doc. Touched on so many factors about our powerful choice of music and lifestyle. Long live METAL

  29. Warlord

    He left out Pentagram

  30. Sherif

    pretty nice in metal language hell yea wtever it is good material , and u hv done great job.

    hopping that u r working to release another parts covering more about Metal culture.

  31. marie72

    I was very disappointed that they never brought up PANTERA and the horrible death of DIME-BAG DARRELL.He was killed by a outraged fan that thought he was responsible for breaking up one of the greatest metal bands of all times PANTERA.The disgruntled fan dressed up like a security guard went through the back entrance of the show and shot him in the head as he was performing with his new band DamagePlan.
    Nathan Green also planned it on Dec.8,2004.The exact day John Lennon was also killed by a rabid fan in Central Park New York.

  32. James Harrill

    This documentary is one of a kind. It was so inspiring for me.

  33. Adel

    Great documentary, it really highlights the truth of metal to many people who dont really understands what metal is all about, Metal is like a very good friend that never lets you down.
    Also Guitar is originated from Arab Lute or Oud, Guitar was developed from Oud in Spain during the Arab Caliphite ruling to Spain that lasted four centuries.

  34. Freddy Freire

    God bless you, Ronny!

    Now you can Rest in Peace, leaving us sobbing in pain.

    We meet you soon, buddy!

  35. Randy


    Yes, indeed, theri... throw the horns for Dio!

    I am beside myself with grief... a great light has gone out of the world!

    He was a great man, I know that for a fact, as I met him! I was a dork, he was awesome...


  36. theri

    R.I.P Ronnie James Dio!

    This was a great domcumentary :)

  37. Randy

    Here's something else I'd like to bore you with, (lol), you know, I like my metal to be the more Satanic, the better.

    Rock n' Roll started out as a rebelious noise against the white man; then when whitey took it over, it became a rebellion against the Father figure, or the State (gub'ment).

    But, with the advent of Black Sabbath and similar bands around that time, it became the ULTIMATE rebellion against the ULTIMATE Father figure-- god.

    A beautiful progression. And I love both political metal, (ie, Rage Against the Machine, I know, you don't consider them metal... that's cool...), and Satanic metal.

    Rock on. Won't you?

  38. Randy

    I LOVED THIS DOC!!! I'm a gigantic, lifelong, DIO fan. I have this recorded on my DVR, and the DVR is acting up, but I don't want to call for service because they will replace the cable box and I will lose this documentary.

    Sure I can download it onto a smartdrive and blah blah blah... but... whatever...

    I seriously love this doc! I grew up loving all the metal this guy, (the host), loves.

    I love metal. Simple as that.

  39. Master Of Puppets

    OMFG ..... nice movie

  40. Infinity

    Prepackaged teen rebellions designed by men in white coats at the Tavistock Institute a long timea ago. The goal, new types in society, a further division, the better to conquer us. Youth oriented music and the counter culture was designed to create the generation gap, something that did not exist before the 60's. Turned us against the values of our parents and gave us new ones.
    Was an early 90's thrasher and the mindset was exceedingly narrow.

  41. Speed killed

    Motorhead & Venom were a blast when it all was new!

    Metal fans were very missunderstood back in the 80's & 90's.

    Today metal is even on the radio, it's become mainstream and accepted.

    Good documentry that gives a better picture of it all.

  42. Steven/Vibrations Of Doom Magazine

    As a music magazine publisher/editor for over 18 years, doing two radio shows and having sang for a heavy 80's metal band that recently reformed, metal has ALWAYS had something positive to say. What really irked me about the film is very minor, but important to some: He totally missed out on the doom metal genre! Black Sabbath is more doom metal oriented than anything else, and their sound is a big debt that is still being repaid by bands like My Dying Bride, Candlemass, Agalloch, Swallow The Sun, Paradise Lost, Mourning Beloveth, Worship, Mournful Congregation, and several more. The beauty and melody of life contrasted with the dark and evil images of the other side. For those that think metal is all about harshness, testosterone and hatred, check out some classic doom metal. Even the Gothenberg style of Death metal combined the harshness of heavy thrash/speed/death/black with some beautiful guitar melodies. The wonderful thought processes of the interviewer weren't carried far enough in my opinion, but touching on bringing women into metal was definitely a step in the right direction. I wouldn't mind following his documentary up with one of my own... Bands like My Dying Bride are equally in touch with BOTH sides of their personality, the light and the dark (as was briefly mentioned by the interviewer). THAT to me is the true evolution of metal for today's intelligent and forward thinking fans... Where does it all end up? What's the next big innovation in metal going to be in 20 years? The latest, it seems, is the return of the thrash metal "revival," which is fitting considering thrash metal really didn't have a long lifespan in the mid to late 80's. Pagan folk metal, ambient black metal and of course my favorite "sub genre" of metal: the mixture of TRUE doom and black metal together to create an overwhelming mixture of moods and emotions. Check out Draconian's earliest works "Arcane Rain Fell" and "Where Lovers Mourn," along with the first Forest Stream record "Tears Of Mortal Solitude." And to Karen, this might be the evolutionary link in metal you've been missing....

  43. Karen

    Yo, Mr.Balls

    I can't do the Metal thing again. I just don't have the head for it. There's too much testosterone. It's a guy thing. Thanks for the info, though. That was very cool.

    That being said, this is a lame movie MADE FOR METAL HEAD FAN-BOYS!

    This guy was handed an excellent topic for a film and he dropped the ball.

  44. Mr. Balls

    The 80's NYHC sound was proof that the "jocks" finally discovered metal and proceeded to dumb it down accordingly. However, I can't imagine letting a sub-genre scare me off of metal. Since I hate to hear of someone "losing the faith", I'll throw a lifeline here. IMO, metal in general has never been stronger or more varied as it is right now. And there are several bands that transcend the genre, Lamb of God being the best known. Also, if you haven't listened to bands like Meshuggah or Opeth, you're really missing out on some pretty awesome technical metal.
    I'd also give a shout out to some old favs that have released really strong efforts recently. Both Testament (The Gathering & Formation of Damnation) and Megadeth (United Abominations & Endgame) have put out good thrash albums over the last few years.
    Give metal another chance, I don't expect you'll be disappointed! :)

  45. antikathode

    Most people dismiss metal as being one certain thing, one certain way, when in reality it is extremely diverse.

    I laugh at the idea that metal is for working class "stupid boys", most of the other metalheads I see are from the middle class, some even from higher levels of "society" - it doesn't even matter, part of the desire to rebel is to reject the caste structure.

    Nobody actually seems to understand Satanism. Why would anyone actually want to worship a god of evil while preaching hatred of religion? Hurr durr. Please do yourselves a favour and google LaVeyan Satanism. It is a far cry from what posters here would believe.

    Besides, Satanism, darkness and evil is often used to shock the audience and is not used in a literal sense. And, Black metal is only one part of metal, and shouldn't be used to stereotype the entire genre.

    The whole idea of it being a very uneducated, stupid, low-brow form of music is utter bullshit. Honestly, are people so averse of sentiments that don't reflect the world as a rosy bed of love that they will reject anything as "evil" that doesn't fit their blinded views? At any rate, nothing is uniform in the lyrics department either.

    As well as anti-religion, anti-politics and other statements of anger, you can find a large amount of spirituality, philosophy and deep emotion in very large parts of the genre. Don't dismiss it all so easily, or you become instantly, and embody, what metal hates - the mindless fool, slave to society and false needs.

  46. buddha

    Or, seriously, most DIO lyrics. All that s*** is truly positive as can be, and life affirming. Sorry for being snotty in my previous comment. Metal love!

  47. buddha

    @turdnozzle- or, like judas priest said- "i'm gonna blow ya!"

  48. TurdNozzle

    decent film but there were some things they didnt talk about. The first is that nobody mentioned that a large number of people listen to heavy music simply because they enjoy it. I love metal, yet i dress completely "normally". i dont listen to it to empower me or so i can dress a certain way and fit in. The second is that it focused entirely on negative lyrics and imagery in metal. there are plenty of bands that have positive inspirational lyrics about love, hope and peace. bands like KSE, Unearth and As I lay dying have some truly wonderfull lyrics like " I mourne for those who never knew you" and " there is love burning to find you"

  49. Karen

    Ok, This doc was a "fan boy" doc. That's it.

    @ Mr.Balls (i'm laughing as I type that out)
    Everything you said was right on. I think punk was a very good influence on metal, but not vice versa. To me, that 80s NYHC was shit, and that was the catalyst that pushed me away from metal for good.
    I've also seen this uniform bullshit in Punk and all of it's sub-genres.

    Maybe I'm old, but to me the Thrash scene gave bands MUCH more room to experiment and be creative.
    This doesn't apply to just Metal, ya know...

    Anyway, this is a fan-boy doc. The film maker was certainly NOT neutral as all good documentary film makers should be. This movie is for fans of Metal.

  50. Mr. Balls

    Pretty good overview of Metal, especially for those who don't know or understand the genre, fans, and subcultures. Sam Dunn's background in anthropology helps get to the roots of what makes the the music sound "metal", why fans gravitate to it, and why it is suffers from many misperceptions from mainstream society. Being only 90 minutes or so, it can only really scratch the surface of a varied and deep tradition, so it might disappoint most metal fans.
    For me, I first heard the opening to AC/DC's Hells Bells when I was in 7th grade and something just clicked in my head. From that point it was a gradual evolution from hard rock fan to true metalhead. AC/DC, Rush, and Black Sabbath led me into the 80's thrash underground and on into today with bands like Meshuggah, Darkest Hour, Lamb of God etc. I'm 41 now, and can't see ever giving up being a metalhead.

    I do understand your point about metal's uniformity of nonconformity on display at times. In part I think its due to the genre having never been bigger than it is right now. When a scene gets this big, there will inevitably be multitudes of sound alike bands all sporting the same hair, outfits, and tattoos, piercings etc. I've always felt this was a big problem with the Death metal underground of the early 1990's, where every band was trying to be extreme, but seemed to be doing it in exactly the same way. I used to go to some death metal shows, and it seemed like even the core audience was only there to hear the music being played in a very certain way; the vocals had to sound a certain way, and it seemed very stifling to me. A real paradox, considering how outside the pale that music subgenre really was at the time. Part of my influences were some the 80s hardcore punk acts like Black Flag, Toxic Reasons, 7 Seconds, MDC, etc. And in that scene, the bands were much more likely to experiment, and be given a little more latitude by their audiences as well. The blending of hardcore and metal in the late 1980s wasn't always peaceful, and I remember punks & metalheads were a distinctly different crowd in many cases. The punk influence was a blessing to the metal scene, IMO, as it injected a freshness to the sound. Unfortunately, the "punk" culture has long since been co-opted by the mainstream to the point where it resembles very little of what I remember from 25 years ago. I'll call it the "Hot Topic-ization" of the heavy music scene. I go to metal festivals now, and every other kid has the same Marilyn Manson (who I like btw) platform boots, zippered black pants and fishnet top with eyeliner and obligatory facial piercing. Now perhaps that doesn't shock to me, because I've seen it now for so long. But maybe it still pisses off their parents, and perhaps that's the whole point?!?

  51. CharlieDon

    I like how they talk about metal's roots in classical, then fail to mention the man responsible for revolutionizing heavy metal with these modes - Randy Rhoads.

  52. The Spickuss

    @ young
    Wow, great minds must think alike because I've never seen the sequal! I know that was conceited, but I couldn't resist. I like the "educated v. intelligence v. smart" arguement. I know more than my fair share of people in the educated catagory(most supervisors where I work, ha!). And yeah, not a lot of love to Pantera or other Thrash bands. Slayer wasn't the only one!

  53. young

    and with regard to your "educated" observation you should realize that these people are actually very educated. BUT educated is not synonymous with intelligence.

    The way I see it is that their is educated, intelligent and smart are 3 different things and you can have all or just one or maybe none.

    Educated I would define as someone who knows alot of trivial things. Reads alot of books, knows alot of facts, has a degree etc.

    Intelligence I would define as the ability to process information and come to your own conclusions based on what you know. Whether those conclusions are to the right or left is arbitrary. And I think bad intelligence is actually worse than no intelligence lol.

    Smart I would define as the ability to make choices for your life based on your skills. So if someone doesn't believe they are intelligent and makes choices professionally and personally to adapt to that fact I would perceive them to be smarter then someone who thinks that they ARE intelligent and fails to live up to the inflated standard they have set for themselves.

  54. young

    @The Spickuss

    I agree with the points you've made, and the sequel to this film elaborates the essence of your point even further. The overall message I got from it was - Metal is the counter culture for EVERY culture.

    My only beef with this film was the lack of PANTERA! \m/

  55. The Spickuss

    True, the blues and jazz are definately older than metal, but they are their own genres of music. I was speaking of the sub-genres of rock n roll. I know i was unclear on that and i apologize. That being said, I copletely agree with you. People not familiar with the community descriminate against it because they don't understand it. If you look at some of the most outspoken voices against metal, they are very elitest, so-called "educated" people who think they can live someone elses life better than the individual can (i.e. Tipper Gore, Tammy Fae Baker, the P.M.R.C. and the like). Metal, much like the Blues and Country is a workin'-mans music. Hence why most elitests (if I may quote Alice Cooper here)"don't get the joke". I have no problem with anybody being successful, but don't look down on me or my passions because you don't understand them.

  56. mette

    @ou6rto67urou, it was for you,

  57. mette

    no it doesnt say that it's african, it was talking about the blues music there, and the blues music started with african-american people(african people) they were talking about the guitar style, the method,

  58. young

    @The Spikuss

    Well I suspect you know as well as I that it has some of the most intelligent lyrical subject matter, is a very technical style of music and isn't bad for society but rather puts a spotlight on the bad parts of society. It gets this reputation from a stigma from those who are not part of the metal community, therefore that stigma has no foundation.

    As far as it being the oldest surviving genre I don't know if that's true, their are styles like jazz and blues which have been around longer but among the top popular forms of music it definitely deserves that title. I would say it's because it's such a niche form of music and it can go from very simple to the up most technical of styles of playing. So as long as their are musicians, there will be METAL!

  59. The Spickuss

    If metal is so unintelligent, simplistic, and an overall detriment to society, then why is it the oldest surviving genre in rock n roll? With new talent appearing daily, it shows no sign of slowing down.

  60. regg

    It wont buffer past 1:00:17 :( It's right when that chick will scream I think.

  61. pantallica

    Metal is awesome this sums up my thoughts andi wish more people thought like this

  62. BakaDaruku

    brilliant. Got me in the mood to listen to Arch Enemy.

    I can say from personal experience, I have not been more at one with myself, the world and the fabric of the universe (you could add god to that list if you believe in simplistic things like that) than the day I saw Children of Bodom live at Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan.

    It was the pinnacle of my existence.

    Metal is life. You either get it, or you don't

  63. Dan

    Before any Kind of comment some should get the facts straight..
    The guys from Mayhem did NOT eat parts of the brain as Karen is wrongly saying. So if you talk about something try to talk about issues you actually know or don't talk at all.
    As for Metalheads being stupid.. Well... Calling people stupid because they love a diferent kind of music/underground culture, well it's looks to me that Mr.Solon apart from being full of prejudice talks pretty much like an "unintelligent boy".
    I think it's a very good documentary that touches as many subjects as possible in a fairly small amount of time.
    From my part: Thank you Mr. Sam Dunn! \m/

  64. HOUSE

    Why the hell wasn't Folk Metal mentioned?

  65. parker

    Ok, I realy wish he would have touched slightly on the fact that there are types of metal out there that are christian and that you can enjoy the awsome riffs and break downs without filling your head with all the saitanism crap that revolves around the metal world. If you want some awsome metal that incorporates the good message of christ check out these bands: As I lay dying, With blood comes cleansing, Impending doom, and demon hunter

    1. HeavyMetalMaiden

      You forgot Becoming the Archetype. :)

  66. HeavyMetalMaiden

    Wow. That pretty much summed up my thoughts on metal. \m/
    I loved that they had a part about females in the culture, it's about time we were recognized. Kinda sad that there was absolutely no mention whatsoever of Mastodon, but oh well. Overall, quite an insightful documentary into the heavy metal world. Any detractors to the genre and the lifestyle should first educate themselves by viewing this before making ignorant statements against it.

  67. Karen

    When referring to the Norwegian metal bands, this filmmaker conveniently left out that Mayhem not only took pieces of their dead singers skull and made necklaces, but they gathered pieces of his brain off of the walls and surrounding area,cooked them and ATE them. Some of these Norwegian metal guys have killed people just for the fun of it. Also, some churches that have burned have been standing since the 1100s - the time of the vikings. He let those guys off easy with the questions he asked. What was he afraid of?
    Another thing I must point out - I love they way these metal heads rebel by wearing the same uniform. They say they're such non-conformists, but they wouldn't dare be caught out of uniform. The same lyrics, the same guitar sound, the same vocal style! These people don't have an original thought in their heads. Maybe THAT'S why metal gets no respect. the filmmaker didn't even TRY to answer that question.
    I know some of you are going to come back with negative responses to this comment possibly accusing me of not knowing what I'm talking about. But, I was a HUGE metal head and an active member in the thrash scene in the 80s. so, I understand where he was coming from, but i would have liked to have seen the filmmaker dig into some of the negative aspects of metal. While I don't like it now or even listen to most of the old bands anymore, I feel that metal was a catharsis for me and helped me become the person I am today. Certain bands will always be a part of me - they are IN me and will never leave.
    If anyone would like to discuss this civilly with me, I'm up for it

  68. Rupert

    Metal is the most underrated genre which is very unjust since it's one of the hardest to play and amazing sounding.
    1. Slipknot
    2. Slayer
    3. System of a Down
    4 Death

    My favorite metal bands.

  69. WeThePeople

    "I thought he was going to conclude at the end that metal is shunned by others because it is ploddingly simplistic as witnessed by the fact that those involved are generally unintelligent boys."

    If you knew anything at all about metal, you'd know that a great percentage of the pioneers and current musicians coming out of Europe are classically trained musicians.

    This of course isn't as common among American metal musicians as it is with Europeans.

    Also, aside from classical, you won't find any musical genre that contains such fast and complex guitar arrangements as metal. Don't knock what you don't have an understanding of or lack the musical ear to decipher.

  70. Mike

    I never really "got" heavy metal but this documentary really help define a genre that is legit by filmmaker who obviously loves this type of music. Yet any outsider can relate to angst and freedom. Dee Synder has gotten my respect for defending that freedom even though I'm not a fan. Also John Denver stuck it to that committee to defend artistic freedom.

  71. charles

    Absolutely dreadful! To the kids that made necklaces out of pieces of the skull of thier lead singer that blew his own brains out--may God have mercy on your souls!

  72. Solon

    I thought he was going to conclude at the end that metal is shunned by others because it is ploddingly simplistic as witnessed by the fact that those involved are generally unintelligent boys.

  73. Sirabhorn

    The first stringed instruments in history were from Africa. It was the instrument that many stringed instruments derive from (including guitar, piano, etc).

  74. ou6rto67urou

    good doc but im pretty sure the guitar is a european instrument not african.