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METAL: A Headbangers Journey

Bow your heads and raise your devil horns as director/anthropologist/metal head Sam Dunn takes you through METAL: A HEADBANGERS JOURNEY to discover the long debated origins of heavy metal music to why it's so stereotyped and misunderstood as an art form.

In his extraordinary five year journey, Sam visits metal landmarks such as the Sunset Strip in LA to Birmingham, England to wading through the dark forces in Norway. In an almost thesis-like report, Sam breaks the entire culture down to explore sexuality, religion, violence and death to ultimately throw open the doors and breakdown the stereotype that heavy metal music is destructive.

What's impressive is that it answered all questions that I had of heavy metal music. Rarely does a documentary ever do that. It was almost set up as a primer to discover the culture and its ancestral roots. There are a few surprises along the way including some really creepy interviews with Norweigian Black Metal Bands, one of whom was charged and convicted of burning several churches to the ground in the early 90s to incredibly insightful interviews with Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), Rob Zombie, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) and Alice Cooper.

I'll admit I've never really been an obsessive fan of heavy metal music. There were times when I needed to throw in Led Zepplin's 'Kashmir' or hear a few riffs of Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid' just to get me through a craving but that was it. Most times I would search just for the instrumental versions because most of the vocals seemed to a lot of unmelodic yelling. Despite it all, I've always had a respect for the genre, that these bands, would pack arenas, play instruments, and be able to turn their audience upside-down, literally.

And while I may never become a headbanger myself, this documentary is a definite required viewing of any fan of music.

METAL: A HEADBANGERS JOURNEY opens in theatres this Friday, February 24th. Check theatre for times.

Photos courtesy of Banger Productions.

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