By Sean Palmerston
After the success of their 2005 film Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey Canadians Scott McFadyen and Sam Dunn have made a follow up with a twist. Where Headbanger’s was a swift romp through extreme music’s history, Global Metal is an anthropological study of metal around the world.
Their desire is to discover what kind of global impact metal has outside its obvious strongholds of Europe and North America. The search takes them to South America, the Middle East, Indonesia, Indochina and Japan and in each instance they speak to both fans and musicians to find out what their localized version of metal encompasses. It’s fascinating to look at the different ways that extreme music is accepted, from it being outlawed in Iran and severely looked down upon in many Middle Eastern countries to being nothing more than escapist entertainment in Japan. Along the way, you get to discover some bands you may have never heard of, like China’s Tang Dynasty or Japan’s X-Japan, but it’s also really cool to see footage and interviews with underground groups bands like Orphaned Land, Melechesh and Sigh and even the early days of Sepultura are documented. All of this is shot beautifully, with lots of local flavor thrown in to give the watcher a bit of extra insight into the natural beauty of these foreign locations.
The film itself is just over 90 minutes in length, but since they had such a wealth of footage shot, there is an extra bonus DVD that contains another hour plus worth of interviews and performances, with bands like Sigh, Melechesh and Krisiun getting more interview time next to outtakes from Iron Maiden and Lamb Of God.