When Slayer first unleashed its violent strain of thrash upon the Hessian public, there was a feeling that perhaps they were too extreme, that perhaps metal had been taken too far. They had created a fearful precedent for hardcore music. The crushing level of distortion and speed Slayer produced was like a dense downpour of razorblades. Their complete immersion in horror, violence and darkness equaled the sonic assault they committed with each track. Though metal eventually became faster, more violent, and more offensive, few can touch the focus and precision of Slayer's extreme velocities and ominous dissonance. Even today, their sound remains largely unchanged, though many of their peers softened their sound for the mainstream. Slayer maintains a dedicated following as the founding fathers of extreme music, from the gore festivities of death metal to the existential/political angst of metalcore to the epic blasphemies of black metal.
Classic Albums: The Number of the Beast
Runtime: 50 minIron Maiden's 1982 breakthrough, The Number of the Beast its first with leather lunged vocalist Bruce Dickinson remains a heavy metal watershed, and this Classic Albums program reunites the major players (including producer Martin Birch) for the undoubted pleasure of longtime Maiden fans. The interviews with band members and rock journalists in the 50 minute program touch on Maiden's early career, then delve into the creation of songs that have become hard-rock classics: the title song came about from a nightmare that bassist-songwriter Steve Harris couldn't shake, "The Prisoner" was inspired by the Patrick McGoohan television series, and the hit "Run to the Hills" made the sort of political statement (about white men's savage treatment of native peoples) that then-Capitol Records exec Don Zimmermann notes most American fans couldn't have cared less about while head-banging.
God Bless Ozzy Osbourne
Runtime: 1 hr 34 minOzzy Osbourne is one of the most iconic figures in rock and one of the founding fathers of heavy metal, however to many his “Madman” persona has overshadowed his considerable musical achievements. “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” tells for the first time the story of his career from the founding of Black Sabbath through to solo stardom and his wider fame beyond. These were the wild days of his prodigious drug and alcohol intake, of biting the head from a dove at a record company meeting and biting into a bat on stage but also of the tragic death of Randy Rhoads and the reality TV show The Osbournes. The film follows Ozzy’s torturous and emotionally fraught journey from excess to sobriety, which Ozzy regards as his greatest accomplishment. Featuring never before seen footage, new interviews with Ozzy himself, his brothers and sisters, his children, his bandmates in Black Sabbath and those who both inspired him and were inspired by him, this is the first film to take viewers inside the mind and psyche of this legendary figure.
Classic Albums: Metallica
Runtime: 50 minThe story of the making of this remarkable album is told here via exclusive interviews with band members James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Jason Newsted, archive footage and performance, and contributions from producer Bob Rock. Featuring the five singles from the album, Enter Sandman, Sad But True, "The Unforgiven", "Wherever I May Roam" and "Nothing Else Matters", this is the compelling story of one of the biggest selling albums of all time, a true Classic Album.
"The making and continued influence of Metallica's commercial breakthrough (known simply as "the Black Album") is entertainingly recounted in this must for Metallica fanatics, especially those who are interested in the recording of one of hard rock's most sonically breathtaking albums. Drummer Lars Ulrich, singer James Hetfield, and producer Bob Rock take up the lion's share of the interviews, and their reminiscences a decade after the fact include many juicy tidbits (like Ulrich and Rock loathing each other by the time the recording was finished, or that the final mix was nearly ruined by a digital clicking sound on the master tape--luckily, a successful remastering was done). The Dolby 2.0 Stereo sound is appropriately pummeling, even if we are treated to mere excerpts from the songs, videos, and even some of the original demos. Classic Albums: Metallica adroitly summarizes a pivotal moment in hard rock history."
Countdown to Extinction
Runtime: 1 hr 32 minThe concert film Megadeth: Countdown to Extinction Live features the heavy-metal legends performing their album Countdown to Extinction in its entirety smack dab in the middle of a ferocious set that also includes renditions of "Trust," "Peace Sells," and "Public Enemy."
Live in London
Runtime: 1 hr 11 min"Live In London" is the documentation of a dream that long-time die-hard Testament fans have been waiting for: the reuniting of the bands "classic" lineup. Featuring vocalist Chuck Billy, guitar virtuosos Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, bassist Greg Christian, and original drummer Louie Clemente (along with Testament & White Zombie alumnus John Tempesta as a second drummer), the band rips through classic Testament fan favorites in this show, shot in London earlier in 2005.
Among the leaders of heavy metal over the past twenty years, Testament have always provided the rock solid proof that great song writing, regardless of genre, will always transcend time. Their crucial contributions to the early thrash metal surge of the mid to late 1980s helped to develop a sound that forever changed the face of heavy music and resonates just as loudly today. With all of their Bay Area peers either calling it a day or drastically altering their sound, Testament has remained a worldwide metal ambassador throughout the 1990s and into the new century.
Chile on Hell
Runtime: 1 hr 51 min“Chile On Hell” was filmed at the Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile on May 10, 2013, and features Anthrax – Joey Belladonna, Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Frank Bello and Jon Donais. The band performed an extended set that featured songs from Anthrax’s entire catalogue – all the fan-favorites including “I Am The Law,” “Indians,” “Madhouse,” “Caught In A Mosh,” “The Devil You Know,” and “I’m Alive.”
Shovel Headed Tour
Runtime: 1 hr 7 minThe massive event that took place at Wacken Open Air Festival Germany on July 31, 2008 in front of over 80 thousand screaming moshing maniacs is finally available for fans to download and experience. Filmed during their 2008 world tour, witness this punishing collection of extreme tracks that will get you to bang your heads till your noses bleed!
Lamb Of God
Runtime: 2 hr 52 minThrash-metal band Lamb of God’s Killadelphia features a set recorded at The Trocadero in 2004 in support of Ashes Of The Wake, along with great candid footage of the group at work and at play, for an exciting all-access portrait.
Runtime: 2 hr 22 minOn May 26, 2012, Judas Priest wrapped up their epic "Epitaph" world tour with a storming set at London's Hammersmith Apollo. The band, having announced that this would be their final large-scale world tour, celebrated their last and possibly final show with an incredible career-spanning set list that brought down the house. In addition to performing all their classics “Breaking The Law”, “Living After Midnight” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” the Priest dug deep into their catalog, performing at least one song from each of their albums, which rounded off their 23-song set list. Epitaph captures Priest’s electrifying over the top metal onslaught and is proof they are still at the top of their game after 40 years of headbanging.
Classic Albums: Ace of Spades
Runtime: 49 minIn 1980, MOTORHEAD released their fourth album Ace Of Spades. Loud, fast and overwhelmingly heavy, Ace of Spades would propel MOTORHEAD into the ranks of Heavy Metal's elite and 25 years later is still considered a benchmark album in its genre. MOTORHEAD - Ace Of Spades Classic Album sees Lemmy, "Fast" Eddie Clarke and Philip "Philthy Animal" Taylor talk candidly about the writing and recording of the album and the goings on inside the MOTORHEAD camp at the time. Watch "Fast" Eddie as he demonstrates how the riff for Ace Of Spades came about, and see the trio (with the help of modern technology) together on the same stage once again. Also featured are exclusive interviews with the likes of Slash (Guns & Roses, Velvet Revolver), Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Dave Brock (Hawkwind), and many more. At the front of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal is MOTORHEAD. Formed in 1975 by former Hawkwind bassist Lemmy Kilmister, the band endured several lineup changes in its early years, and the revolving door lineup began again, with Lemmy continuing to be the driving force of MOTORHEAD.