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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Heavy Metal > Rock > Documentary > Global Metal (2007/Warner Bros. DVD)

Global Metal (2007/Warner Bros. DVD)


Picture: C-     Sound: C     Extras: B-     Feature: C+



Judging by the front cover, it would be easy to assume that Global Metal is a collection of concert footage, perhaps associated with some groundbreaking world tour.  But anyone who’s seen Sam Dunn’s previous documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey will know better.  In both films, Dunn provides surprisingly coherent and insightful commentary on the metal subculture.


In Global Metal, Dunn and his crew travel to seven different countries (eight if you count the bonus material) and seek out metalheads.  Dunn professes a background in anthropology, and it shows as he investigates each culture’s particular relationship with this subversive and often looked-down-upon genre of music.


Visually, the camerawork is less than stunning, but features the same type of B-roll footage you’d expect to find in a decent documentary regardless of topic from the globalized economy to the historical relationship between people and mice.  The film is presented in a matted 16:9 widescreen format with varying picture quality depending on shooting conditions, an inherent limitation of video.  The audio options give you the choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 and the sound quality and mix are similarly uninspired.


The extra features occupy their own second disc and earn point for quantity if nothing else.  In addition to a commentary track (located in disc 1’s setup options), disc 2 contains Heavy Metal Baraka, which is essentially four minutes of additional B-roll footage, a 23 minute outtake reel that is almost entirely uneventful and unfunny, and ten extended interviews with some tremendous metal musicians.  In addition, there’s an extra segment, focusing on the metal scene in Bali, Indonesia that was cut from the rest of the documentary.


While Dunn may not be the next Errol Morris, he has managed to create a surprisingly engaging and interesting documentary on an unexpected topic.  Global Metal is definitely a must-see for metalheads and comes well recommended for cinephiles and those interested in global affairs as well.



-   Matthew Carrick


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