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Global Metal (Two-Disc Special Edition) - music documentary DVD / concert performance DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating: 4 stars
Featuring: Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, X-Japan, Orphaned Land, Tang Dynasty
Directors: Sam Dunn, Scott McFadyen   Distributor: Warner Home Video
DVD release: 21 July 2009   Runtime: 93 min. (2 discs)
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 1.33:1, Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1. Surround), Subtitles (English), Commentary (dir. Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn), Heavy Metal Baraka Music Montage, Outtakes, Extended interviews (Lars Ulrich, Max Cavalera, Bruce Dickinson, Melechesh, Lamb of God, Krisiun, Sigh)

Like all documentaries, Global Metal, has a biased point of view. But that's natural. If you are a documentarian and you choose a topic to cover, it's most likely something you feel passionate about. And writer, director, producer Sam Dunn is passionate about all things pertaining to heavy metal music. Not only did he graduate from York University with a degree in anthropology, but he's also a bass player in a metal band named Burn to Black. Seems like he has the prerequisites covered to do a study on the "metal" life.

Dunn has already made a documentary, 2005's Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. That begs the question: why do another metal documentary? Officially, it's because of the response he got to the first documentary. Unofficially, Dunn seems to be a genuine nice guy and true metal fan, so if he had the opportunity to travel around the world and document something he really loves, then he was going to jump at the chance. I can't blame him.

For sure Global Metal is an accurate title. The travalogue of a documentary takes you from the Great Wall of China to explain how the dropped rock/metal acts of major labels got into the country to Japan, where the hardcore metal fans despise the glam metal look of visual kei. In between there are stops in Iran, India, Brazil, Germany, and Isreal, each with a unique storyline within the overall scheme of the documentary.

I can't say much for the thesis put forth that metal is a way for adolescents (and adults) to safely displace their anger against whatever their particular situation is. Teenaged (and adult) angst and rebellion will always be. Is metal the only venue for letting this energy out? Not likely. But fans of heavy metal will recognize the plights of the people they see no matter the country. Packed with interesting interviews and exotic locales, the two-disc DVD set is if nothing else a fun, entertaining romp from continent to continent showcasing metalheads throughout the world. Global Metal is sure to please the heavy metal fan.

4 stars (or in this case, 4 devil horns)

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reviewed by Bobby Blades
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