Global Metal

Synopsis: Directors Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn set out to discover how the West’s most maligned musical genre – heavy metal – has impacted the world’s cultures beyond Europe and North America. The film follows metal fan and anthropologist Dunn on a whirlwind journey through Asia, South America and the Middle East as he explores the underbelly of the world’s emerging extreme music scenes: from Indonesian death metal to Chinese black metal to Iranian thrash metal. Global Metal reveals a worldwide community of meatheads who aren’t just absorbing metal from the West. They’re triumphantly transforming it, creating a new for of cultural expression.

Global Metal 7.5

From the filmmakers of ‘Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey’ comes this companion documentary about the world of metal music.

In this volume, we travel the world to see how metal has been integrated into various cultures and how it manifests itself on a global scale. We essentially follow the filmmakers as they interview various bands and critics and try to offer an international perspective on this music scene.

For fans of the genre, it’s a relatively interesting journey – but it would be of limited appeal to the less inclined. For starters, it’s a brief film and it barely skims the surface of its subject; it’s hardly exhaustive and is only somewhat informative, so it’s hardly engrossing. Secondly, we frequently encounter artists that are fairly different from North American/European standards, so it may not be as accessible to people with only a passing curiosity.

It’s a decent documentary, overall, but it doesn’t have the structure and depth of their previous film. As well, one gets the feeling that, in their exploration, the choices they made were either random or heavily biased: frequently, one band from one city from one country would end up being representative of a whole region of the world; it’s hardly concrete or conclusive.

So, while ‘Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey’ is worth repeat viewings from a purely educational and/or entertainment point of view, ‘Global Metal’ has limited replay value. It’s technically a good documentary, but it’s too bare-bones to be truly notable.

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