The 28 Best Documentaries About Heavy Metal

Feb 3, 2024 | Best Of, Music

Imagine a world without heavy metal. No screaming guitars, no thunderous drums, no headbanging crowds. It’s a bleak picture indeed. But thanks to the magic of documentaries, we can experience this genre in its rawest form. Whether you’re a die-hard metalhead or a curious onlooker, these films will take you on a journey through the history, culture and impact of heavy metal. So buckle up and get ready to headbang your way through these 28 must-watch documentaries about heavy metal. From iconic bands to controversial controversies, we’ve got it all covered. So crank up the volume and let’s dive into the world of heavy metal! So get ready to experience the raw energy, passion, and grit of this genre like never before. Let’s unleash the power of heavy metal through these riveting documentaries.

1. BLACK METAL (1998) Documentary Belgium (with ENG subtitles)

Black metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that originated in Norway in the early 1990s. It is known for its dark and aggressive sound, often featuring fast tempos, shrieking vocals, and unconventional song structures. The lyrics often focus on anti-Christian and occult themes. The documentary BLACK METAL (1998) takes us on a journey through the history and evolution of this controversial music genre. Directed by Bill Zebub, a self-proclaimed “anti-christian” filmmaker, the documentary provides an in-depth look into the origins of black metal and its impact on society.


2. Metal Evolution – Extreme Metal

The documentary series “Metal Evolution” is a comprehensive look at the evolution of heavy metal music, exploring its various subgenres and their origins. One particular episode that stands out is “Extreme Metal”, which delves into the extreme and controversial side of metal. From the aggressive growls and blast beats of death metal to the dark themes and Satanic imagery of black metal, extreme metal has always pushed the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in music. The documentary features interviews with notable musicians such as Tom Araya of Slayer, Chuck Schuldiner of Death, and King Diamond of Mercyful Fate, who discuss the origins and influences behind extreme metal.


3. 90´s Thrash/Death Metal

In the 90s, a new wave of heavy metal emerged – thrash/death metal. This sub-genre of metal took the world by storm with its aggressive and fast-paced sound. It quickly gained a dedicated following and became one of the most influential movements in music history. At its core, thrash/death metal combines the raw intensity of thrash metal with the brutal aggression of death metal. This fusion creates a unique sound that is both powerful and chaotic.


4. METAL EVOLUTION ALBUMS — At the Gates’ Slaughter of the Soul documentary

The world of heavy metal has always been shrouded in mystery and controversy, with its loud sounds and eccentric musicians. But beyond the noise lies a genre that has captured the hearts of millions around the world for decades. And what better way to understand the evolution of this unique music culture than through documentaries? One film that stands out is “Metal Evolution: Albums – At the Gates’ Slaughter of the Soul”, which delves into the making of the iconic album by Swedish melodic death metal band At the Gates. Released in 1995, “Slaughter of the Soul” became a pivotal album in shaping the sound and direction of heavy metal.


5. The History of Metal Blade Records on Its 35th Anniversary

Metal Blade Records is a legendary label that has been at the forefront of heavy metal music for over 35 years. Founded in 1982 by Brian Slagle, this record company played a significant role in shaping the genre and launching the careers of some of the biggest names in metal. From its humble beginnings as a one-man operation to becoming one of the most influential labels in the industry, Metal Blade Records has truly left a mark on the history of music.


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David B