I picked this DVD along the way, not quite knowing what to expect. I already have a couple dozen documentaries about Heavy Metal on DVD in my library, so when I saw it for a good price, the collector in me took over. THIS IS BLACK METAL is not really a documentary in the true sense. It is a collection of videos by and interviews with, Black (and Death) Metal artists. The title is a bit misleading.
The hostess is Jasmin St. Clair a former porn actress who has been professionally trying to rebrand herself and reposition herself into new markets by aligning herself with Metal and wrestling, for many years now. On a side note, I met her in San Antonio, Texas in 2001 at a Metal festival where she had a vendors booth next to mine. She seemed a little out of her league just coming off her porn career (or maybe just a bit out of place) but she seemed to be a sincere fan of the music.
On the DVD which runs for an hour and 45 minutes, Jasmin interviews Venom, Morbid Angel, Emperor and others in various non-descript locations. Although her interview technique could use some refinement her questions were interesting enough. She thankfully doesn’t try to steal the spotlight from the people she is interviewing. It annoys me when the host/interviewer tries to be the star! Speaking of interviewing, in a move I’ve never seen before, Ms. St. Clair interviews herself (!) in a back alley!
There are videos by such bands as Celtic Frost, Satyricon, Astarte and several more, most of which I had never seen before. It’s always good to have these video collections because here in Canada you will not see them on television. One of the features is a segment called Black Metal Parking Lot, which much like Heavy Metal Parking Lot, is just brief, random interviews with people lined up to see a Cradle Of Filth show. Some of the people being interviewed are articulate and intelligent. Some are not. It’s amusing nonetheless.
THIS IS BLACK METAL is a pretty low-budget production, no booklet, poor graphics, low production value, and the technical design of the DVD is a bit weak in terms of navigating menus and such. My grade truly reflects my opinion, it’s an average DVD in terms of quality and content as in reality it is just a string of unrelated clips with no narrative or purpose. Metal collectors may want to add it their library but as far as ‘documentaries’ go there are far better ones out there.
Celtic Frost-A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh (video and interview)
Throes Of Dawn-Vertigo (video)
Emperpor -Inno A Satana (live video and interview)
Astarte-Black Mighty Gods (video and interview)
Morbid Angel (interview)
Satyricon-Fuel For Hatred (video and interview)
Borrknagar-Future Reminiscence (video)
Black Metal Parking Lot Film
Cradle Of Filth-No Time To Cry