Metal Evolution-Episode 12: Extreme Metal
Released: 2014, Banger Films
I love Metal and I put my money where my mouth is. That may sound arrogant but let me explain. A few years back Banger Productions announced the creation of a fundraising campaign to finance the ‘Extreme Metal’ episode from his popular television documentary series, Metal Evolution. For whatever reason, time, politics, money, the final episode of the series was never made. Banger Productions knew that it had to be done and raised the money. As many people did I donated and on of the perks of donating to the campaign is that we got to see the ‘lost episode’. It was released earlier this month and I took the time to enjoy it of course.
Extreme Metal maintained the same high quality of picture and sound as all the other episodes. The look and design was the same making for a seamless transition, with one little exception, the intro music to the episode was not Iron Maiden as in the other episodes it was switched to something heavier and darker, I won’t spoil the surprise. If you were worried about quality, you don’t need to, it looks great. They use the family tree as well for a familiar touchstone.
Like the rest of the genre-based episodes the story runs roughly chronologically and documents the evolution of Death Metal, Grindcore, Black Metal and so on. A mix of interviews with members of Mayhem, Celtic Frost, Dimmu Borgir, Venom, Obituary, Darkthrone and many, many more as well as industry people like producer Scott Burns. There are many of the same people as in the other episodes; journalists, academics and industry people add weight and credibility to the narrative. There is a great mix of interviews, live footage, archival stuff really making the episode jump out of the screen.
Critics and cynics will suggest covering multiple distinct sub-genres over three decades is too much to document in a 52-minute episode and perhaps they would be correct. I see this as more of an ‘introduction to extreme Metal’, much like the other four non-genre specific episodes in the series. There is certainly enough material to expand into several more genre-specific episodes, rather than the all-encompassing ‘extreme’ Metal tag.
In an exciting development, Banger Productions has suggested there may be more episodes to come! These can happen with your participation and support. Until then watch social media for updates.