Artist: Bob Nalbandian (Director)
Title: Inside Metal: The Rise Of L.A. Thrash Metal 2
Reviewed: May 2019
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
This is the next documentary film in the series about the LA Metal scene. I’ve been following this series with much interest fro a few years now and it keeps growing. Feel free to check out any of my previous several reviews of documentaries in the series or my April 2017 interview with director Bob Nalbandian. I apologize for the gap between reviewing Part 1 and Part 2.
This is the next documentary film in the series about the LA Metal scene. I’ve been following this series with much interest for a few years now and it keeps growing. Feel free to check out any of my previous several reviews of documentaries in the series or my April 2017 interview with director Bob Nalbandian.
Reader beware, I’m totally cheating on this review. I reviewed the Part I about one year ago. There is virtually no difference between the two films other than this is Part II. Instead of a three-hour film it is broken into two, ninety minute films. The bulk of this review is the same as the review for Part I. I just like being a completist.
THE RISE OF L.A. THRASH METAL-Part 2 is in itself an interesting title. For decades people have associated the Bay-area (Oakland/San Francisco) with the rise of Thrash Metal. However, that is not quite the case and when you look at the reality, it is actually quite obvious that L.A. was the source of thrash. Three of the ‘Big Four’ came from Los Angeles, not San Francisco! Sometimes someone has to say something out loud about what is right in front of your face before you actually see it for yourself. Director Nalbandian, has done just that with his documentary.
In terms of a film, the inside Metal series has always been solid, certainly not and high-budget production, but commendable. The production quality is decent and it is largely filmed with a mix of talking heads and historical archives. The soundtrack is a bit mixed but only because it is hard (and damned expensive!) to get the rights to use music in a movie so instead of many of the most iconic thrash songs of that era, we settle for a decent mix of second and third tier L.A. bands and some new, original compositions. The whole thing is well narrated by David Ellefson (Megadeth) and runs about 90 minutes.
Through the interviews with dozens of musicians, producers, managers, journalists, agents and so on, the film follows, as you might expect, the rise of Thrash Metal. The list is pretty massive, the back cover of the DVD lists almost 30 people, including big names like Lars Ulrich and Brian Slagel and a few cool, maybe lesser known people like the ex-manager of Slayer from the early days.
This version seemed to do a few more full band spotlights, Megadeth, Metallica etc…instead of components of the scene. It is the same interviews, same people and that is not a criticism, it is just an extension of Part I
There are a few bonus features, just a few minutes worth but they have some fun stories and insights of some stuff that didn’t make the final cut. If you don’t want to buy the DVD like I did these films are on various streaming and/or PPV services, but keep in mind, only hard copies are real. In true thrash fashion…buy or die!