Metal: A Headbanger's Journey - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey Reviews

Page 1 of 48
January 23, 2016
M movie for this evening :)
December 3, 2015
Being a lifelong heavy metal fan, obviously this documentary was going to be right up my alley. This is THE film I would show someone who does not understand the music of heavy metal or the culture that supports it. It is almost as if you were going to teach a class on heavy metal this is what you would use for your course outline. But by no means is this a boring academic study of metal music. This is for my money, the best music documentary that I have seen. There is not one part of this entire movie that I do not enjoy, and I have watched it numerous times from start to finish, and it never gets old or boring. It is a real fresh look at heavy metal music and culture. Sam Dunn really focuses on the culture of the metal scene, and why fans are so drawn to it. But he also gets into detail about how this music came about, its origins and how its been changed throughout the years. Going through subgenres of metal, which there are many, and really explaining what the difference is, and why they are different. But like I said, it is not a boring teaching lesson at all, it is spectacular, and to the non metal fan this would be a perfect place to start if you were trying to understand this music, and why people love it so much. He has great interviews with all the key players in just about every sub genre of heavy metal. And they each deliver with their unique perspective on the music and culture. From Lemmy of Motorhead to Lamb of God this documentary really includes everyone. Dunn even gets in a segment on Norwegian Black Metal, as he travels around the world he makes a stop in the home of satanic black metal to interview some of the key figures in the sub genre. Maybe the best and most disturbing interview of the entire movie comes from Ghal of Gorgortoh. You can feel the tension and awkwardness through the interview as Dunn asks him about black metal and his love for Satan, its outstanding journalism. As a metal fan I know how huge of a following the music has, but you can come away from this movie really seeing that this is not just a bunch of crazy teenagers listening to people screaming on stage. This music is beautiful and filled with emotion. And the people who are involved with it, live and die with heavy metal music. This documentary is refreshing because its not the same old played out answers that most artists give to the media. They know Sam Dunn is a true metal head and you can tell they respect him for it and are going to be honest with him, he gets the most out of them. You can feel the passion for the subject he is covering. A great documentary, I highly recommend it not just to metal fans, but to fans of all music.
December 1, 2015
Being a lifelong heavy metal fan, obviously this documentary was going to be right up my alley. This is THE film I would show someone who does not understand the music of heavy metal or the culture that supports it. It is almost as if you were going to teach a class on heavy metal this is what you would use for your course outline. But by no means is this a boring academic study of metal music. This is for my money, the best music documentary that I have seen. There is not one part of this entire movie that I do not enjoy, and I have watched it numerous times from start to finish, and it never gets old or boring. It is a real fresh look at heavy metal music and culture. Sam Dunn really focuses on the culture of the metal scene, and why fans are so drawn to it. But he also gets into detail about how this music came about, its origins and how its been changed throughout the years. Going through subgenres of metal, which there are many, and really explaining what the difference is, and why they are different. But like I said, it is not a boring teaching lesson at all, it is spectacular, and to the non metal fan this would be a perfect place to start if you were trying to understand this music, and why people love it so much. He has great interviews with all the key players in just about every sub genre of heavy metal. And they each deliver with their unique perspective on the music and culture. From Lemmy of Motorhead to Lamb of God this documentary really includes everyone. Dunn even gets in a segment on Norwegian Black Metal, as he travels around the world he makes a stop in the home of satanic black metal to interview some of the key figures in the sub genre. Maybe the best and most disturbing interview of the entire movie comes from Ghal of Gorgortoh. You can feel the tension and awkwardness through the interview as Dunn asks him about black metal and his love for Satan, its outstanding journalism. As a metal fan I know how huge of a following the music has, but you can come away from this movie really seeing that this is not just a bunch of crazy teenagers listening to people screaming on stage. This music is beautiful and filled with emotion. And the people who are involved with it, live and die with heavy metal music. This documentary is refreshing because its not the same old played out answers that most artists give to the media. They know Sam Dunn is a true metal head and you can tell they respect him for it and are going to be honest with him, he gets the most out of them. You can feel the passion for the subject he is covering. A great documentary, I highly recommend it not just to metal fans, but to fans of all music.
August 9, 2015
An excellent documentary, that gives an awesome and deeply explanation about Heavy Metal
April 21, 2015
The aborted fetus of an undying god howls eternally in the movies frostbitten holocaust.
½ September 11, 2014
I love this documentary, not just because I am a metalhead, not just because this was entertaining, but also the fact that it is informative and educational looking into the history and culture of metal.
½ July 4, 2014
A true tribute to the Metal scene and an educative journey for both metalheads and non-metalheads alike. In the spirit of Metal, a shout out to all the headbangers out there - we're doing fine on our own.
May 17, 2014
Fun and interesting.
May 17, 2014
Fun and interesting.
April 27, 2014
I highly doubt anyone will read this, but I just felt I had to write something down, because I am seriously on cloud nine after viewing this. There are two areas of my life which I hate talking about (religion and politics) and two areas that I love talking about (music and film). As a self-professed metal-head since age 14, I am terribly ashamed that it took me this long to view this documentary. Anyways, this covers the entire genre of metal for over thirty years and all of the scenes that developed from it- from the kids just looking to go to a show for a good night out, all the way to the Black Metal extremists that burn down churches in retaliation against Christianity. It should be noted that all of the metal community except said extremists do not condone or promote this type of behavior.

You also get introduced to nearly every type of metal that has spawned since it's formation: from Sabbath and Zeppelin, to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, to the spawning of Thrash Metal, and into the Extreme Metal genres. As an avid lover of Death Metal, I do love how it displayed various artists who were important in establishing the Death Metal genre. Showcasing a genre like that to the world isn't easy considering how quickly even most metal-heads will shy away from it, but this documentary does a great job of doing just that. Even if you still don't like the music, you may begin to appreciate the talent these people have and the struggles that they face.

This documentary also showcases just how much fire heavy metal has come under from the press, religious groups, and the general public. This music is so unjustly and relentlessly persecuted by those shrouded in pure ignorance. There are plenty of genres of music that incorporate the similar principles of lyrical extremism into their music that come under seriously less scrutiny than Rock & Roll or Heavy Metal does. Those forms of music don't deserve to be berated either as I believe in artistic freedom, but the general public should at least keep their principles the same varying from genre to genre.

Possibly most importantly, the documentary shows the sense of community and belonging established in this world. Kids can drown their problems out by listening to Slayer or Cannibal Corpse as opposed to using drugs or getting into fights. You see a huge group of people considered outcasts coming together as one at massive outdoor festivals. Suddenly they belong. They feel as if they belong. They're part of something they love, and that's what it's all about.
April 13, 2014
Absolutely love this documentary, enjoyable whether you're a fan of the music or not.
September 3, 2013
Sam Dunn is the best with rock docs.
August 8, 2013
This was great! You don't have to be a metal fan to enjoy it, either. I'll pretty much watch any Sam Dunn documentary at this point.
½ July 8, 2013
masterpiece.such an awesome documentary.the interview with MAYHEM is hilarious.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2013
Interesting documentary, whether you like metal or not.
April 19, 2013
One of the best documentaries ever.
April 15, 2013
I watch it everytime it's on TV. Fantastic documentary.
March 25, 2013
A reasonably well-made documentary on metal subculture despite some serious errors here and there. Longtime Metalheads won't learn anything particularly new, and of course, there's Mr. Dunn's infamous Metal chart. Metalhead or not, the interviews with fans and musicians are worth a look.

Errors: the guitar is derived from the Sitar, an Indian instrument, NOT an African instrument as attributed by Lamb of God. Also, Norway doesn't have life-sentences, so Dunn's claim that Varg is a lifer is incorrect. And then, there's Mr. Dunn's infamous "Metal chart." Countless omissions and miscategorizations abound.
February 6, 2013
Okay first off I don't really like Metal music BUT I enjoyed watching this documentary on this type of music, go figure. Well structured, this doco is designed for learners of metal and old pros, there is plenty in here to satisfy both demographics. An interesting array of entertaining interviews with figure heads, bands and metal fans make this a plush doco worth a watch for metal or music fans alike.
February 5, 2013
Just an awesome documentary about the world of heavy metal. As a well disguised metalhead all my life (I don't need studs and leather to rawk!), I've always been awed by those who think that metal is just for social deviants and those who would rather eat their dog than play with it. I'm not going to say that this movie will convert people (in fact I hope it doesn't. I like our club as it is). But it might at least explain to some, how we metalheads think, just a little bit.
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