In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been social distancing, self-isolating and generally staying inside to do their bit in preventing further spread of the virus.
Suddenly, people are finding a lot more free time on their hands - so here are five great documentaries about metal and heavy music that will keep you occupied!
Heavy Metal In Baghdad (2007)
As unfortunate as it is, heavy music just isn't accepted in some parts of the world like it is in others. Cultural, religious and legal barriers make it impossible for a heavy band to exist in some countries without the fear of capital punishment.
This powerful documentary follows Iraq's "only metal band" Acrassicauda as they risk their lives to pursue their passion in the middle of the Iraq war. An oppressive environment made it almost impossible to play their music, and after the release of this film, they started to receive death threats from Islamic militants who thought that the band were Satan worshippers. Acrassicauda then fled first to Syria and then Turkey before being granted refugee status in the United States of America, where they are based today.
Until The Light Takes Us (2008)
This one is a little more gritty than the others, diving into the origins and history of the Norwegian black metal scene, detailing the suicides, murders and church burnings that took place alongside the uprising of one of the most infamous genres in musical history.
There are interviews with all the influential names to come out of the scene including Varg Vikernes, Fenriz, Abbath, Hellhammer and more. The whole thing is in black and white too, which really adds to the bleakness of the film's subject matter.
It's not a fun watch by any stretch, but it's definitely a fascinating look into a piece of metal history, and Until The Light Takes Us is often regarded as the most definitive film made on Norwegian black metal.
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (2005)
Canadian anthropologist Sam Dunn directed this classic documentary on the history and culture of metal as a whole. As a metal fan since he was 12 years old, Dunn sets out across the world to flesh out what it is that makes it loved by so many people.
The doco provides a ton of interesting information through artist interviews, which quickly becomes a who's who of the metal world; Ronnie James Dio (RIP), Tom Morello, Bruce Dickinson, Kerry King, Dee Snider, Corey Taylor and Rob Zombie are just some of the people who get screen-time over the course of its duration.
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey is now 15 years old, but it's a concise and revered snapshot into the world of heavy music at that time, and definitely worth a watch.
Personalities didn't come much bigger than Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister's. This look into the influence and legacy of Motörhead's legendary frontman features chats with the man himself, as well as other legends like Dave Grohl, Scott Ian, Ozzy Osbourne and Lars Ulrich offering up their praise to the icon who went on to pass away in 2015.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Easily one of the funniest mockumentaries of all time, This Is Spinal Tap follows the metal band Spinal Tap as they tour throughout the US in support of their new album Smell The Glove.
In 2016, film critic and author Jeremy Arnold chose it as one of the "52 Must-See Movies", describing it as "one of the single most influential movies of the past thirty-five years".
You can rent this one on YouTube from $3.99, or buy it outright from $7.99, and we reckon it's well worth it. Here's the trailer if the film has eluded you over the years: