banner image

:: Metallica: Through The Never 3D

The last time we saw Metallica on film, they were having some personal and professional issues in the warts-and-all documentary Some Kind of Monster (2004). Metallica: Through the Never proves they have made it past these issues and shows the band performing live in glorious 3D, ‘in-the-round’ during the Canadian leg of their 2012 tour.

The film’s title, named after a track from the band’s 1991 eponymous or ‘black album’ befits the narrative contained within the concert film which shows the surreal adventure of one of the band’s road crew as he sets out to collect an urgently needed item for the live show. Trip ( Dane DeHaan) is sent out to find the truck which is carrying the required item and encounters a clichéd heavy metal dystopia along the way. Axe-wielding horsemen, menacing hoards of youths in hoodies, bodies hanging from street lights, deserted streets littered with the detritus of cars and buildings greet Trip and his car rear-view mirror ornament ‘doll’ which comes to life during his attempt to get to the truck. The film cuts to Trip during each of the songs performed at the concert, where similarly apocalyptic scenes are shown on the multi-screened stage floor on which Metallica perform.

The staging of the concert is very impressive. There is plenty of space for the band members to spread out, with multiple microphones spaced every ten metres or so, in order for James Hetfield to sing directly to different sections of the adoring crowd, who sing along, enthusiastically embracing every note, many reliving their youth, all in black t-shirts. The stage props and lighting are spectacular and the stage floor, made up of hundreds of screens showing images of death and destruction is, in itself, an amazing sight.

There appears to be an element of the film that plays directly to the true hardcore Metallica fan, who would be aware that the date of the film’s release, September 27, coincides with the 25th anniversary of original Metallica bassist Cliff Burton’s accidental death in 1986 (a fact not mentioned in the film) and James Hetfield allegedly wanted a Cliff Burton hologram to be part of the show. Armed with this knowledge of the band’s back story and early years, Metallica: Through The Never takes on added significance especially during the quiet, low key performance of Burton’s track, Orion, opening the film up for multiple readings, depending on your level of Metallica fandom.

Metallica: Through The Never (3D) is screening at selected cinemas.