“This Is Black Metal” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “This Is Black Metal”
Label: MVD Entertainment
Release Date: 10/9/2007
Genre: Black Metal
Rating: 2/5

“This Is Black Metal” is quite simply a DVD that features a total of seven professional videos and live performance clips and the same number in interview footage segments from a good sampling of Black Metal’s elite. Yet while these bands are true luminaries in the genre most of the videos presented were available on deluxe editions of their individual CD’s and why only seven when it comes down to it? Was it a cost factor or due to licensing and permission perhaps – but either way there is not truly enough to sink your fangs into for this aspect of it and it will leave you saying “well, what else do you have for me”. When you watch the main program as one single view, you will notice that the videos are interspaced by interview segments with the band and all of these portions are conducted by former Adult Film Star Jasmin St. Claire. There are many who know that Jasmin is the hostess of her own straight-to-video DVD series called “Metal’s Darkside” and while this particular release was met with a very mixed opinion (including my own) I had to say that the interview segments seemed to be a little more on a par of getting something good out of the band as opposed to sitting there and shooting the shit inanely. Of the interview segments I found that the best one was with the Mighty Emperor and Satyr for those featured more insight into what Black Metal is about and aimed at than the others. Celtic Frosts interview seemed to show some promise but it was a very bad audio mix during it which made it arduous to listen to. The guys in Venom were more comical to watch than anything else and I felt that the Morbid Angel one was just ill-used space for a band of their caliber. We also get an interview with Ms. St. Claire but it is more focused on her background and life than digging deeper into her own Metal interests to an analytical end. I admit that I remain on the fence about her work in this area but I am happy to see some improvement from the last time that I saw some of her adventuring in this regard. I think that the fans of JSC will enjoy this the most since they get to see her continuing to do that which they love her doing.

One of the bonus features is a mini-movie called “Black Metal Parking Lot” and it is an updated version of the infamous “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” movie from over twenty years ago. I know that they say that “imitation is the greatest form of flattery” but this segment was just a flat out bore to me. The original focused on a Judas Priest concert and most of the participants talked too were wasted beyond belief which made it rather amusing at times. This version finds a Metal crowd awaiting entry to a show by Cradle Of Filth. No one seems drunk or under influence of drugs but they are all coming out with these asinine and bizarre comments as they each try to “out evil” the one before them or shock the people filming the segment. The original films premise left me smiling and hoping that I would never be “that guy” but after watching this one all I could find myself thinking is that these people were idiots. Now I go to a lot of Black and Death Metal shows so I am a keen observer into the goings on of the crowd around me and many of the bands. Fans like these must remember that the bands we love are often musical actors and while shocking in character and onstage this is hardly the way they would act in public. Metal has enough against it without the larger populace thinking that only morons are following it. While this was a moderately amusing video to watch I don’t see myself viewing it again and I think many will agree with me. It’s more for those hard core fans of certain things that took place on it as opposed to someone expecting a deep analysis into the format of Black Metal. I hope that “This Is Death Metal” will be a little more interesting, if such a DVD is ever on the horizon. If so, more videos, less commentary and no parking lot film. Thanks very much.

Track Listing:
1. A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh – Celtic Frost
2. Interview – Tom G. Warrior & Martin Ain – Celtic Frost
3. Vertigo – Throes Of Dawn
4. Interview – Venom
5. Inno A Satanae – Emperor
6. Interview – Ihsahn & Trym
7. Black Mighty Gods – Astarte
8. Interview – Morbid Angel
9. Fuel For Hatred – Satyricon
10. Interview – Satyr
11. Future Reminiscence – Borknagar
12. Interview – Amon Amarth
13. No Time To Cry – Cradle Of Filth
14. Black Metal Parking Lot – The Movie
15. Interview – Jasmine St. Claire

Official Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_metal

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