Watching the long-awaited LAMB OF GOD documentary AS THE PALACES BURN this weekend, I pondered what I might say about it for those who have yet to see it. For those already familiar with the band and well-immersed in the culture of metal – possibly even music in general, at this point – the story of it’s creation is already one that’s familiar. Band decides to partner with filmmaker Don Argott for a documentary feature that focuses on the bond between band and fans around the Globe… and then the frontman from said band lands in prison in the Czech Republic, and everything changes.
Playing in select cinemas now through a tiered release program via SpectiCast, AS THE PALACES BURN is a compelling look at a band faced with a remarkably outlandish challenge, one that stands as a true example of “the truth being stranger than fiction.”
Beginning with the realities of being a touring band, we see Randy Blythe, Mark Morton, Willie Adler, John Campbell and Chris Adler at home in Richmond, Virginia, spending time with their families, and explaining to the audience what their lives have become as a part of the “Lamb of God machine.” Morton and Adler (pictured left) have a few touching moments with their daughters (they’re certified “Rock Fathers”) – something I’m a sucker for, raising two girls here as well.
And then disaster happens.
Arrested in 2012 and charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of a fan following a 2010 performance, Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe is forced to spend five weeks in prison, then returns to the U.S. where he prepares to face trial… by returning the the Czech Republic.
What unfolds on film, is undoubtedly the first and only music doc to morph into a courtroom drama. It’s a story of personal growth, hardship, and ultimately, redemption.
While fans of the band will likely seek this film out in it’s theatrical run and later DVD release, AS THE PALACES BURN should easily find a place on television, where a wider audience – the same that finds themselves enthralled by Dateline specials and forensic documentaries – will be able to experience it, and possibly gain the band some new listeners in the process.
The Rock Father Rating: 4/5 Stars