Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars
What starts out as a typical band related documentary quickly becomes much more than that. “As the Palaces Burn” is the latest DVD release from Richmond, Virginia’s Lamb of God. Directed by Don Argot and being released via Epic Records and 9.14 Pictures the 2 disc documentary runs just over a combined 4 hours and is mixed in stunning 5.1 Surround Sound and PCM Uncompressed Stereo.
To quote my previous review of the films theatrical release “Whether you are a fan of Lamb of God’s music or not I strongly urge you to see this film.” The film was just as powerful the second time around as when I first saw it a few months back. This is not just another pieced together making of documentary looking at one of heavy metals biggest bands. That may have been the original intent however mid way through the film it starts to document the series of events which lead to the incarceration of lead singer D. Randall Blythes incarceration in the Czech Republic for the charge of Manslaughter.
As the film delves deeper into these events the film takes its most dramatic turn as it shows the immense amount of emotion the band members have for one another as well as Randy’s own strength throughout the entire time of his incarceration and subsequent return to the Czech Republic to stand trial for these clearly bogus charges. Director Don Argot did a great job capturing everything I enjoy seeing in a film of this nature. Candid interviews with not only the band but with fans and fellow musicians gave the film a number of different perspectives that helped affirm the bands place in the music world and the impact the events involving Randy had on those both close to him and those from afar. The feature presentation of the film wraps up with a really cool Q and A session with not only the film’s director but also with the band themselves.
Clocking in at just over 2 hours the special features portion of the film plays like an alternate version of feature presentation. Further in-depth interviews with the band, fans and friends such as Slash and Dave Brockie reaffirm the impact the band has on it fans not only here in the states but all over the world. It was really great to see and hear more of the back stories of those who appear in the film as this bonus footage includes unedited takes from a number of interviews as well as extended footage which initially was only show in short edited clips. This film is a must have!