I should open by saying that this is relatively spoiler free as long as you’ve seen the trailer/have a brief idea of what happened over in the Czech Republic. Spoilers come with warning.
Lamb of God have always been very honest when it comes to their previous documentaries, or have appeared honest anyway. While some bands only show the positive and put across an impression of total brotherhood, Lamb of God have shied away from that. Don’t get me wrong, there are many bands who experience one long amazing trip with unwavering friendship, but it’s rarely the case.
It’s because of this previous honesty that fans are instantly drawn into the story. Perhaps because of the honesty some also feel like they “know” the band which makes the emotional scenes much more hard hitting.
When you see a member who normally is seen to be quite an upbeat and comical guy shedding a tear, it really reinforces just how fucked up this whole situation was, and how in movies a picture can be worth a thousand words.
You don’t have to have seen Killadelphia or Walk With Me In Hell etc to appreciate the movie though, you don’t even have to like Lamb of God. The movie is more of an exploration into the effects that heavy music has on people before descending into the hell that was the manslaughter case.
A person with a passing interest in heavy music will enjoy seeing the impact this music has in other cultures while the unique insight into the foreign court system will appeal to pretty much anybody.
Some spoilers follow the video
The uplifting moments of Randy stepping on stage at Knotfest complimented the earth shattering words of Daniels Uncle towards the end of the case. The description of something having “highs and lows” couldn’t be more fitting.
Watching Randy and his legal team prepare his defences, hearing the actual witness statements, watching Randy sitting in court with translator waiting to hear his fate, watching a band wondering about their future as a band and mourning the death of a fan. These are all incredibly fascinating pieces of footage, and hit so much harder than reading about it in an interview or reading about it on Wikipedia. Seeing it playing out as it happened appeals to that morbid sense of curiosity human’s posses.
Most importantly it’s handled incredibly well with sensitivity to Daniel, his family and Lamb of God themselves. There’s no blame or anger directed at either party, it couldn’t have worked any other way.
While it might not be a good time film like their previous efforts (if you can call them good time films), this in-depth and totally unique access to the court process and the goings on behind the scenes makes As The Palaces Burn the best of the bunch.