James was recently lucky enough to be invited along to a screening of the new Lamb of God documentary ahead of it’s worldwide screening on the 6th March. He liked it, just in case you can’t pick that up from his review….
The first and most important thing to realise about ‘As The Palaces Burn’ is that it is, first and foremost most definitely not a ‘Lamb Of God’ film. Where their previous documentaries ‘Killadelphia’ and ‘Walk With Me In Hell’ focussed very much on a fly-on-the-wall perspective of the bands touring ‘ As the Palaces Burn’ initially turns the camera upon the fans. Despite the changing of subject matter halfway through ‘Palaces’ remains, at a basic, conceptual level about the relationship of music fans to music. The first thirty minutes suggest that, had the film been allowed to run its course without the very obvious diversion of Randy Blythe’s court case it would have been just as memorable. Unfortunately, as the film documents things didn’t go to plan and it is in the exploration of Randy’s manslaughter trial that the majority of the films narrative concentrates upon. However, it is the way in which the film deals with this most sensitive of subjects, and, without creating what could have been a jarring shift of focus that will commend it so much.
Blythe’s trial itself is explored remarkably well; while being able to cover his imprisonment and the campaign for his release you are constantly reminded of the true tragedy of the situation; Daniel Nosek’s death and the consequences for his family are explored fully, unapologetically and frankly. The manslaughter trial helps expand the original concepts breadth, and its fortunate indeed that the band were able to feel so comfortable with the film makers having previously shot most of the footage for the film already. Most impressively even during the section about the trial the relationship of the band and their fans is continued to be explored demonstrated it at its most extreme with the nightmare of a fans death, comparing directly to the huge support for Blythe. This is perhaps what Palaces does best, taking the experience of the Prague trial and applying it to the broader theme of the relationship between the fans, music and musicians. At its core that is why this film resonates so deeply; because as a music fan you can recognise the same feelings. No matter the culture or situation, our relationship to music remains fundamentally the same.
Lamb of God’s As The Palaces Burn documentary will receive it’s cinema release on the 6th of March in the UK and Ireland and is scheduled to play in over 70 cinema screens across the British Isles. Please check with your local cinema for details of dates and times of showings.