Following their concert movie Killadelphia and tour film Walk With Me In Hell, a new documentary about the Virginian metallers Lamb of God makes its debut next month. Director Don Argott was already shooting with the band last year, when the story of vocalist Randy Blythe's arrest for manslaughter - after the death of 19-year-old fan Daniel Nosek in a stage-diving incident - erupted around them. You can get a sense of the drama that unfolded in our exclusive trailer for As The Palaces Burn.
Lamb of God exist in that strange hinterland where they're extremely successful in metal terms, but still hardly a household name. Formed in Richmond, Virginia in 1990, theirs was a gradual build rather than an overnight success, and their arguable "breakout" didn't happen until the Sacrament album in 2006. They continued from strength to strength subsequently, until Blythe's Prague imprisonment and trial forced a tense hiatus.
Don Argott is a documentarian whose previous films include the riveting Last Days Here (about the fragile Bobby Liebling's attempt to reform Pentagram), the fun Rock School (like School Of Rock, but true!) and the infuriating Art Of The Steal (about the city of Philadelphia's "appropriation" of an important art collection, brazenly against the terms of a bequest).
His initial intention for As The Palaces Burn (which shares its title with the band's 2003 album, shortly getting a remastered 10th anniversary re-release) was to turn his cameras away from Lamb of God and towards their international, multicultural fanbase. The events in Prague didn't exactly derail the project but forced it to drastically switch tracks. The result is a thriller even if you know the eventual outcome, but it's also sensitive enough that it never loses sight of the unfortunate Daniel. And in terms of access to the unfolding story, nobody was better placed than Argott.
The film premiers at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam between November 20 and December 1. Theatrical and home releases follow next year.