1991 marked a turning point for the
heavy metal band Metallica. After years of recording innovative music
which stayed on the margins, they recorded a chart topping record which
allowed them to cross over to mainstream success. This phenomenal album
took over nine months to record, and the camera tracked them all. On
Volume One of A YEAR AND A HALF IN THE LIFE, viewers get total access to
the making of the album -- studio sessions, jams, mixing, and all. It
also features the videos for "Enter Sandman," "The
Unforgiven," and "Nothing Else Matters." Volume two takes
viewers through the next year and a half which brought heavy touring and
album promotion around the world. On this video diary, the band invite
their fans to share this wonderful experience with them. Join Lars and
the boys in the studio, at the Europe's Monsters of Rock show, on their
sold out tour with Guns 'n Roses, and in Moscow for their first
headlining stadium show. Features extensive interviews, backstage jams,
and other rarities.
These are two
massively important inclusions to any Metallica fans collection. Part
one follows the making of Metallica – The Black Album, and part two
takes us through the first part of the lengthy promotional tour that
followed. Part one gives fans a huge insight into the making of the
mighty black album, we see the creativity, the arguments and the making
of a beast. Taking us from the beginning, the drum tracks being
recorded, the development of the songs and the completion of the album
as it gets taken to the pressing plant and finally released in the
The video is a great
piece of work and gets you inside the studio with the guys and enables
you to get a grasp of what really happens during the creative stages of
making an album. There are many choice moments on the vid, Lars,
breaking his snare, getting fucked off and stabbing his stick into it,
Lars mimicking shooting his ideas down from the sky with an imaginary
gun, James telling Lars his voice is fucked and wouldn’t ask him to do
a drum roll if his arm fell off, Kirk getting pissed off about the
Unforgiven solo then shredding out one of the best of his career, the
list goes on. The most essential part is of course seeing the songs come
together, watching the drum tracks reach completion by editing the best
parts together, Jaymz laying down the riffs, Kirk shredding, Jason
beefing it up and Hetfield’s amazing vocals polishing the thing off.
Then of course the mixing process, followed by the release.
There’s an extra
bonus in watching them make there first promotional video for Sandman
and being able to see Unforgiven and NEM videos as well, a real treat.
A great insight. A
must for any fan.
My personal favourite
of the two, follows Metallica on the juggernaut of the tour in support
of the black album, we see the Metallica touring machine in full swing,
from them rehearsing to seeing live tracks, Bellz at Donington, Sandman
once on an award ceremony and once at Wembley Stadium for the Freddie
tribute, Sad But True, NEM with John Marshall, James’ guitar tech on
guitar in place of Hetfield. This is because of James being unable to
play because of the accident in Montreal where he was burned by a pyro,
which we see footage of in the video.
Part two also
includes footage from Meet and Greet’s, which is interesting to see
how they were organised back then. We also see the boys sound checking,
trying to prepare for their premiere of Nothing Else Matters. Late night
parties with the guys from GNR, sneak views around the backstage area of
the arenas are all there, quite simply a documentary of a day in the
life of the biggest metal band of all time. And then the further bonus
of the videos of Sad But True an Roam.
Combined, what you have is an insightful slab of
the workings of Metallica from the studio to when they take the show on
the road. Quintessential Metallica, delivered in style!
Olly Smith 2004