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Lamb of God, ‘As the Palaces Burn’ – Film Review

Epic Records / 9.14 Pictures

“Music is the only reason why I’m not in prison,” Randy Blythe says during the intro of ‘As the Palaces Burn.’ The Lamb of God singer has no idea that he’ll soon foreshadow one of his life’s most traumatic and heartbreaking ordeals. Of course, in a tragic piece of irony, music became the reason why Blythe found himself one gavel away from spending the next 10 years in prison.

Lamb of God’s ‘As the Palaces Burn’ was originally conceived to document the band’s 2012 world tour. Purposefully, Lamb of God aimed to push the cameras away from themselves to instead allow fans the opportunity to tell their own stories. The band’s music has reached some of the most dangerous and poverty-stricken parts of the globe, such as Colombia, where metalhead Oscar Castañeda leads a life riddled with tragedy. A self-professed part time taxi driver and full time metalhead, Oscar speaks of friends and family members who were violently murdered while illustrating how Lamb of God’s music has guided him through such loss.

‘As the Palaces Burn’ successfully continues to document fascinating individuals such as Pratika Prabhune, a female death metal vocalist from India who finds herself inspired by Blythe’s lyrics. As the first half-hour of ‘As the Palaces Burn’ passes, it’s clear that Lamb of God’s desired film about the fans would have been a masterpiece, but as the quintet arrive in the the Czech Republic, the cameras were forced back on the band after Randy Blythe was arrested for manslaughter.

From this moment on, ‘As the Palaces Burn’ mutates into an unwavering surge of tension as the fate of a newly-sober Randy Blythe becomes a complete mystery. By all accounts, Blythe had become a new man after kicking his alcohol habit, ushering in a monumentally positive chapter for both his life and Lamb of God itself. Blythe’s transformation is documented in a myriad of ways, but what’s most inspiring is the vocalist’s peaceful demeanor and desire to attain justice for himself, the fan who passed away from a traumatic head injury suffered at a 2010 Lamb of God show and the deceased fan’s family.

Though Blythe could have remained in the U.S. without much fear of extradition, the singer returned to the Czech Republic and stood trial, legitimately thinking he would serve jail time not necessarily for manslaughter, but a slightly lesser offense handed down by a Czech court.

As we know, after nine months of tribulation, justice was served and Blythe was exonerated from all blame by the Czech court, but much like watching ’12 Angry Men’ in modern times, the power of the film’s story is far from compromised despite knowledge of how it ultimately ends.

‘As the Palaces Burn’ is truly unique. The film’s honesty fuels the viewing experience, documenting the abandonment of its own original concept without bailing on the fans. No matter how much you’ve read about Randy Blythe’s Czech trial, ‘As the Palaces Burn’ offers a view never before experienced as Blythe extends his hand for a walk with him in Hell.

To find out where ‘As the Palaces Burn’ is playing near you, click on ‘Cinemas’ in the video player below.

‘As the Palaces Burn’ Trailer

Lamb of God's Randy Blythe Comments on 'As the Palaces Burn' Documentary

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