By: Anthony King
It’s time to head to Germany for the biggest, loudest, and probably craziest heavy metal festival on the planet; a three day festival where you’re free to release that inner metal freak, and scream or growl all day and night to your heart’s content. Every year, the small village of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein Germany hosts the Wacken Open Air festival featuring heavy metal bands from Lamb of God to Alice Cooper.
For those of you unable to travel to Germany but still want to experience the festival, you’re in luck. Foreign audiences have Wacken 3D – Louder Than Hell to document the entire ride. Whether it captures the magic has still yet to be seen. When I watched Walk the Line, I listened to Johnny Cash for days. When I saw Inside Llewyn Davis, nothing but 60’s folk played in my car that week. And when I saw Whiplash, I mildly debated listening to some jazz – I never did. It did cross my mind though, which I’ll still count. So, will Wacken 3D – Louder Than Hell turn me into a metal head after I watch it?
I’ve officially made the most heavy metal decision of my life. Instead of going to Germany, living in a tent for three days accumulating general filth all over my body, getting beaten up in the mosh pits, and having people scream in my face for hours on end, I’m just going to make a cup of tea and watch Norbert Heitker’s concert film from the comfort of my couch and hopefully get the full experience.
Suspected Rating: 6/10
Watching thousands of metalheads descent upon this sleepy little town is both incredible and somewhat hilarious. Even if you don’t like heavy metal music, Wacken 3D‘s first 10-minutes does a great job of letting you know what it is and building the tension towards the first song – you can’t help but get pumped.
The film continues to build to great moments, like the entrance of Rammstein. But, more than once, Heitker would cut away from these great built up moments to people talking near their tents – it would sometimes kill the momentum. Then, it would have the chance to build up all over again, so these setbacks were quickly forgotten. I was surprised to see a concert film so well shot and put together actually. The mud scene alone is worth the admission price. You’ll know when you get there.
Wacken 3D – Louder Than Hell really wants to hammer home that people who love metal are just regular everyday people with ordinary jobs who would never hurt a fly, but right after one of those statements, the film cuts to someone with “HATE” written across their guitar. It’s a contrast you can’t help but laugh at a little, but I didn’t notice any actual hate at the festival. Everyone seems to be having a blast and it’s fun to join them.
If you’re a huge metal fan who already knows about Wacken and simply wanted to experience the festival, it might not be the best film for that. No song plays out to completion. In fact, the majority of the film is spent showcasing brief moments of metal bands and people of all types and asking what metal means to them. It’s interesting to see all walks of life come together, but if you were hoping to enter a world blood, sweat, mud and leave with your ears bleeding from a wild ride, then you may be disappointed. Coming from my point of view as someone who had never heard of the festival, it was interesting to get a taste for everything.
Read more of Anthony King’s ‘Going In and Coming Out’ reviews at ‘Reel Mess’
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Anthony King: @AnthonyMichaelK