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Metal Evolution

Where to Watch Metal Evolution

Progressive Metal
An exploration of progressive hard rock.

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Power Metal
An exploration of power metal.

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Shock Rock
An exploration of shock-n-roll, keyed by portraits of Alice Cooper and KISS.

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Nu Metal
Sam Dunn chronicles the rise and fall of nu metal; starting with pivotal acts Rage Against The Machine, Faith No More and Tool and continuing to pioneering nu metal artists like Korn and Deftones.

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An exploration of grunge music and how its success precipitated the downfall of telegenic glam metal.

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Next in the evolution of Metal comes a virulent strain called thrash, with the likes of Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax wreaking vengeance on hook and melody through a rhythmic discipline executed at breakneck tempos topped by harshly barked vocals.

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Glam Metal
Tawney Kitaen, Rikki Rockett of Poison, Bobby Blotzer of Ratt, and Jerry Dixon and Erik Turner of Warrant discuss the early days of Glam Metal.

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New Wave of British Heavy Metal
The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal defines the establishment of hard rock's very first heavymetal army.

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Early Metal Part 2: UK Division
Tracing the history and prominence of metal in the UK, with emphasis on Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Trapeze and Slade.

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Early Metal Part 1: US Division
Tracing the history and prominence of metal in America, with emphasis on Kiss, Aerosmith and Van Halen.

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Tracing the origins of metal is a phantasmagoric odyssey that traverses cities and countries, oceans and continents. From Memphis' Sun Studio to The Kinks in England.

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Metal Evolution is a captivating, head-banging foray into the history and cultural impact of heavy metal music, meticulously researched and soundly presented by award-winning documentary filmmaker and anthropologist, Sam Dunn. Proudly broadcast on VH1 Classic in 2011, Metal Evolution is a visually stimulating and informatively robust investigation into one of music’s most celebrated, divisive, and undeniably powerful genres.

The show's unique approach to storytelling is brought to life by Dunn, whose academic background in anthropology gives him an unusual lens through which he explores the evolution of heavy metal. Through his passion-infused narration and an impressive list of interviewees, the series serves as a comprehensive study of the genre, dissecting the roots, variations, inspirations, cultural impact, and future of rock's most enduring offspring - heavy metal.

In each of its eleven episodes, Metal Evolution delves into a specific sub-genre of heavy metal, tracing its origins and legacy. Dunn’s anthropological modus operandi grounds the show's narrative arc, letting viewers dissect the anthropological, sociological, and musical roots of metal’s sub-genres like thrash, glam, grunge, and nu-metal. This systematically nuanced approach offers an avenue for both enthusiasts and newbies to grasp the enduring appeal of this multifaceted genre.

What stands out in Metal Evolution is the prestigious roster of interviewees who lend their insights. Leading figures in the genre, including Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Iggy Pop, the legendary Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, Arthur Brown, Bill Ward from Black Sabbath and John Mayall, among others, offer their personal experiences and insights to provide a rich and vibrant tapestry of heavy metal history. Other notable interviewees include Sebastian Bach, once the frontman of Skid Row, Scott Asheton of The Stooges, and Marcus Siepen from Blind Guardian, further widening the show's perspective and depth.

The interview with drummer Rikki Rockett is a tremendous highlight of the narrative. The journey he and his band Poison traveled stands as a testament to the drumming community as a whole. When Poison broke the mold with their fusion of glam and metal, they faced severe backlash from the mainstream, only to later pave their way to stardom and influence an entirely new branch of metal.

The show is filled with similar intriguing narratives, be it Tom Morello's innovative guitar techniques that enhanced the auditory texture of mainstream rock or Lemmy's infamous lifestyle, which matched the unapologetic intensity of his music. With his anthropological prowess, Dunn expertly transforms these individual stories into a coherent narrative about the growth of a genre.

It's not all interviews, however. Dunn travels to some of the genre's most iconic locations, from Birmingham's industrial landscape, which fuelled the heavy metal sounds of Black Sabbath, to San Francisco's Bay Area, home of the thrash metal revolution. These thoughtfully filmed sequences provide a real sense of the environments that nourished the birth and evolution of metal's many sub-genres.

While Metal Evolution is comprehensive, it retains an accessibility that invites die-hard metal fans and neophytes alike into the fold. It approaches heavy metal with an acutely academic lens, yet never loses the sense of exhilaration and freedom that has made the genre an enduring staple of music across the globe.

In conclusion, Metal Evolution stands out as a masterclass in music documentary, expertly weaving the personal, the historical, and the anthropological into a compelling narrative about passion, rebellion, and the technical precision hidden within one of modern music's most dynamic and complex genres. By shedding light on the genre's untold stories and unsung heroes, it represents a career landmark for Sam Dunn and a must-watch for anyone interested in the cultural and musical echoes of heavy metal.

Metal Evolution is a series categorized as a currently airing. Spanning 1 seasons with a total of 11 episodes, the show debuted on 2011. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.5.

How to Watch Metal Evolution

How can I watch Metal Evolution online? Metal Evolution is available on VH1 Classic with seasons and full episodes. You can also watch Metal Evolution on demand at Apple TV, Amazon online.

VH1 Classic
Sam Dunn, Scott Ian, Bruce Dickinson
Metal Evolution is available on .