Heavy metal documentary comes to Asheville

Few bands could survive the kind of year 2012 was for Virginia based heavy metal outfit Lamb of God had, even fewer would be bold enough to film it for the rest of the world to see.

Directed by Don Argot, “As the Palaces Burn” is a documentary about Lamb of Gods 2012 tour, where vocalist Randy Blythe was arrested for manslaughter in Prague, and the year long legal battle that ensued. Dressed in all black, and proudly wearing shirts, hats and tattoos with the LoG logo, a little over two dozen fans, some from over an hour away descended on the Carmike 10 in Asheville NC to attend a screening of the highly anticipated film. “I’ve been waiting six months to see
this movie,” said Joshua Shuford, a longtime fan of the band. “No way I wasn’t seeing it.”

Ghost Walking

Originally intended as what the band calls a “love letter” to fans, Palaces begins with the individual members of the band making preparations for a world tour and the release of their album Resolution, which would debut at number 3 on the Billboard Top 200(number 1 on the Billboard Rock Chart).

Once the band is on tour, the film shifts in perspective, taking the cameras off the band members and onto the fans, highlighting the lives of a taxi driver in South America and a young girl living in India. “…I thought that this was an interesting way to do a ‘band film,’ focusing on the fans and not the group itself, but it was cool to see these fans and how much they guy who rode 40 hour by train to a Lamb of God show in India and I have in common,” said Shuford.
Near the end of the first half hour of the movie, the band is in Israel, where the focus is placed on vocalist Randy Blythe. Well documented for his excessive and destructive behavior while drunk, the recently sober Blythe is found taking pictures and swimming in the Dead Sea, visiting a prayer wall, and smiling. It’s a small moment in the film, but one of considerable importance as it is a reassuring high, and obviously the point any other “rock doc” would want to end on.


Palaces quickly takes a dark turn, as band members Chris Adler, John Campbell, Mark Morton, and Willie Adler recount being stopped as they disembarked a plane in Prague, and the arrest of Randy Blythe. They learn that in 2010 a fan died after going to one of their shows, and the authorities believe Blythe may have pushed him off the stage and into the crowd, where he fell and hit his head.
The film follows the band as they try to help pay Blythes bail and legal fees, but also try to reconcile themselves to the fact that a fan passed away at their show. Shuford claimed this was easily his favorite part of the movie. “There wasn’t a lot of coverage here in the states about it [Randy’s arrest] so to learn that it was such a major story in Prague was kind of cool. Anything we heard came from a small site that would update maybe once every other week.”


Following Blythes return home from Prague, the film follows the band as they play their first show after his arrest at Slipknots “Knotfest” in Iowa, all the way until his trial in Prague the following year. Giving a good look at not only meetings between Blythe and his defense team, but also footage of the trial itself. In the end, Blythe is ultimately exonerated of all charges, but that doesn’t take away from everything leading up to it. “It says a lot about his character, going back over there to stand trial, but after seeing all of that, I can’t help but wonder how he is still sane, much less remained sober. Real inspiring sh—,” said Shuford.
For more information about As the Palaces Burn including theater showings, click here