I’ve always been a fan of autobiographies, biographies, and documentaries about musicians. If the book or documentary film is well done and the story is interesting and thought provoking enough, it can cut through any kind of bias you may have about a certain artist. Matter of fact, it may even find you having a new found respect and appreciation for the said artist/band even if you don’t care for their music. This was definitely the case in point when it came time for me to attend the Atlanta premier screening for the Lamb of God documentary “As the Palaces Burn.”
“As the Palaces Burn” follows the band through the emotional turmoil that Lamb of God experienced in the wake of lead singer Randy Blythe’s 2012 arrest in the Czech Republic. Blythe was arrested for allegedly pushing a fan off the stage during a Lamb of God performance two years prior blindsiding him and his band and sending them into a whirlwind emotional tornado not knowing just what the outcome could be. Blyth was released under the conditions that he would return to the Czech Republic and stand trial. Best case scenario could be total exoneration and the worst case scenario would be 10 years in a Czech prison.
Blythe could’ve very easily never returned the Czech Republic for his court dates but chose to do so because he felt that it was the right thing to do; to not only stand and proclaim his innocence but to give the family of this boy some closure. In the end, Blythe was found innocent and completely exonerated but that’s not the story here. The story here is all that occurred in the middle for these guys. “As the Palaces Burn” is about the power, the faith, and the bond that five guys have in each other and in humanity as a whole.
As the Palace Burns did at times feel a little disjointed and a little rushed in places. There are a few instances where they follow a couple of fans from other countries and their personal connections with Lamb of God. This was kind of cool but in all honestly this really didn’t seem to take the story anywhere. It almost felt kind of forced into the mix as a way to break up the whole court case and band drama. It showed a more personal side to the connection of Lamb of God’s music to their fans but that seemed to me like that could be the subject of a whole other documentary. Aside from that, I did think it was cool to see that overall Lamb of God has such a massive widespread appeal that is far beyond anything I even thought was out there. I really had no idea just how big this band is on a worldwide level.
As the Palace Burns really is a well done and really great documentary to watch. It really captured the emotions, the humor, and the severity of the situation at had but also showed how the band used the music and each other to pull through it all. Did this movie make me a Lamb of God fan? Hell no. I still think they stink but it made me a fan of them as people. As the Palace Burns is a documentary that I think any fan of music could watch and easily enjoy and get something out of.