SINCE ITS INCEPTION, heavy metal has been scrutinized and misunderstood by the powers that be. While it's unfortunate that the powers can't dig heavy tunes, honestly, nobody can blame them: Metal is loud, aggressive, and often contains themes of sex and violence. There have been several highly publicized instances where misguided youth have done something heinous, or something heinous has happened to them, and the crooked finger of blame has pointed squarely at metal's "bad influence." As the Palaces Burn is a first-hand account of Lamb of God's recent face-off with the blame game.
Initially, Palaces was supposed to profile Lamb of God fans in different locales; Lamb of God wanted the spotlight off of them, and on their fans. But that concept was derailed when vocalist Randy Blythe was arrested as he stepped off a plane in the Czech Republic. At the band's previous show there, a young fan suffered mortal injuries when Blythe apparently threw him off the stage. And so Palaces—a film intended to be an homage to Lamb of God fans—flips, becoming a dramatic courtroom battle as Blythe is charged with murder.
Before Blythe gets nabbed, Palaces is quite touching: A young taxi driver in Colombia and an aspiring female metal vocalist in India both take the cameras into their lives and talk about how Lamb of God inspires them in their day-to-day struggles. They meet the band, the band is gracious, the band cries. It's damn cute. Then—just when you're settling into the concept—you're tossed into a tornado of fear as the band becomes uncertain if their friend and bandmate is gonna rot in a Czech prison. It's a harrowing story—and what makes it more amazing is the fact that the cameras just happened to already be there when everything broke down.