VOD Release Date: December 3, 2019
Available on iTunes and Amazon Prime
Plenty of documentaries exploring the growth of heavy metal music exist. Come on Feel the Noize! The Story of How Rock Became Metal is a new feature which goes beyond how the original Slade song started defining a new sound. It hit number one in the UK Singles Chart upon release; the cover by Quiet Riot more than a decade later cemented a style of performance theatre into popular culture. Metal is also a lifestyle, a state of mind. There’s more to it than meets the eye–or rather the rapid rhythms from the drums and melodies squelched out with heavily distorted guitars.
Director Jörg Sonntag and writer Thore Vollert‘s work digs into what being metal is about. Their reveal is reminiscent of the 2018 Dutch film, Heavy Trip. However, this documentary is not simply about lifestyle choices. Instead, it’s on the evolution of the sound.
To follow the path popular music took from the late 60s to present include exploring what The Blues is about. Back when heavy metal was still being defined, no documentary can miss mentioning Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Sonntag and Vollert has an implication that Punk and New Wave is part of the metal landscape. I realize the genealogy is much more complex. Musicians know how Rock n’ Roll evolved from Blues, but the forms that developed thereafter represent different streams of consciousness and are not always necessarily related.
The discussion about Hard rock, Glam Rock, Death Metal and other styles are brief. I hoped for more, but there’s only so much a 90 minute documentary can cover unless Sonntag and Vollert wants to make a television series. This documentary is a retrospective of every musician and band pivotal to the rise of Metal. I saw more about the development of the British sound and their love letter to Alice Cooper.
Anthropologist (and Victoria, BC local) Sam Dunn produced an excellent multipart Metal Evolution (for VH1) back in 2011 and its tough to top the deep look with this work. What he produced in this doc is worth watching because his love is clearly evident, and it’s filled with plenty of nostalgia. It’s also a terrific way to get caught up with the latest happenings with the bands that are still popular.
Come on Feel the Noize also offers a few terrific updates for those not following the latest news. For example, Steel Panther is developing a docu-reality show to follow the members as they try to bring back heavy metal (the glam style) back to the forefront, I’m feeling it’ll be in the style of The Monkees. (2023 update: it’s available to view on their YouTube channel) Also, the music is not just about seeing another band covering a classic tune. I love Disturb’s cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence.
Although Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot was not behind covering Cum on Feel the Noize, the respect later earned (or jealousies formed) certainly suggest otherwise. As for what’s next, we can only attend concerts of new bands to hear what the next big sound will be like.
Come on Feel the Noize Release Trailer