Shunning Hollywood hairspray and image in favor of a more dangerous street appeal, the Bay Area thrash metal scene was home to Exodus, Metallica, Testament, Possessed, Death Angel, Heathen, Vio-Lence, Attitude Adjustment and Forbidden, served as a second home to like-minded similar bands like Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Anthrax, Megadeth, and many more.
Beginning as teenagers taking snapshots of visiting heavy metal bands during the 1970s, Brian “Umlaut” Lew and Harald “O.”
Oimoen documented the birth and growth of the local metal scene. Featuring hundreds of unseen live and candid colour and black-and-white photographs, Murder in the Front Row captures the wild-eyed zeal and drive that made Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth into legends, with over 100 million combined records sold.
Members of Metallica, Exodus, Testament and other San Francisco–area thrash-metal groups reflect on how wild the scene was when it exploded in the early Eighties in the trailer for the upcoming documentary Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story.
“It was scary, and it was dark,” Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick says. “It was this outlet for angst.”
“Poseurs must die!” Kirk Hammett exclaims with his hands in the air.
The film, which was directed by Adam Dubin (Beastie Boys’ “Fight for Your Right to Party” video, A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica), will premiere in San Francisco at the AMC Kabuki 8 at 1 p.m.on April 20th.
After the screening, the supergroup Metal Allegiance, featuring members of Megadeth and Testament, will perform across the street at the Fillmore with special guest Gary Holt, of Exodus and Slayer fame, and more yet-unannounced guests.
Check out the official trailer below;
Metallica photo – ©H. Oimoen 2019