The common view of Metallica’s 3D IMAX movie seems to be tainted by misconceptions. Maybe in the attempt to avoid giving spoilers, or simply due to fans’ uncertainty towards the band following the, um, misguided ‘Lulu’ album, the message seems to have been lost.
See, Through The Never is being marketed as a movie about lead character Trip (the clue is, perhaps, in the name…), played by(Chronicle) and his, well, trip through the never on an errand for the band. But the storyline and movie part serves only as an extended promo video would, cleverly linking in events to the songs being played on stage.
Almost as if Trip is watching the gig, and the anarchic events are playing out in his head like some kind of hallucination…
But what Through The Never actually is, is Metallica proving without a shadow of a doubt that they can lay a genuine claim to being the greatest metal band of them all and an essential live act.
After the obligatory cringey “Metullz!” first 3 minutes, Through The Never gets down to business when the single greatest intro track, ‘Ecstasy of Gold’ pricks those neck hairs. The band prepare to, and then take, the stage, ripping into a feisty ‘Creeping Death’. ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ follows, sounding as vibrant and classic as at any time during their career, aided by a simply monstrous and superbly captured live sound, before a breakneck ‘Fuel’ leads us back to Trip and his mission.
With a set focussing on their 80’s beasts, a venomous jackhammer version of ‘Ride The Lightning’ and the epic juggernaut of sinewy riffing that is ‘…And Justice For All’ are the standout tracks. As you’d expect, the concert footage is expertly shot, showcasing a spectacular stageshow of descending coffins, pyros, a giant electric chair getting zapped by lightning, pyros, a sea of crosses arising from the floor during a momentous ‘Master of Puppets’, pyros, Doris being rebuilt and destroyed again, pyros, video accompaniments and other tributes to stage shows past (flaming roadies, collapsing lighting rigs and a “garage” version of ‘Hit The Lights’) all capped by a magical version of ‘Orion’ during the end credits.
Old dogs with new, very visually impressive, tricks, Through The Never is a must-see that will reinvigorate your forgotten love for the very best. I just wish it was longer.