Metallica, Megadeth & Slayer Featured In Murder In The Front Row

New thrash documentary celebrates the pioneers of the scene.

James Hetfield of the band Metallica performs at Bridgestone Arena on January 24, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee
Jason Kempin / Getty Images

New thrash documentary celebrates the pioneers of the scene.

A new film documenting the San Francisco Bay Area thrash scene and featuring giants of the genre such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Testament will hit our screens next month.

Metal Hammer reports that Murder In The Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story will drop like a heavy metal bomb in April. Directed by Adam Dubin, the explosive film will premiere at the AMC Kabuki 8 in San Francisco on April 20 at 1 p.m.

The film contains more than 50 interviews with figureheads from the groundbreaking scene. Talking heads include James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo from Metallica. Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson also make an appearance, as does Slayer’s Tom Araya, Kerry King, and Gary Holt.

Somewhere in the mix you’ll also find Testament’s Chuck Billy and Alex Skolnick, Anthrax’s Charlie Benante, Death Angel’s Mark Osegueda and Dave Lombardo, and Machine Head’s Robb Flynn. As you can see Murder In The Front Row scans like a who’s who of thrash.

The film is loosely based on Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew’s 2012 photo-journal of the same name. The documentary director Adam Dubin fell in love with the book because it didn’t just concentrate on Metallica who have since gone on to become something of a household name.

Dubin explained, “What I loved about the book is that it wasn’t just about Metallica. It was documenting a vibrant scene, where all the bands were equal and there was real camaraderie. The photos captured the sweat of the clubs, the ringing in your ears and the power of young people. Harald and Brian captured the humanity of it, and they understood that I was somebody who could bring that out in a film.”

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Dubin added that although the popular conception is that there is a big four of metal, in his opinion there should be a big five which includes Exodus. The director is of the opinion that Murder In The Front Row will inspire viewers to rethink the contribution Kirk Hammett made to the thrash scene. Hammett founded Exodus in the Bay Area at least three years before Metallica arrived on the scene like heavyweight champions.

Exodus were formed in 1979 within a scene that is regarded by most as the birth ground of American thrash metal and death metal. By the time the group’s debut album hit the shelves some four years later they had already been through numerous line-ups.

After forming Exodus, Hammett would later join Metallica in 1983, and the rest is history.