Metallica: Through the Never

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Metallica: Through the Never
Metallica Through the Never film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Nimród Antal
Produced byCharlotte Huggins
Screenplay by
  • Dane DeHaan
  • James Hetfield
  • Lars Ulrich
  • Kirk Hammett
  • Robert Trujillo
Music by Metallica
Cinematography Gyula Pados
Edited by Joe Hutshing
Blackened Recordings
Distributed by Picturehouse
Release date
  • September 9, 2013 (2013-09-09)(TIFF)
  • September 27, 2013 (2013-09-27)(United States)
Running time
94 minutes [1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$32 million [2] [3]
Box office$7.9 million [4] [5] [6]

Metallica: Through the Never is a 2013 American thriller concert film featuring American heavy metal band Metallica. Its title is derived from the song "Through the Never", from the band's self-titled 1991 album. It follows young roadie Trip's (Dane DeHaan) surreal misadventures, intercut with concert footage shot in Vancouver and Edmonton in August 2012.

Thriller (genre) genre of literature, film, and television programming

Thriller is a broad genre of literature, film and television, having numerous, often overlapping subgenres. Thrillers are characterized and defined by the moods they elicit, giving viewers heightened feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety. Successful examples of thrillers are the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

A concert film or concert movie, is a type of documentary film, the subject of which is an extended live performance or concert by either a musician or a stand-up comedian.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.


The movie features no dialogue, bar that of Trip's supervisor and the band – a concept similar to Pink Floyd's movie The Wall and Daft Punk's Interstella 5555. "We've obviously been influenced by some of the great music films of the past – The Song Remains the Same , or what Pink Floyd did with The Wall," said Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo. "But this is pretty unique. It's like a cross between Mad Max and The Twilight Zone ." [7]

Pink Floyd English rock band

Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1965. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. Distinguished by their philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, extended compositions, and elaborate live shows, they are one of the most commercially successful and influential groups in popular music history.

<i>Pink Floyd – The Wall</i> 1982 British live-action/animated musical drama film

Pink Floyd – The Wall is a 1982 British surrealist live-action/animated musical drama film directed by Alan Parker with animated segments by political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, and is based on the 1979 Pink Floyd album of the same name. The film centers around a solitude rocker named Pink, who, after being driven into insanity by the death of his father and many depressive moments during his lifetime, constructs a metaphorical wall to be protected from the world and emotional situations around him. When this coping mechanism backfires he puts himself on trial and sets himself free. The screenplay was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters.

Daft Punk French electronic music duo

Daft Punk is a French electronic music duo formed in Paris in 1993 by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. They achieved popularity in the late 1990s as part of the French house movement; they also had success in the years following, combining elements of house music with funk, techno, disco, rock and synthpop. They have worn ornate helmets and gloves to assume robot personas in most public appearances since 1999 and rarely grant interviews or appear on television. The duo were managed from 1996 to 2008 by Pedro Winter, the head of Ed Banger Records.

It was the first feature released by the revived incarnation of the Picturehouse marquee, which had been shut down since 2008.

Picturehouse (company) company

Picturehouse was an American film production and distribution company formed in 2005 as a joint venture of New Line Cinema and HBO Films. The company's films include Pan's Labyrinth, La Vie en rose, and The King of Kong.


Amid aerial footage of Vancouver and BC Place stadium, a radio DJ publicizes Metallica's concert. An overweight heavy-metal fan drives into the empty parking lot, and climbs on the car's hood, whooping and laughing. Trip (Dane DeHaan), a roadie for Metallica, skateboards past the fan and wipes out. He skates into the underground parking lot and down the dressing-room halls, encountering each of the band members. When he gives a brown paper bag to his supervisor, Trip is told to stick around. After standing in the arena, he walks away as the audience files in to Metallica's traditional opener, "Ecstasy of Gold".

BC Place stadium at Vancouver, Canada

BC Place is a multi-purpose stadium located at the north side of False Creek, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is owned and operated by the BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo), a crown corporation of the province. It is currently the home of the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL), Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the annual Canada Sevens as well as the BC Sports Hall of Fame. The stadium also served as the main stadium for the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Paralympics which Vancouver hosted, as well as a venue for multiple matches including the championship match for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Dane DeHaan actor

Dane William DeHaan is an American actor. His roles include Andrew Detmer in Chronicle (2012), Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), Lockhart in Gore Verbinski's A Cure for Wellness (2016), and the title character in Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017).

Road crew support personnel who travel with a band on tour

The road crew are the technicians or support personnel who travel with a band on tour, usually in sleeper buses, and handle every part of the concert productions except actually performing the music with the musicians. This catch-all term covers many people: tour managers, production managers, stage managers, front of house and monitor engineers, lighting directors, lighting designers, lighting techs, guitar techs, bass techs, drum techs, keyboard techs, pyrotechnicians, security/bodyguards, truck drivers, merchandise crew, and caterers, among others.

The band begins performing, and during "Creeping Death" Trip's boss tells him to bring gas to a stranded truck carrying "something very important". Before driving his van, Trip takes a blue-and-red capsule, before the band begins "For Whom the Bell Tolls".

Creeping Death 1984 single by Metallica

"Creeping Death" is a song by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released as the lead and only commercial single from their second studio album Ride the Lightning (1984). Written from the perspective of the Angel of Death, it describes the tenth plague of Egypt. One of Metallica's most frequently performed songs, it has been played live 1,458 times, and it has occasionally been used on various tours as the opening song of the band's set. It stands as a classic example of the band's thrash style, albeit slower than the material on their first album, Kill 'Em All. The song's middle section, with its ominous chants of "Die!" set to a phrygian mode chord progression, is a fan participation staple during Metallica shows.

For Whom the Bell Tolls (Metallica song) 1984 Metallica song

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" is a song by American thrash metal band Metallica. It was first released on the group's second album, Ride the Lightning (1984). In 1985, Elektra Records released it as a promotional single, with both an edited and full-length versions. The song is one of their most popular; by March 2018, it ranked number five on Metallica's live performance count. Several live albums and video albums include the song.

As Metallica begins "Fuel", Trip drives down deserted streets. Distracted by his map, he runs a red light and sees a bloody hand print on an illuminated sign. He is T-boned, and his van flips, lightning flashing as he leaves, which leads into Ride the Lightning (alongside a steel electric chair surrounded by four Tesla coils reminiscent of the album's artwork.)

Fuel (song) single by Metallica

"Fuel" is a song by American Thrash Metal band Metallica. The song was written by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett, and was released as the third single from their seventh album, Reload.

Side collision vehicle crash where the side of one or more vehicles is impacted

Side collisions are vehicle crashes where the side of one or more vehicles is impacted. These crashes often occur at intersections, in parking lots, and when two vehicles pass on a multi-lane roadway.

<i>Ride the Lightning</i> 1984 studio album by Metallica

Ride the Lightning is the second studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on July 27, 1984, by the independent record label Megaforce Records. The album was recorded in three weeks with producer Flemming Rasmussen at the Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. The artwork, based on a concept by the band, depicts an electric chair being struck by lightning flowing from the band logo. The title was taken from a passage in Stephen King's novel The Stand. Although rooted in the thrash metal genre, the album showcased the band's musical growth and lyrical sophistication. This was partly because bassist Cliff Burton introduced the basics of music theory to the rest of the band and had more input in the songwriting. Instead of relying strictly on fast tempos as on its debut Kill 'Em All, Metallica broadened its approach by employing acoustic guitars, extended instrumentals, and more complex harmonies. The overall recording costs were paid by Metallica's European label Music for Nations because Megaforce was unable to cover it. It was the last album to feature songwriting contributions from former lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, and the first to feature contributions from his replacement, Kirk Hammett.

Trip crawls out of the van, peers into the other car and calls to the driver (who is standing with his back to him). The driver glances at Trip, and runs past him down the street, One beginning to be played. Trip retrieves the gas tank, the map and a doll with a noose around its neck from the van, which The Memory Remains is played to. He wanders down a street, and a police horse drags a dead officer across his path. People run past him, ignoring him, followed by police cruisers (one of which is ablaze). Emerging in the middle of a street, Trip realizes he is between a motionless group of rioters and riot police. The rioters then become rowdy, and when the police throw tear gas they swarm over them. Stunned by the violence, Trip stands in front of a window (which then shatters).

A rider in a gas mask on an armored horse charges, wielding a sledgehammer. He lassos a rioter, hanging him from a streetlamp. Trip throws a brick at the rider, who gives chase. Trip loses the doll, but escapes through a wall of rioters, surging into Cyanide.

He walks down a deserted, littered street, under a dozen bodies hanging from a pedestrian bridge, leading into ...And Justice for All. Trip finds the truck he is looking for in a deserted parking-garage corridor, but the driver (a middle-aged man) is traumatized and does not notice him. The back of the truck contains a leather bag, which Trip opens; he slumps, speechless, as the band breaks into Master of Puppets

He sees a figure waving at him from a distance. The rider approaches the figure, and a group of rioters surge past them. Trip grabs the bag and the can of gas, jumps out of the truck and flees.

He is cornered at the end of an alley by the rioters. Trip ties a black bandanna around his mouth, puts up his hood and drops the bag. He douses himself with the gas, sets himself ablaze and charges the rioters, who eventually overwhelm him, beginning Battery.

After the band finishes Nothing Else Matters, Trip wakes up (to "Enter Sandman") on the roof of a building; his lost doll, now animated, approaches the leather bag. As Trip gets up, he is lassoed and pulled onto the rider's horse. He grabs the rider's hammer to free himself and slams the roof with it. Shock waves rumble across the city, shattering glass and the exteriors of surrounding buildings and disintegrating the rider and his horse. The reverberation affects Metallica's concert, cutting the power and knocking down lighting trusses. With a backup generator, the band continues the concert without pyrotechnics and a light show, playing Hit the Lights.

Trip returns to the deserted stadium with the doll and the bag under his arm. The credits roll to scenes of the band performing "Orion" to the empty stadium. Trip takes a seat; the final shot is of the still-closed leather bag which belonged to Cliff Burton on the Master of Puppets tour.



The band made a surprise appearance in Detroit at the Orion Music + More Festival under the name Dehaan, after lead actor Dane DeHaan, to promote the film by playing their debut album, Kill 'Em All , in its entirety. [8]

Through the Never made its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. [9]

The film was released in IMAX theaters across the United States on September 27, 2013, [10] the 27th anniversary of former Metallica bassist Cliff Burton's death, before being rolled out to normal cinemas in 3D the week after (October 4). Hetfield attended the San Francisco premiere at The Metreon. [11]


Reviews of the film were positive. The film has a 78% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes; the consensus states: "Imaginatively shot and edited, Metallica Through the Never is an electrifying, immersive concert film, though its fictional sequences are slightly less assured." [12]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film "a full-throttle expression of rock & roll anarchy", and encouraged readers not to understand the plot, but to "live" it. [13]

Peter Rugg of The Village Voice writes that the film is "the most immersive concert film ever." [14]

Tristan Peterson of Metal Obsession gave a mixed review, citing "[The story] may be, in the end, irrelevant but it does deliver on some excellent visuals and atmosphere". However praised the individual qualities of both. [15]

Chris Tilly of IGN delivered a positive review as well, stating that it "features several truly incredible live performances that are worth the price of admission alone. Metallica fans will love the music, while everyone else can enjoy the amazing visuals in this unique concert movie." [16]

The film was nominated for a Grammy for Best Music Film and won a distinguished achievement award from the International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society in the "Motion Picture Documentary" category. [17] [18]

Despite widespread praise from critics and the huge popularity of the band, the film was a flop, grossing only $3.4 million domestically. [19]


The film's official soundtrack was released on September 24, 2013, via Blackened Recordings. [20] It charted in several countries and was nominated for a Best Recording Package Grammy.[ citation needed ]

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