New Documentary Explores The Origins of the California Thrash Scene

March 21, 2019

These days when we think "heavy metal" we think bands like Metallica, Lamb Of God, Slayer, and Slipknot. But back in the 1980's, it was all about enormous hair, skin-tight outfits and appearing on MTV. But a small community of California headbangers where about to change all of that.

In the upcoming documentary Murder In The Front Row, it explores the growth and influence of the San Francisco thrash metal scene, and how a bunch of rambunctious locals just having fun to playing stadiums and arenas around the world. The documentary features members of Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Megadeth, Exodus, Machine Head, Death Angel, and many other familiar faces.

Directed by Adam Dubin, Murder In The Front Row is based on the 2012 photojournal by Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew. “Locals Exodus and Los Angeles transplants Metallica reigned in small clubs like the Old Waldorf, The Stone, and the infamous East Bay bastion of heaviness, Ruthie’s Inn. Thrash metal upstarts Slayer and Megadeth found a second home in the Bay Area, while a homegrown breed of tempo-crazed teenagers like Legacy, Possessed, Death Angel, Heathen, and Vio-lence brought Bay Area thrash metal to critical mass.”