Welcome to Wacken

According to Motörhead’s drummer, heavy metal has three volumes: Loud, super loud and hospital loud.
According to Motörhead’s drummer, heavy metal has three volumes: Loud, super loud and hospital loud.

There is an argument to be made about heavy metal audiences being the best ones out there: They are committed to the band, open to new material and very involved at concerts. The documentary Wacken 3D: Louder than Hell is a snapshot of the communion between hard rock groups and their public. It may not be all that insightful, but makes up for it with top tier bands and plenty of music.

Wacken is a summer open-air festival that takes places every year (since 1990) in Northern Germany’s countryside. Later versions have received up to 80,000 visitors from the entire world. The event hosts a variety of metal acts, from the dulcet tones (comparatively speaking) of Alice Cooper to the perennially controversial Rammstein, passing by Anvil, Deep Purple, Henry Rollins and Lamb of God.

Louder than Hell covers the 2013 version of the festival. Director Norbert Heitker shot it using 18 stereoscopic 3D cameras. Full disclosure: I saw it on my computer, so I can’t comment on the outcome, but there is clearly an effort to involve the audience in music festival staples (camp life, mud-diving, head-banging and crowd-surfing) using the technique.

The film is fun for regular audiences, but metal-heads are the ones who’ll find the doc most engrossing.

Wacken 3D: Louder than Hell will only play once this Thursday 29th in Saskatoon (Scotiabank Theatre) and Regina (Galaxy) at 7.30pm.

Author: Jorge Ignacio Castillo

Journalist, film critic, documentary filmmaker, and sometimes nice guy. Member of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Like horror flicks, long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners. Allergic to cats.