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Stay home, and wash your hands often. Key advice for these troubled times, as innocuous as it sounds. Many of us might not first-hand see the devastation that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the world -- empty streets, shuttered businesses, etc. all give the impression of an anxious type of calm, while down the road, your local hospital is likely a warzone or soon to be one, i.e. the opposite of calm.

On the personal front, many of us will be battling cabin fever over the coming weeks. For sanity's sake, loading up on entertainment is probably a good option to help burn those long, boring evenings to come. If you're a metalhead, especially one who hasn't spent much time with the video documentaries that help illuminate the scene's varied dynamics, then these films may be right up your alley. So, check out the ones we've gathered below, some of our favorites -- stay healthy and safe, and happy viewing, friends.

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Heavy Metal Parking Lot

A blast from the past: 1986 was a different time altogether. Capturing the ethos and atmosphere of the time from a Judas Priest concert parking lot is John Heyn and Jeff Krulik's superb, unpretentious documentary that feels real and honest even all these years later. Watch all 16+ minutes of this classic in the filmmaker-approved Vimeo above, or on one of the many streaming services.

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Rammstein: In Amerika

Stream now via Amazon Prime

Rammstein might not be as big in the US as they are in the EU, but big they are here anyway. And so much becomes obvious when diving into this concert video album (shot at Madison Square Garden in 2010).

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Slave to the Grind

Grind your way into grindcore with this 2018 documentary about the subgenre -- it was recently put on YouTube for free due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly, the filmmakers also know the importance of entertainment during these times -- grindcore, indeed, is entertaining as fuck.

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Death by Metal

Stream now via Amazon Prime

Chuck Schuldiner, rest his soul, was one of the greatest heavy metal musicians of all time. This full-length documentary tells his story in Death and Control Denied. Thick, complex, and engaging, Death by Metal is a true documentary about a true metal legend.

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Slow Southern Steel

There's a lot more to the American South and its relationship with heavy metal than you'd imagine -- the cultural intertwines are especially fascinating. It all comes into focus with this documentary on the subject, streaming free now on YouTube.

Bonus: check out Rhys Williams' review of this documentary from way back in 2012.

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American Hardcore

Stream now via Tubi

A historical look back to the 1980s with hardcore punk in mind -- American Hardcore is based on Steven Blush's book, and features Bad Brains, Poison Idea, Black Flag, and so many others.

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We Are Twisted Sister

Stream now via Amazon Prime

In this retrospective, Twisted Sister looks back at the decade before their band's high-profile career -- it's an insightful and enlightening view on how some bands eventually "make it" through the sweat, grit, and determination of their members.

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Until the Light Takes Us

Stream now via Amazon Prime

Black metal, owing to its complexity and mystery, is a difficult egg to crack in documentary form. As many of us know, though, Until the Light Takes Us takes a stab at capturing the subgenre's nocturnal ethos, albeit not without some criticism regarding the film's approach.

Bonus: check out our review of this documentary from way back in 2009.

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Metal Evolution -- Extreme Metal

Chock full of interviews, this Banger TV documentary explores all facets of metal -- from death metal to grindcore -- in an entertaining and pithy format perfect for burning an hour in what feels like 20 minutes.

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The History of Iron Maiden

This long three-parter comes free via Iron Maiden's own YouTube. The band are undisputed legends, but this really helps put the personalities and individualities of all the key players into focus.

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For more, BrooklynVegan ran down even more punk and rock docs available to stream now.

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