Metallica: Through the Never 3D review

This concert BD from the thrash metal legends will astonish fans - and confuse everyone else

Since forming in 1981, genre icons Metallica have never shied away from innovation. Yet even devoted fans probably didn't expect them to release a 3D concert movie that mixes show footage with a side-story concerning a young stagehand called Trip (Dane DeHaan), street riots and the destruction of the lighting/sound rig by mysterious forces...

The result is decidedly weird, but captivating at the same time. Director Nimrod Antal (Predators) brings cinematic flair to the 'story' and the concert footage is sublimely edited. As for the band, they cement their reputation as kings of the arena, hurtling through a catalogue of metal anthems and backed up by the most impressive stage show ever conceived. Don't believe us? Check out the array of Tesla coils sparking to life during Ride The Lightning.

Picture: Entertainment One's two-disc release includes both 3D and 2D versions, and you should stick to the former if you can, as ...Through the Never was conceived from the beginning as a 3D showcase.

As stereoscopic transfers go, this a real eye-opener – live music Blu-rays never usually look this good. Helped by Metallica playing 'in the round' and Antal's multi-camera setup, the 2.40:1 Full HD image exudes a sense of depth that puts you right there in the front row, headbanging with the rest of the long-hairs. Nor is it a static experience; the camera fizzes around the arena, framing the band members against their high-tech backdrops so they look like larger-than-life rock gods.

It's a crisp presentation, too – the only unwanted noise coming from amplifier feedback, and the searing colours of the ultra-expensive lighting rigs contrasting vividly with the black recesses of the venue. Close-up shots of James Hetfield snarling into his mic are packed with detail.

The only area where the picture disappoints is in the additional footage of Trip's otherworldly adventure. Oddly, these staged sequences are where the 3D is at its most limited.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Vitally for a concert movie, the disc's DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is brutally efficient. Metallica's twin guitars blast out of the mid-range with raw force, the rhythm section is delivered tight and full and the surround channels are in constant use, adding both crowd noise and extra layers of PA. During the outdoor sequences it quietens down, but still impresses with clean Foley effects and eerie ambience.
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: The standout extra here is the feature-length Making of... documentary, which is essential viewing. Showing the same honesty and access-all-areas ethos that marked Metallica's earlier Some Kind of Monster doc, it provides a thrilling account of how the band conceived the idea for a 3D concert flick, how it quickly became more elaborate than originally planned, and how they worried whether it would ever make financial sense.

In addition to this, there's a trailer, Master of Puppets music video, film festival Q&A with Metallica, Antal and DeHaan, and more.
Extras rating: 4/5

We say: If you like throwing horns and dazzling 3D, then this will be right up your street

Metallica: Through the Never 3D, EntertainmentOne, Region B BD, £25 Approx