When they released the DVD Majesty five years ago The Black Dahlia Murder proved that not only did they understand their fans, they understood how to make a watchable documentary. On their second DVD Fool ‘Em All our tour co-headliners take it another step. Not only do they make you laugh, they make you care about what happens to them. Fear not: the nudity, intoxication and stupidity are still there. Tazers also show up on the tour bus. But what makes Fool ‘Em All work is that in the end it’s about the bond a band shares on the road and in life.
Fool ‘Em All finds The Black Dahlia Murder in the period right after our “Mature Themes” feature appeared in the July 2013 edition. They’re on the road with the Vans Warped tour, playing to different audiences. The editors made the smart decision to focus not just on the nuttiness (although there is plenty). If there was any flaw to Majesty it was that you didn’t learn much about the band outside that they like to behave badly. Fool ‘Em All expertly shows what makes each band member tick. Vocalist Trevor Strand is a death metal addict and record nerd who geeks out when he hangs with L.G. Petrov of Entombed. Guitarist Brian Eschbach is the brains behind the madness who keeps things afloat with unusual business savvy. Bassist Max Lavelle is the friendly guy who lifts weights in his downtime and Ryan Knight is the guitar savant who gives BDM a new level of musicality.
The star of Fool ‘Em All is undoubtedly new drummer Alan Cassidy. You can’t help but like the guy. He does a horrible job of trying to pick up women and is teased restlessly. He enters a drum competition and wins over a crowd of non-death metal fans. And he never seems less than genuinely thrilled to be playing drums for what he calls “his favorite band.”
Yes, there are plenty of tour antics but those are best saved for viewing. The 3-D gimmick is also used just enough so it’s funny without being aggravating. By the close of Fool ‘Em All you feel like The Black Dahlia Murder are a bunch of old friends. You wouldn’t want them dating your daughters, but you’d have them over for a beer.
Order Fool ‘Em All from Metal Blade.
WATCH AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT OF FOOL ‘EM ALL HERE. NOTE: THIS WILL ONLY BE UP FOR 24 HOURS