A decade in the making, Duncan Wilder Johnson’s documentary on Boston hardcore/metal band Sam Black Church will finally see the light of day. Leave Behind A Grove In The Earth: The Sam Black Church Story is set to premiere with a screening on Friday, April 15 at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge. To celebrate the release, a new teaser trailer for the doc has been released, and you can watch it below.
Created by Johnson over a ten-year period across a few rounds of fundraising efforts, Leave Behind A Grove In The Earth traces the band’s rise through the Boston underground in the ’90s, and how it bridged the gap between ’80s hardcore punk and the various styles of metal that populated the 2000s to now.
The film features archival live footage, and interviews with the band as well as Bad Brains’ Dr. Know, Page Hamilton of Helmet, Lamb Of God’s D. Randall Bythe, Neil Fallon of Church, and a host of New England voices, including Jesse Leach and Mike D’Antonio of Killswitch Engage, Trevor Phipps and Ken Susi of Unearth, Shadows Fall’s Brian Fair, Jonah Jenkins of Only Living Witness, and others.
“It was a band that everyone would stop and stare because they couldn’t believe what was happening on stage,” says D’Antonio in the doc. “Just total chaos, utter chaos.”
Back in 2014, Johnson told Vanyaland just what led him down the path of telling Sam Black Chuch’s story: “The amazing music of Sam Black Church, how intensely they performed, and their compelling story from no one knowing who they were to growing to huge popularity in New England to making an impact after they stopped playing on what are now considered top-tier metal bands.”