VH1 has announced the premiere of "Heavy: The Story of Metal", a four-part documentary tracing the evolution of heavy metal music and culture, from its dark, grim beginnings in Birmingham, England to the worldwide force that it remains to this day.In a series of four themed hours premiering Monday-Thursday, May 1-4 at 9 p.m, "Heavy: The Story of Metal" explores four decades of music, each hour examining this powerful and often misunderstood genre, from metal's pioneers to its love of glam and excess; from the fight for metal's rebellious soul to its storied flirtation with the devil: Episode One traces metal's roots in the late-'60s in the bombed-out industrial town of Birmingham England to the spectacular rise of KISS and "glam metal" in the early 70's. Episode Two examines metal's growing pains during the '70s when both high-brow rock critics and punk rock threatened its very existence. By decade's end, bands such as IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and DEF LEPPARD gave birth to what became known as "The New Wave of British Heavy Metal." Episode Three sees metal thrive in, of all places, sunny California. VAN HALEN, POISON, MÖTLEY CRÜE — it's the world of hair metal. And, keeping everyone's Jacuzzi-soaked ego in check, a little film called "Spinal Tap" emerges. Episode Four takes a walk on the dark side: GUNS N' ROSES, METALLICA, thrash, grunge, and how the music and images of MARILYN MANSON became associated with the Columbine massacre. Told from the perspective of the musicians, promoters, writers and fans who have kept metal's flame alive for four decades, "Heavy: The Story of Metal" contains revealing, hilarious and sometimes shocking conversations. Interviews include Sebastian Bach, Jerry Cantrell, Phil Collen, Bruce Dickinson, Fred Durst, Ace Frehley, Rob Halford, Scott Ian, Tony Iommi, Chris Jericho, Lemmy Kilmister, Chuck Klosterman, Jani Lane, Tommy Lee, Doc McGhee, Bret Michaels, Dave Mustaine, Vinnie Paul, Mark Putnam, Riki Rachtman, Dave "Snake" Sabo, Nikki Sixx, Slash, Dee Snider, Geoff Tate, Eddie Trunk, Rob Zombie and more. In the same vein as VH1's critically acclaimed, award winning 2004 hip-hop chronicle "And You Don't Stop", "Heavy: The Story of Metal" combines interviews, verite moments and rare and exclusive footage and photos, to bring metal's history to life while examining the considerable pop-culture impact of the loudest music that ever was. "Heavy: The Story of Metal" is produced by 441 Productions in conjunction with VH1. Stephen Mintz serves as Supervising Producer. Matt Maranz is Executive Producer for 441 Productions. Brad Abramson, Shelly Tatro, and Michael Hirschorn serve as Executive Producers for VH1.