Tag Archives: nirvana

Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain; Gone 20 Years (1994-2014)

Today the music lovers of the world reflect upon the memory of Kurt Cobain who died twenty years ago today as the result of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. He was 27 years old at the time.

Photo - Kurt Cobain

Historically speaking Cobain was best known as being the primary creative force in the band Nirvana where he was not only the singer but also the guitarist and principle songwriter. The band also featured Krist Novoselic on bass and Dave Grohl on drums. The band was viewed as leaders of the Seattle Sound music scene and for many fans of this time period had set the ball in motion with their debut album “Bleach”. The group and Cobains music would explode to tremendous proportions with the release of “Nevermind”, an album that was received with incredible accolades.
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Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The DVD Reviews – Part 3

These video overviews were originally written for Metal Edge Magazine when I was a contributor to their DVD reviews section back in 2006. With the magazine wrapping up publication a few months ago, I decided to add them to the context of our PiercingMetal presentation. I felt that by doing this I would not only be raising the horns in remembrance of the magazine but to also showcase just how different writing for a major publication was when it all came down to it. These posts will feature several reviews each until we run out of them. The freelance writing tenure at Metal Edge Magazine was discussed on THIS LINK so please check that out when done. Here we go with another group of DVD Reviews.

Iced Earth: “Alive In Athens: The DVD” (Century Media Records)

Come back with me now to the year 1999 as Iced Earth records their first ever concert performance album “Alive In Athens” in front of a sold-out Metal hungry audience. If you are one of the many Metal bangers that owns the CD already then you are well-aware about this concert and just how excellent it was in capturing the best songs that Iced Earth had to offer the world at the time. It was a recording that that found the band in tip-top shape and holding solid ground in their quest for Heavy Metal dominance. Now lets fast forward to 2006 where an old archive is discovered and inside this is a long forgotten filming of this concert which was done by the three camera crew present at the event. The footage would be raw but the decision to share this with the legions of Iced Earth fans became an immediate one and after careful audio remastering of the film they were ready to present to them. As a concert itself there are moments in the film that make you feel as though you are watching from the balconies while others place you on the stage looking out to the crowd. There are no dynamic effects and instead a sparse stage with the band members doling out the Metal in excellent fashion. While recent interviews have found Schaffer himself displeased with this videos release, it is the only way to see a full concert with the former singer Matthew Barlow; a performer that a majority of the bands fan base misses very much. Sonically and visually I found nothing wrong with this release and totally recommend it for Iced Earth fans old and new. The amount of concert footage from Iced Earth is limited to this release and if you find yourself wanting a show with this line up you need to look no further than here. Twenty eight songs and running 2.5 hours you cannot go wrong with it. Iced Earth has had a number of changes over the years and Schaffer as founder, remains the only constant of the musical vision. Everyone else in the band for this film has moved on to other pursuits in music and life by this time. Bonus features include Jon in Athens and backstage footage. A booklet is included and loaded with photos, song lyrics and cool graphics that the group was known for. This is a must have for any Metal fan.

Kamelot: “One Cold Winter’s Night” (SPV Records)

Filmed during a sold out performance in Oslo, Norway; Melodic Metal masters Kamelot present to their fans a brilliant concert video for the tour of “The Black Halo”. Proving they are a band that does it right – there is a strong sense of song writing in their music and the vibe generated on every track they perform is done with intelligence and power. Since “The Black Halo” opened a number of doors for the band it made perfect sense to document a night of the tour for DVD and this is a release that will surpass many peoples expectations. The packed theatre and dramatic stage setting of this DVD is presented by an 18 camera shoot and is directed by Patric Ullaeus. It makes you feel as though you are at the show and for a performance video this is one of the better ones in both visual presentation and the sonic delivery. Ullaeus’ imagination and Kamelot’s level of mood and drama that gets delivered is exponential due to the enigmatic presence of Roy Khan. The songs performed on this release are focused on material from “The Black Halo” and similar to the studio version there are guest-stars to help it be done properly. During “The Haunting” we find Khan assisted by Simone Simons, the stunning siren who fronts the band Epica. Simone’s voice is excellent in the live sense as well, and along with her group are something the fans of Kamelot should investigate. Musically this show has its members making every effort to impress as Tom Youngblood shreds the guitar while bassist Glen Barry holds down his half of the rhythm section. Youngblood is a great melodic lead guitarist and I think that after you watch the film you will agree with me. With a clean, decisive and technical style at times, he is truly one of the better players in Melodic Power Metal. The viewer also gets solos from both Casey Grillo (drums) and Oliver Palotai (keyboards). Grillo has a fun style to watch on the “battery” (as Khan announces), while Palotai, the bands newest official member, shows deft levels of skill on the keys. Khan himself is one of those great singers who is also blessed with the ability to be a great front man. A natural on stage, he possesses one of the most pure and melodic voices the genre offers. The DVD2 contains bonus interviews, backstage footage and videos.
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“Live! Tonight! Sold Out!” by Nirvana

Artist: Nirvana
Title: “Live! Tonight! Sold Out!”
Label: Geffen Records
Release Date: 11/7/2006
Genre: Grunge Rock
Rating: 4/5

The original release of “Live! Tonight! Sold Out!” was in 1994 and this is a film about Nirvana that captures the band shortly after the release of “Nevermind” – the album that was going to define a generation and would launch a music scene unlike any other. Finally issued on DVD the release comes from the reaction to the recording which led Kurt Cobain to document the band’s rise in popularity. He did so by culling together a wide assortment of interview segments and live performances from around this time. The work would be begun on this but the singer would take his own life and leave this uncompleted. Surviving members Dave Grohl and Krist Novaselic wisely decided that this needed to be released so they completed it as best as possible. To some it might come off as disjointed as it does tend to scatter about from here to there and there are some concert segments that are glued together from different performances to make one consecutive piece. For the most part these are interesting based on the way that the song does not always sound like the record but instead reflects the way Kurt and the band were feeling at the particular moment. For instance he drones through “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on some foreign language program, while screaming at the top of his lungs on a song that didn’t go like that at all on another. The interview portions are quite telling as well since you find Cobain and the band not as the typical “Rock Stars” but instead just a bunch of guys who were unimpressed by the trappings that so many others seek with a record deal. They definitely had no love of the music business and its machinations either and Cobain states how he would rather hang out with the kid who was not on the ball team smoking cigarettes than the popular ones on the team. Perhaps this mindset led him to become such an important role model to kids who were not always considered the cool ones.
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“Classic Albums: Nevermind” by Nirvana

Artist: Nirvana
Title: “Classic Albums – Nevermind”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Alternative
Rating:

A welcome addition to Eagle Vision’s “Classic Albums” series is this DVD documenting the creation of Nirvana’s 1991 Number 1 charting album “Nevermind”.

In its time “Nevermind” hit a nerve with listeners across generations that immediately and effectively filled a gap in popular music of the day. The beauty of the album is that it offered a unique soundscape that drew in teens as well as older rock fans and provided music with more “real teeth” than all the latex makeup “Thriller” zombies MTV could screen in the early 90’s.
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