Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: “Part 1: The Early Days”
Label: Columbia Music Video
Release Date: 11/23/2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
With the release of “Part 1: The Early Days” DVD Iron Maiden has given the fans something very long overdue. The band has continually released live CD after one another and while most were good, it was definitely time for something different. The “Early Days” DVD certainly solves that quest for difference. As I watched, I began to figure how best to make comments on the piece and realized that the footage and features were even more than I could have hoped for. Iron Maiden clearly took the time to deliver the type of product that the fans have been clamoring for across the years. Loaded with not one but four vintage concerts (among them are two featuring Paul DiAnno on vocals) it makes it worthwhile from this alone. It also has some archive footage regarding early band television appearances from the time when the band was newly signed. The “Early Days” documentary piece alone runs 90 minutes and will offer a lot of historical perspective into this time in the bands life. Prior to this release the only place I had ever seen this type of footage were on bootlegs one might find at Metal conventions, and it is so great to see this on a quality and clean copy as opposed to grainy dubs on VHS. I am still electric from watching the “Live At The Rainbow” concert, as my Friend owned a copied copy of a copy. I remembered back about 15 years ago being huddled with the other metal head friends as we watched it on a small TV screen in a basement.
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Artist: Star One
Title: “Live On Earth”
Label: Inside Out Records
Release Date: 4/29/2003
Genre: Progressive Metal
The first time I had heard “Space Metal”, by Star One I was totally floored. This masterwork was created by Arjen Anthony Lucassen whom Progressive Metal fans know well for his work from his creation Aryeon. This double CD/DVD package immortalizes the final show of the tour from the album “Space Metal”. Fans of the release of the studio record will be glad that he decided to do this. He also created 2 separate releases of this release (the copy I am reviewing includes the DVD and is considered the special edition).
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Artist: Iced Earth
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 6/6/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal/History
The long awaited DVD release for the Iced Earth opus “Gettysburg (1963)” has finally been released. This is an interesting piece on a few fronts when you take a look at it. In early 2004 Iced Earth released their Metal Masterpiece “The Glorious Burden” and this CD received a large amount of critical acclaim from Metaldom. One of the main reasons behind this albums overall success was not only the level of quality in the song-writing and musicianship, but also since this release would also feature Tim “Ripper” Owens on lead vocals. It was a good match and Metal fans around the world raised their fists in approval. The release covered a theme that was both Military and Historical. The signature track on the record was the 3 part epic “Gettysburg”.
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Artist: Great Kat
Title: “Extreme Guitar Shred”
Label: Music Video Distribution
Release Date: 4/12/2005
Genre: Speed Metal
The Great Kat is perhaps one of the most interesting people in music and she has been for a pretty decent amount of time. I was never sure what to make of her or her work but I always knew she was one of the fastest guitar “shredders” ever and very interesting visually. Her personality and behavior often defy description and this DVD entitled “Extreme Guitar Shred” contains several of her videos featuring her unique brand of mayhem. Her videos are definitely not for the faint of heart and more geared for the gore-fans. It is like watching chaos as she shreds the guitar at lightning speed and wails a high pitched banshee scream over most of the material. While it is apparent that she knows how to play, she does not break character at all in the videos, and since there is no extra footage to observe you only get these 6 videos to make your decision. I have seen Kat in interviews on Metal Shows, and she never stops being the wild and unpredictable person she comes of as in the music. It might have been interesting to see a different side of her on this DVD, for instance, Blackie Lawless on stage is not the same person offstage. The same applies for the Legendary Alice Cooper. I would have appreciated the chance to see where she feels this all comes from. Just giving the viewer a few videos is not all that much since they are so short.
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Title: “Music Of Mass Destruction”
Label: EMI Music
Release Date: 4/20/2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Continuing the trend of metal bands that are giving fans the most value for their money is Anthrax and their release of “Music Of Mass Destruction”. This Live DVD and CD piece is a good way to enjoy the music of Anthrax in your own “Safe Home” as there is no way to be “Caught In A Mosh” if you do that (of course that depends on who you invite over to watch and how much room you have where you entertain). The recording was filmed during the tour which supported the release of “We’ve Come For You All” and it is chock full of Anthrax standards and some of the newest material from this killer CD. A full 18 songs running about and hour and a half. You are bound to find some of your favorites on this one. I really liked the inclusion of “Got The Time” and “Antisocial” as for cover tunes, Anthrax certainly managed to leave their mark on them for the future. I also was a big fan of “Only” and wish more music from “Sound Of White Noise” was featured since that particular CD was a killer also.
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