Artist: Carmine & Vinny Appice
Title: “Drum Wars: The Ultimate Battle”
Label: MVD Visual
Release Date: 10/30/2007
If you are not yet familiar with the legendary drumming brothers Carmine and Vinny Appice then I suggest you stop reading, so a little research and then come back to read this review. If you know who I am talking about then fine we can continue without any incident. For decades the pair of powerful percussionists have shown us what can be done with the instrument and each is responsible for their own historic stamp on Rock and Metal music. Carmine is the older brother and as result was a little ahead of Vinny in terms of joining bands and recording. Among Carmine’s most noted groups we have Beck, Bogert & Appice, Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra, Blue Murder and of course Cactus. Each of the groups unique in their own right and all are as such due to the unique input of their drummer. Vinny on the other hand came into prominence first with Black Sabbath and then later with Dio in his own devastating solo act. In today’s music world Carmine has revisited a number of his classic bands while Vinny is reunited with the Sabbath lineup from those days under the new name Heaven And Hell.
This DVD serves as a sort of Documentary/Mockumentary because while it features some stellar drumming the dialogue and reports leading up to it seem to be for the most part staged bits. We find ABC’s Francesca Cappuci acting as the host and commentator and being the one left to deal with the humor of the Brothers who we learn are in deep competition over the proper pronunciation of their last name. Carmine states its “apeace” while Vinny rebukes with “apichee “ and to settle the score they will both square off to see who is the best of the best. The winner will have to take on the loser’s name and the whole thing when you watch the build up to it comes off like something you see on the WWE events. It’s a lot of huffing and puffing and often quite humorous. The judge for the contest would be their oldest brother who if you can believe it pronounces the name differently from the both of them. For a laugh this stuff is pretty worthy of the time. The battle is led up to by some great family archive films where we see them both playing as boys in Boro Park Brooklyn and as young musicians in their respective bands. We also see Carmine jamming with Fudge and Vinny doing the same with Dio and Sabbath in some of these sections.
Now onto the drumming competition and the warming up segments and believe me this is where any discerning drummer will fast forward to so they can watch the masters at work. The brothers make it all look easy as they practice for the great battle and then when they are onstage together. They are jamming with a bassist and guitarist for the gig and show very early that they are out to outdo one another. One recognizable jam is a drum focused “The Ocean” by Led Zeppelin and of course each of the brothers are trying to up the level of fills in the tune to show the other one up. From there they trade pattern after pattern and drum technique after drum technique for the remainder of the competition because after all the family name is at stake here. Vinny is on his massive tom tom loaded set playing a single bass while Carmine is on his standard double bass kit with cymbals everywhere. The sound I felt could have been a little better on the drum mixes but it could have been the studio and stage they were on as well as how this stuff was mic’d. While excellent stuff if you are a drummer or fan of drummers I fear that if you aren’t this might bore you after about twenty minutes. It is interesting and quite funny at times but definitely for a limited audience when it comes down to it. When the while battle concludes Francesca speaks with Frank Appice who offers up his decision as ———— Oh wait, did you actually think I was going to tell you how this turned out? Set this up on your movie queue or pick up a copy to see what happens and to enjoy some of the best drummers that Brooklyn ever had the pleasure of giving you.
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