Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The DVD Reviews – Part 2

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.

Coheed & Cambria: “”The Last Supper: Live At Hammerstein Ballroom”” (Columbia Records)

Coheed & Cambria’s new DVD is a great way to catch up on what you might have been missing from this band for they seem to be growing in popularity rapidly, and are reaching fans of all ages with their interesting blend of Melodic and slightly Progressive Hard Rock. In May of 2006, the group performed to a sold-out Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and now, only five months later, deliver a DVD of this show which allows those that missed out to enjoy it while those who attended are able to relive it once again. This modern Rock group led by Claudio Sanchez (vocals/guitar) is sometimes compared to bands like Rush and Dream Theater based on their being more technically proficient than many of the current mainstream bands that are heaped upon us. Claudio’s voice is high in register and this leads to the Geddy Lee reference I suppose. Personally, I disagree with the two comparisons but one can definitely see where they come from when watching this DVD. One also can see that the band truly can play as while Claudio does his thing both drummer Josh Eppard and lead guitarist Travis Steever are ripping it up as Michael Todd holds it all together. This makes them much more interesting and is clearly something that is a refreshing change for the younger fan base who must deal with the levels of sludge tossed at them by some of the music providers of today. It’s inspiring to see bands focusing on more musicianship and creativity than their peers for it allows them to remain relevant in a time where too many bands are forgettable. In addition to the rich selection of their career highlights the DVD also lets you enjoy the bands stellar light show – there are some great camera angles and dramatics to enjoy as the show plays out but most of this is viewed from a front row vantage point. As someone who never really paid attention to the band, I was finding myself jotting down numbers that appealed to me most so I might dig deeper into their recorded catalog. Standout tracks like “The Suffering” and “Ten Speed” are bound to impress anyone. There are also bonus videos to enjoy as well as fan interviews and band member commentary. Most of their music is based on Science Fiction themes which makes this intriguing to check out.

Crowbar: “Live With Full Force” (Candlelight Records)

The new DVD by Crowbar “Live: With Full Force” is a great way to get a very candid look into a band with some very regular guys who are just doing what they do best on the stage as well as giving the viewer an inside look at the life one leads in the music business. Filmed during the popular German Festival that bears the same name – the guys perform a set from their back catalog and music from their 2005 release “Lifesblood For The Downtrodden”. The Festival stage footage is great as numbers like “The Planets Collide” and “Burn Your World” crunch your ears with Doom and Stoner Metal as delivered by masters of the genre. The film is also home to a segment that I feel the viewers will enjoy most which is the Rockumentary that is blended between the concert numbers. This footage is primarily focused on band leader Kirk Windstein and from him you get the real deal scoop on life as a working musician. Based on his words it is clearly not what many think it is and he lays most of the blame on the “Behind The Music” specials with Motley Crue and Poison for creating the false image of what life is like on the road. Windstein stresses it is not all money, girls and fun yet more work than most would choose to do in their life. The DVD also gives you the bands videos to date and since this is footage you would probably find nowhere else, it becomes worthy bonus features to enjoy. Of the six videos we also get the previously unavailable “Slave No More”. The release itself is very straightforward and candid but always manages to remain interesting and it is just perfect for those who enjoy Doom Core. If you find that music that is heavy, sludgy and loaded with groove the Crowbar is the band for you. They are a band that have had members of Pantera, Black Label Society and Down among their roster with Windstein always being the consistent. The band has held a devout following that includes Jaime Jasta and Phil Anselmo among their numbers, and are still part of the underground of Metal despite an almost two decade career. With this DVD you can tune down low and play it slow and after watching you can see why so many bands love them so much.

Dissection: “The Rebirth Of Dissection” (Escapi Music)

Swedens Dissection was on the road to a resurgence of life in the eyes of their fans as singer Jon Nodtveidt would leave prison after a murder conviction and quickly form the band once more to continue the assault on Metal ears worldwide. The 2004 performance at a sold-out Arenan, Stockholm show would also be captured on video for those on every continent to enjoy as well. Nodtviedt preferred to call Dissection’s brand of Metal as “Anti-Cosmic Metal Of Death” rather than merely settling on Black Metal for he felt his description better captured the Satanism and concepts of Death that he held very personal in his life. While these principles are not for everyone, it made for some interesting Metal under Jon’s control. The concert performance is a great collection of Dissection staples such as “Storm Of The Lights Bane” and “Soulreaper” and for those unschooled on the group like I was; you will find them a little more musical and technical than you often find in the genre. This has changed in recent times but since this stuff goes back a few years it’s nice to see that Dissection was among the first to raise the bar of creativity in this area. There is a great ballad-esque number with “Where Dead Angels Life” as well as a cover of the band Tormentor with “Elizabeth Bathory”. The band is lined out by Set Teitan on guitars and Tomas Asklund (Dark Funeral) on drums, with Brice LeClerque (Nightrage) on bass. Visually this film brings you up close to the stage and the angles are shot in such a manner than sometimes you feel as if you are pressed up against the barriers with hundreds of Metal maniacs behind you. The stage décor is on the solemn side and the band is garbed in simple black, it is more about the music than the themes with Dissection.

Every Time I Die: “Shit Happens” (Ferret Music)

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the album and tour for “The Final Countdown” MVD has released a film that allows fans of the band Europe to relive the glory days of Hair Metal once again. It is also the perfect way to see the band in their prime if you were among those who were too young to enjoy them during those days and instead have only heard about it from the folks among the “Old School”. To say that the song “The Final Countdown” was both a blockbuster and an instantly memorable hit would be an understatement. It was one of those tracks that once you heard it, you were going to find it in your audio memory banks forever. This would be the case whether you loved or hated the song and it’s popularity made the band a juggernaut. It was a majestic track with flourishing keyboards and not only was it living on a consistent MTV rotation and Rock radio but it also became a mainstay at sporting events worldwide. It single handedly helped to propel Europe into the stratosphere as a Hard Rock super power. This concert is chock full of great moments from the release and a full seven numbers are from the album “The Final Countdown” alone. This is video of a band that has risen to the top and is on top of their game. You can tell this from the level of energy that the group is displaying. They are hometown heroes during this performance and it is easy for them to show how appreciative they are for their fans. I remember seeing this concert on MTV and it just looks so much better after the remastering process as far as audio and visual. The exciting performance of Joey Tempest, the bands front man, shows why his face grazed all the Rock magazines of the day while John Norum defies the senses with his stellar guitar work. Viewers get this as well as some great interview footage of the band in today’s world and can also enjoy an extensive photo gallery with many unseen shots. The bonus features also deliver a segment where the band visits the very studio where they recorded the hit record and get to hear the only existing unreleased outtake from the sessions. The instrumental track “Where Men Don’t Dare” that was penned by Tempest and Leven. Go back to the eighties one more time.

Europe: “The Final Countdown Tour: Live In Sweden 1986” – 20th Anniversary” (Music Video Distributors)

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the album and tour for “The Final Countdown” MVD has released a film that allows fans of the band Europe to relive the glory days of Hair Metal once again. It is also the perfect way to see the band in their prime if you were among those who were too young to enjoy them during those days and instead have only heard about it from the folks among the “Old School”. To say that the song “The Final Countdown” was both a blockbuster and an instantly memorable hit would be an understatement. It was one of those tracks that once you heard it, you were going to find it in your audio memory banks forever. This would be the case whether you loved or hated the song and it’s popularity made the band a juggernaut. It was a majestic track with flourishing keyboards and not only was it living on a consistent MTV rotation and Rock radio but it also became a mainstay at sporting events worldwide. It single handedly helped to propel Europe into the stratosphere as a Hard Rock super power. This concert is chock full of great moments from the release and a full seven numbers are from the album “The Final Countdown” alone. This is video of a band that has risen to the top and is on top of their game. You can tell this from the level of energy that the group is displaying. They are hometown heroes during this performance and it is easy for them to show how appreciative they are for their fans. I remember seeing this concert on MTV and it just looks so much better after the remastering process as far as audio and visual. The exciting performance of Joey Tempest, the bands front man, shows why his face grazed all the Rock magazines of the day while John Norum defies the senses with his stellar guitar work. Viewers get this as well as some great interview footage of the band in today’s world and can also enjoy an extensive photo gallery with many unseen shots. The bonus features also deliver a segment where the band visits the very studio where they recorded the hit record and get to hear the only existing unreleased outtake from the sessions. The instrumental track “Where Men Don’t Dare” that was penned by Tempest and Leven. Go back to the eighties one more time.

Helloween: ”Keeper Of The Seven Keys: The Legacy – World Tour” (SPV Records)

Filmed on three continents the one and only Helloween delivers a rousing live concert DVD done in support of their Keeper Of The Seven Keys: The Legacy album. Over the years the band had seen numerous lineup changes but despite that fact it is great to see them still sounding fresh, exciting and masters of the Power Metal genre. The film finds the legendary group returning more to the pure format of the genre and that works for all involved as they truly helped to launch it so many years ago. The concert set is loaded with their classics such as “I Want Out” and “Future World”, and while Michael Kiske will always remain a fan favorite there is no knocking Andy Deris for his killer performance across all their material on this film. Many of the Helloween tunes are regarded as classic anthems in most Metal circles so I feel most who watch this will enjoy seeing them blast through those particular ones. They also touch upon “TKOTSK3: The Legacy” and of the songs represented from this album, “The King For A 1000 Years” is perhaps the best. As the show opener this is a number that blasts by and literally brings the viewer into the mix as far as audience participation. I have to give a lot of credit to the crowd from Brazil, as these folks really appreciate their Metal and the more videos I see shot from this location, the stronger this belief is in my heart. Solos from drums and guitar are here to enjoy and it’s a nice change of pace to see just how talented the players are on their respective instruments. By the time the whole thing ends you will find yourself completely out of breath but still screaming for more. Good Power Metal does that to a person and Helloween’s big guitar sound and rousing; sing-along choruses make it a very worthwhile experience. The entire audience seems to know the words to these choruses by the way. The tight performance runs about 1.5 hours and once that’s done you can watch their “Road Movie” and some interviews and video clips. A companion CD is also available and features the concert portion of this DVD. This is a recommendation for all Metal heads, and especially the ones who respect the forefathers of the genre without question.

Additional chapters in this series of “Revisiting Metal Edge Magazine” will be over the coming weeks. Please stay tuned and let us know what you thought of these items down in the comments section below.

Official Websites:
Coheed and Cambria: http://www.coheedandcambria.com/
Crowbar: http://www.crowbarnola.com/
Dissection: http://www.dissection.nu/
Every Time I Die: http://everytimeidie.net/
Europe: http://www.europetheband.com/
Helloween: http://www.helloween.org


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.