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