Artist: Judas Priest
Release Date: 5/28/2013
Genre: Heavy Metal
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of watching Judas Priest’s “Epitaph” DVD on the big screen down at the Clearview Chelsea Cinema in NYC and at that event, the one and only Rob Halford popped in for a few minutes with the bands new guitarist Richie Faulkner and of course Eddie Trunk of “That Metal Show”. I had to admit that it was great to watch the then at the time upcoming release on such a screen as it made me feel as though I was front row center for the “Epitaph” tour and this was important to me as I had sadly missed their show when they came rumbling through my town. It happens, but I digress. Most Metal fans already know that “Epitaph” was to be the bands final run of worldwide touring and likely recording but since the tour things have changed and the band seems eager to press on with new Heavy Metal music and shows for their fans. Believe me I am okay with this. Now let’s help out those who also missed the show and let’s talk about what can be found on this concert video.
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Artist: Deep Purple
Title: “Phoenix Rising” Special Edition DVD & CD Set
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 6/29/2911
“Deep Purple Phoenix Rising” is a definitive view at the twists and turns Deep Purple took in the post Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, and Ritchie Blackmore years. While Eagle Rock rolls out a slew of Deep Purple related CD reissues this summer the video arm of the company, Eagle Vision, offers this brand-new package examining the group’s Mark III & IV incarnations. 40 years down the road, this era is often over-looked or even dismissed in the annals of music history, but as viewers will learn it was a very interesting, creative, though often rocky ride.
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Title: “Live At Cadogan Hall” [DVD]
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 3/39/2011
Genre: Acoustic Rock
I recently absorbed the new live CD release from Progressive Rock’s own Marillion entitled “Live At Cadogan Hall” and as luck would have it, there is a companion DVD of this very show to enjoy as well and since I’ve said my piece on the audio only version it’s now the videos turn for a little scrutiny. If you missed those words somehow and are one of those fans of Marillion who has been with them from the beginning, I essentially outlined my own personal confusion with what they are doing musically every now and again. I cited loving “Marbles” but hating its follow up “Somewhere Else” and then finding absolute disinterest in their acoustic offering “Less Is More”. Of course on the same token, the live DVD for “Somewhere Else” totally impressed me and found me appreciating the studio effort a little more. That being said, this film finds us joining the band on the final night of their 2009 “Less Is More” tour where they perform for a packed house at London’s Cadogan Hall. The film is presented in exactly the same fashion as its audio counterpart which I appreciated and that means it’s broken into two sets and discs. The songs are delivered in the same manner and in a slightly Dream Theater method the guys perform “Less Is More” from beginning to end with the exception of the original albums closer “Cannibal Surf Babe”. The audience seems hypnotized as Hogarth entertains with his rich and powerful vocal register and amuses all with his skills on dulcimer. As noted on the CD version review and as we found on the studio album, the band employed a number of instruments that they didn’t normally use on a release for this one. I found hearing them play vibraphone and xylophone along with acoustic guitars and pianos to be quite the treat. Speaking on a musical level, it is without question that guitarist Steve Rothery, bassist Pete Trewavas, keyboardist Mark Kelly and Drummer Ian Mosely are superb musicians and their tightness and understanding of each others capability is almost visible during the show. I guess this comes from their working together for over 20 years at this point in this configuration.
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Title: “The Legend Live”
Label: IMV Blueline
Release Date: 12/28/2010
Genre: Heavy Metal
Sometimes just looking at the cover of a DVD release makes you pause and potentially bypass it because something just “doesn’t seem right” about it, and while this might have been the case with this particular product, I was glad that I decided to check it out. The film is called “Dio – The Legend Live” and right off the bat it seemed kind of odd as the cover displays Ronnie in very later life fronting the group Heaven And Hell as opposed to his own solo band. Let’s face it, the death of Ronnie James Dio found a number of releases hitting the shelves and there is no end in sight so some crap is bound to squeeze itself into the mix as well. However, while the cover was odd, the film that was featured inside was a way back step in time to the classic Metal 80’s where Ronnie and his band were performing live for Japanese television. They cite the year as being 1985 and the band was clearly on tour for the album “Sacred Heart” as there are a couple of tunes being presented from it with “Hungry For Heaven” and the title track. Historically speaking this was the album where my own focus on Ronnie’s solo work slowed down as I was lending my time to other bands but of course I still would listen to what came out when I could.
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Title: “Z-Rock: Season 2”
Label: Anchor Bay
Release Date: 6/8/2010
Genre: Comedy/Rock Reality
Picking up from what appeared to be only a few months later than when our first season of “Z-Rock” ended, we find the fabulous Z Brothers getting back together and trying their hand at Rock and Roll stardom for the second time. A lot had transpired during the first season as well and while the band came close to a deal it never ended up panning out. Such is the life of a Rock and Roll band and all you can do is pick up the pieces along with your instruments and press on as best as possible. With Season Two we find the premise remaining largely the same as their manager Dina (played by Lynn Koplitz) and Neil (played by Jay Oakerson). There is a little of everything that one expects in a show like this and it felt like they were going for the laughs a little more this time around and moving farther away from the “reality” aspect. I felt this way after a couple of the more ridiculous situations that the band found themselves in such as the wrestling episode and the political rally episode. Yes these things could actually happen but there was much more on the slapstick side but I guess that is alright since I had already mentioned that I viewed this as a more mature, modern day type of “The Monkees”. Across the season the band encounters Steel Panther, Chris Jericho and Mini-KISS while Dave Navarro, John Popper, Dee Snider, and Joan Rivers make returns and continue to play their real life selves. I think that I would have preferred the real KISS considering ZO2 opened for them in real life.
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