Celebrating their 30th anniversary, today we have Portugal’s best Metal export: Moonspell, and their very unique and intimate live release “From Down Below - Live 80 Meters Deep”. Filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic days in a cave in Portugal, this is by far one of the more striking live releases ever recorded. Showcasing the band’s last release “Hermitage”, this release captures a very unique moment in the band’s storied career and brings it home to fans that have not been able to experience one of the band’s energetic live shows.
In a very interesting setting, 80 meters below in a cave, the band delivers a very intimate show with not many visible participants all wearing headphones and face masks. This truly captures the essence of the years of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges facing musicians and concert goers due to all the restrictions and uncertainty of the time. This to us is one of the interesting elements of this release as it is not captured on video for posterity.
Finally immortalizing one of their iconic full-orchestra and choir shows, today we have Dimmu Borgir and the monumental “Forces of the Northern Night”. Featuring around 90 minutes of live material both in video (DVD or Blu-ray) and audio CD’s, this is one of the most epic live releases we have seen in a while. Not needing any introduction, this band will blow you away with the intensity they bring to the live shows.
We are only reviewing their Wacken Open air show in 2012, where the band was accompanied on stage with the Czech National Symphonic Orchestra and the Schola Cantorum choir. In this already legendary concert, the band played the full “Abrahadabra” album first, and then a pretty solid selection of their greatest hits. The first part of the concert hits the listener hard with epic renditions of crushing songs like “Born Treacherous” and “Gateways” featuring a guest appearance by Agnete Kjølsrud.
Filmed at Wacken Open Air Festival in front of 85,000 fans, Nightwish brings us hands down the most complete and well-crafted live release of 2013. Directed by Ville Lipiäinen, this is one hell of a release that brings to life the band’s amazing live chemistry and unrivaled showmanship. Filled with all of the band’s hit songs, this release will impress any fan of the band and will surely convince anybody that is skeptical about Floor Jansen’s place in the band.
Opening with two of our favorite songs of the band “Dark Chest of Wonders” and “I Wish I Had an Angel”, Floor will immediately blow all the non-believers away with her commanding presence and ownership of these classic Nightwish songs. With the backdrop of 85,000 people at Wacken, this release really brings the viewer into the meat of things and gives the vibrant experience of being at the festival minus the mud, standing for hours, and sweaty Metalheads bumping into you.
Released as a deluxe hardcover book with 2 DVDs or 2 Blu-rays and 3 CDs, “Retrospect” marks the band’s 10 year anniversary with an amazing performance with more than 70 musicians on stage with the Reményi Ede Chamber Orchestra and the Choir of Miskolc National Theatre. This release features a massive 180+ minutes of material, perfect for any diehard fan of the band.
Since the first disc, the band takes the stage with a commanding presence led by Simone Simmons and Mark Jansen. The choir arrangements are amazing and all the band’s hits are delivered with perfect execution. With an impressive stage and a fired up crowd since the first minute, this live release perfectly captures the experience of watching Epica live and the incredible intensity of all band members.
Having been a huge fan of Empyrium since their 1996 release “A Wintersunset...”, when we heard that they would be giving their first live concert in the band’s history at the 2011 WGT in Leipzig, Germany, our plane tickets and festival accommodations were booked in an instant. As one of those magical moments were a band that never played live comes together, this show was set to be a very special event. Featuring a ridiculous live line-up with musicians from bands like Alcest, Les Discrets, Neun Welten, Dornenreich, amongst others, the band’s music was surely going to be brought to life in a very accurate manner.
Arriving at the venue almost two hours before the show, we managed to be almost at the beginning of the line. Talking with super excited Empyrium fans just made the experience even more impressive and generated even more expectation amongst all the people gathered there. The live DVD version of this release manages to capture with great precision the magic of this night thanks to the crystal clear recording of the music and the HD video that was used to capture the event.
Celebrating their 25 years in the Metal music scene, today we received a copy of Atrocity’s epic DVD/CD set “Die Gottlosen Jahre”. Featuring 300 minutes of video content, this two DVD package delivers one of the most in-depth and comprehensive documentaries about Metal music with a particular focus on Atrocity’s revolutionary trajectory since the early days of German Thrash/Death Metal to their latest incursion into the Ethno/Folk of “After The Storm”.
The documentary DVD lasts around 3 hours and features a plethora of interviews with the main players of the Metal scene during the times Atrocity was revolutionizing and breaking boundaries. Starting since the good old days of tape trading when Atrocity first came into the picture, it is quite interesting how they interview people that have been there for the band since the very beginning and have some of the craziest stories about them.
If Neal Morse’s Testimony 2 – Live in Los Angeles DVD’s where not enough for a dosage of excellent prog, the same promo package we got included Transatlantic’s “More Never Is Enough: Live In Manchester & Tilburg 2010” DVD portion of the release, for another 3+ hours of orgasm-inducing musical experience.
The live DVD portion of this release features the complete Tilburg concert in all its glory and with seven professional cameras rolling. It also showcases the full band with the extra addition of Daniel Gildenlöw from Pain of Salvation. If you are a big fan of the band’s music and their latest release “The Whirlwind”, the first DVD shows the band playing this release in its entirety.
After being lost in the post-office oblivion for a few months, today we received a promo package containing the DVD portion of this 3CD/2DVD package that has been highly coveted by prog fans since it came out in November. Featuring around 3 hours of live material, Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Randy George, Eric Brenton, Rick Altizer, Mark Leniger, Nathan Girard and Nathan Brenton play some very intricate and exciting progressive music that has a very natural and free-flowing nature that only the best in the scene can achieve.
As a first thing to notice is that there is quite a lot of ‘praise and Jesus-stuff’ in this release to the point of being a bit annoying, but the music makes it quite bearable and when not focusing on the lyrics everything played in this release is excellent. Every since 2002 Neal has focused more on the spiritual side of things and this is very prevalent through the release. Nothing wrong with this and we are not against it, but we don’t really like it rubbed that much on our faces, especially on top of fantastic music.
After an 11-year hiatus after the release of “Ocean 2: The Answer” Germany’s progressive rock monsters Eloy returned with “Visionary” in 2009. Taking advantage of the new found momentum this legendary band has gained, Frank Bornemann (the only remaining original member of the band) and company have put out the double-DVD “The Legacy Box”.
In this new DVD we get a great documentary that takes the band release by release and talks about the things behind the scenes for the band’s iconic releases through the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. We get interviews with past members and their thoughts behind the direction of the albums, the music, and the state of the band through each release. During this 90+ minute “Mighty Echoes – The story of Eloy” documentary, we get great insight into the band’s career and if you didn’t knew anything about them you will almost become an expert on the band.
Celebrating the band’s 20 year anniversary we finally get a live DVD from Amorphis, one of the best Metal bands to come out of Finland. And not only do we get one show, we get two full shows in a lush DVD/CD package (in the Deluxe edition). The shows presented on this DVD are a 2009 show from Oulu, and their Summer Breeze 09 performance, clocking over 150 minutes of pure unadulterated Amorphis.
If you never seen Amorphis live, you will be quickly hooked on the amazing energy and chemistry they present on stage. Tomi Joutsen helped the band come back from the dead (for some fans) with their 2006 masterpiece Eclipse, after a lackluster “Far From the Sun” and their terrible previous singer Pasi Koskinen.