A cool live concert and lots of bonus features.
Dark Tranquility is hitting North America for a tour this year (Sept, 2017) on the Atoma tour so I thought I’d get out their second DVD from my collection and review it for the site. WHERE DEATH IS MOST ALIVE is technically the bands third home video product following a two-song promo VHS in 1996 but this is their second full-on live DVD. The set is a bit of a budget presentation, no booklet and very simple packaging but it is loaded with lots of extras so it makes up for it.
Disc One is the entire October 31st concert (Halloween!) in Milan Italy. The tour set list is heavily focused on post 2000 albums with really one old song. In fact the band plays seven of the ten tracks from the album (FICTION) that they were touring to support. I always appreciate when a band is confident enough in their new material to play lots of it live for audiences. The sound is fine, there are several camera angles and not too many jarring, quick cuts. The band is not a heavily theatrical band so the stage is simple and effective. There is a nice blend of far shots and close-up’s for the mid-sized, enthusiastic crowd. I think I would listen to the live album that was released at the same time, more than watching the live show.
Disc Two is comprised of three main parts; a documentary, some promo videos and some live footage from the vaults. The documentary, called OUT OF NOTHING is a 47-minute piece that looks at the history of the band. The soft-spoken members get interviewed about the history of the band and tour around various locations in their hometown of Billdal, Sweden just outside Gothenburg. We get a walking tour and a glimpse at their old rehearsal space in a garage, inter-spliced with old handheld video cam footage of the early 90’s. Pleasant and understated the doc brings in former members and everyone gets a chance to chat about the evolution of the band, the fabled ‘Gothenburg’ sound and more.
The DVD includes seven promo videos, which is most but not all of the videos they have shot. I’m assuming it was s legal/ownership issue that prevented their label (Century Media) from including the videos from the Osmose years. It is nice to have these videos collected all in one place. The lego video for ‘Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)’ is hilarious, way better than that stupid Lego movie.
The archival footage is 21 clips of varying quality spanning from 1991 to 2007. The old stuff, which we caught a glimpse of in the documentary, is presented in it’s entirety and there are two or three clips, mostly amateur shoots of various concerts. As the videos progress you can see the stages get bigger, the crowds get bigger and it all culminates with a big daytime festival in 2007. The segment follows their live evolution quite nicely.
I own quite a lot of Dark Tranquilities material and have seen them a few times, but I have never really embraced them as one of my favourite bands. I liked the early stuff and wasn’t quite as passionate about the new direction they took. However, WHERE DEATH IS MOST ALIVE has sort of rekindled my interest in the band and increased my enthusiasm and desire to see this upcoming tour and maybe go back and re-visit some of those middle years albums. Objectively, this DVD is a fine presentation and I’m sure most Dark Tranquility fans already own it. If you don’t own it, it is a fine overview of this pioneering act and well worth owning.
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2. The Treason Wall
3. The New Build
4. Focus Shift
5. The Lesser Faith
6. The Wonders at Your Feet
7. Lost to Apathy
9. Inside the Particle Storm
10. Nothing to No One
12. Insanity’s Crescendo
14. Dreamlore Degenerate
15. Misery’s Crown
17. My Negation
18. Yesterworld / Punish My Heaven
19. The Mundane and the Magic
20. Final Resistance
21. Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)
1. Out of Nothing – The DT Documentary
2. ThereIn (Promo Video)
3. Monochromatic Stains (Promo Video)
4. Lost to Apathy (Promo Video)
5. The New Build (Promo Video)
6. Focus Shift (Promo Video)
7. Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)
8. Misery’s Crown
9. Only Time Can Tell (1991)
10. The Dying Fragment of an Elderly Dream (1991)
11. Soulbreed (1991)
12. Yesterworld (1992)
13. Alone (1992)
14. My Faeryland Forgotten (1992)
15. Nightfall by the Shore of Time (1992)
16. Skywards (1992)
17. Shadow Duet (1994)
18. Crimson Winds (1994)
19. Razorfever (1997)
20. Constant (1997)
21. Tongues (1997)
22. Feast of Burden (2001)
23. Indifferent Suns (2002)
24. The Sun Fired Blanks (2002)
25. Hours Passed in Exile (2002)
26. Damage Done (2004)
27. One Thought (2004)
28. The Endless Feed (2007)
29. Blind at Heart (2007)