Released: 2008, Metal Mind Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Thrash metal is alive and well in 2008, as evidenced on the first DVD release from longtime Danish thrash stalwarts, Artillery. Recorded live in Poland during the 2008 Metalmania festival, ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, THE OTHER IN THE TRASH contains the entire set from that performance as well as some bonus gems that will make it worthy addition to your metal library.
Before watching the DVD, I honestly hadn’t thought about Artillery in ages (I know, I’m ashamed). During the 80’s and early 90’s, Artillery was a viable force amongst the thrash hierarchy of the day drawing comparisons to greats like Kreator and Megadeth. During their heyday, they released a trio of full lengths (FEAR OF TOMORROW, TERROR SQUAD, and BY INHERITANCE) before collapsing under the weight of internal struggles and a changing musical climate. In 1999, the band regrouped for the B.A.C.K. album, only to fall below the radar again for almost a decade. In 2007, Artillery returned to the live circuit featuring the classic lineup of brothers Michael and Morten Stützer on guitar, drummer Carsten N. Nielsen, bass player Peter Thorslund, and introduced the addition of new lead vocalist Søren Nico Adamsen, who replaced original frontman Flemming Rönsdorf.
The concert part of the DVD offers the complete Metalmania set, uncut from start to finish clocking in at just over an hour long. The video is professional, with multiple cameras capturing the band and audience at their best. The sound is also high quality for a live recording, with all of the elements of the band sounding clean and pronounced in the mix. 20+ years since the release of FEAR OF TOMORROW, the band looks like they’re still having fun on stage. Hairlines have receded and waistlines have expanded, but the performance here is top notch, sounding fresh and energized for a new audience. The Stützer brothers effortlessly shred through a set list comprised of Artillery classics and prove that you don’t need tight denim and leather to play old-school thrash. Adamsen commands the stage as a consummate showman, interacting with the crowd making the songs his own.
The bonus features include an interview with Michael Stützer chronicling the history of the band with some candid Q&A and an interview with Morten Stützer and Carsten N. Nielsen in which they give some history behind the photo collection in the THROUGH THE YEARS box set that was released last year, providing entertaining anecdotes about those moments captured on film. Though these segments are insightful to the band’s history, the audio mix is very low making the dialogue difficult to understand. Combined with thick Danish accents, there are plenty of “what did he say?” moments that will cause you to hit the rewind. Additionally, there’s another live clip from 2007 featuring the current lineup and some nostalgic videos for the tracks “Terror Squad”, “Fear of Tomorrow” and “Lobotomized”, the latter being from the Stützer brother’s post-Artillery band Missing Link. These videos show their age, but offer a great opportunity to compare Artillery past and present.
The production values on the concert portion of ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, THE OTHER ONE IN THE TRASH are worth the purchase alone. For a release sure to be limited to a niche market it looks and sounds phenomenal. Artillery is ready to take on the world again, this time with the benefit of experience to back up the fight. ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, THE OTHER ONE IN THE TRASH is a great introduction for new fans of the band and an even better re-introduction for fans that may have fallen by the wayside.