Live Blasphemies (DVD)
Released: 2004, Escapi Entertainment
Dismember have been slogging it out on the death metal circuit for a damn long time (since 1988!), so if any underground band deserved its own retrospective DVD, it’s them. I’ll dispense with the introductions there, as everyone reading this should know of these guys by now and should have heard at least one of their classic albums. So, one with the DVD!
Housed in a disappointing barebones packaging, the case of LIVE BLASPHEMIES isn’t much to look at. For that matter, neither is the booklet, which has nothing but a few band pictures. Disc one is a full live show by the band in their native Sweden, at the end of one of their most recent tours. The crowd greets the band as the returning heroes they surely are, going wild from the first minute that the band takes the stage. With Dismember, you know that you’re going to get nothing put pure Swedish death metal, no frills attached, and that is exactly what the band delivers over the course of this show. The band bashes through a basic “best of” set, heavy on songs from their debut CD, LIKE AN EVER-FLOWING STREAM. Favorites like “Of Fire”, “Casket Garden”, and the infamous “Skin Her Alive” draw the biggest reactions from the crowd, and the fieriest performances from the band. Matti Karki keeps his between song raps short and to the point, making sure to dedicate “Skin Her Alive” to all of the ladies in attendance. Throughout, the sound is serviceable, but certainly not the best I’ve ever heard on a metal DVD. It’s good, but a bit thin. Likewise, the picture quality is good, but not spectacular. A major gripe I have is the fact that the show is so damned short – only 50 minutes, and there’s literally nothing else on the disc! There’s just a discography and short biography of the band.
Luckily, disc two’s 80-minute documentary more than makes up for the lack of goodies on disc one. For die-hard Dismember fans, this disc is the true reason to get this DVD. Featuring a fairly in-depth interview with Matti, Fred, and David, the band’s entire career is covered from their inception right up until the most recent WHERE IRONCROSSES GROW. Seeing the band tell anecdotes about their trial in England in ’92 and losing their equipment because they were too drunk to find it is entertainment of the highest order. Interspersed with the interview are live clips throughout the years, dating all they way back to the band’s first ever show! These clips are a treasure trove of rarely seen performances, some of which are almost as high quality as the show on disc one!
In all, this disc is definitely worth it for Dismember fans. It’s got everything you’ll ever want and more. A little more meat on disc one would’ve helped, but for the price, this double disc DVD certainly demands attention.