Released: 2008, SPV/Steamhammer
A common theme these days is bands going back to some of their classic material that was previously only available on VHS tape and remixing/mastering it for DVD. Such is the case on AT THE PULSE OF KAPITULATION: LIVE IN EAST BERLIN 1990 for two out of print Kreator VHS tapes - LIVE IN EAST BERLIN and HALLUCINATIVE COMAS.
I've seen the HALLUCINATIVE COMAS horror “movie” in its VHS form before and it's more of an extended video than a movie. With the new version the director got to show his original vision by removing the video segments to piece together the video into it's original form. Sure there are actors in this “movie”, but there is no dialog and the storyline seems to pretty much be about a doctor who goes mad and goes a killin'. It's great for us die-hards, but not much here to attract a casual fan.
The centerpiece of the DVD is of course the concert from East Berlin. This concert will grip the casual fan of Kreator, or even of thrash metal, if not for it's historical significance, then for it's honest and godlike thrash brutality. This is from my personal favorite Kreator era, from EXTREME AGGRESSION. The track list makes up some of the best material with songs like “Toxic Trace”, “Awakening of the Gods”, “Love us or Hate Us”, “Betrayer”, “Extreme Aggression”, etc. Early days fans should have no problems with the selection of music. The sound quality of the concert is nearly perfect, I have no complaints. I do have 2 major gripes to make about the video. Whoever edited this together must of done so with the goal in mind to try and induce a seizure or at the least, a migraine. The camera hardly stays on one subject for more than 2 or 3 seconds. This kind of editing might work for a 3minute video, but is beyond painful to watch for nearly 2 hours. ...and to add insult to injury, when the view changes to the black and white camera, the screen flicks vertically. I can't imagine that was added as an effect but must be a camera or video problem. If they spent so much time perfecting the sound (digitized and remixed into 5.1 sound by Andy Sneap), why didn't they correct this extremely annoying flicker?!? ARG!
So why the medium high rating if this is hard to watch? It's because the concert sounds great and I am THAT appreciative of having something from the EXTREME AGGRESSION tour on video. Throwing the music onto a CD is a nice addition and will get more plays than the DVD.
“The Past and Now” mini-documentary that looks at how this concert fits not only into the history of metal, but also how it was an important event in world history as it represents the beginning of a new era after the Berlin wall fell. It is great that they actually had interviews from fans and journalists taken at the venue on the day of the actual concert. Then we hear from some of the same people that were there to get their recollections which helps put the importance of the concert in perspective.
Despite some flaws, At the Pulse Of Kapitulation is a must have for any Kreator, or thrash metal fan.