Released: 2003, Locomotive Music
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
My love for Mago De Oz is no big secret, as I have given high praise to the band’s double-studio album, FINISTERRA, as well as in my review of the previous live double-disc FOLKTERGEIST. It should be no surprise, then, that Mago’s first live DVD, A COSTA DA ROCK would command anything short of the highest rating from me.
Before the DVD even starts, a quick glance at the tracklist and running time tells me that I’m going to enjoy the disc quite a bit. Fan-boy aside, this truly is a fine DVD in all regards, bringing the viewer over 3 hours of Mago De Oz. The first disc consists of an entire concert recorded outdorrs on August 18th, 2002 in Cedeira (A Coruña), and the concert itself lasts nearly two hours. With 18 tracks (well, 17, not counting an intro), the setlist is as good as any Mago fan could hope for with the bulk of the tracks coming from the albums FINISTERRA and LA LEYENDA DE LA MANCHA.
Some of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering, “Mago De Who?” Well, check ‘em out, you lazy bums! You’re missing out on the best folk metal band, excluding the almighty Skyclad. Speaking of Skyclad, Mago De Oz’s sound would best be described as a mix of newer Skyclad with a touch of Iron Maiden. The balance of Celtic folk influence and a powerful lead guitar defines Mago De Oz’s sound and allows for well-written, catchy, sometimes bouncy, sometimes serious and beautiful songs. If the idea of a flautist, violinist, and guitarist trading leads, and the occasional bagpipe or accordion sounds appealing, then Mago De Oz is right up your alley. And no, one does not need to understand “ni una palabra de Español” to appreciate Mago De Oz, especially since I have forgotten nearly 75% of my high-school Spanish.
Mago De Oz is one of those bands that truly come alive in concert (Much like Iron Maiden, WASP, Savatage, or Overkill), as evidenced by their high-energy performance. It’s obvious that the fine musicians in this band are true professionals in their performances and love every moment spent onstage. I’m not going to bother breaking this down track by track, but each song on here is performed at least as good as the studio version, if not better. The visual aspect of the DVD infinitely enhances the quality of the performance. Professionally shot from multiple cameras, the angles gives ample footage of each band member onstage, although I feel that perhaps too much time is spent on individual shots rather than on the entire band. The sound on the DVD is nothing short of perfect. Suffice it to say nothing more.
Additionally, the DVD contains a second disc consisting of various interviews and Mago De Oz histories. Fans of the band will no doubt find this almost as interesting as the first disc, but the live concert completely overshadows everything else on this DVD.
So what do I dig most about A COSTA DA ROCK? Each song is great, but the highlights for me are “Fiesta Pagana,” the instrumental “La Insula de Barataria,” and the rocker “Satania.” Additionally, “Hijo De Blues” displays some interesting crowd interactions, where, just for laughs, the band stops playing as José asks the audience to sit down right in the middle of the song. Plus, it is a kickass song, going all the way back to the first Mago De Oz album. Oh yeah, “Maritormes” is another favourite Mago De Oz track of mine, especially with the synchronized headbanging Judas Priest style. m/
Are you already a fan of Mago De Oz? Then buy this DVD.
New to Mago De Oz? Check out FINISTERRA or pretty much any other Mago De Oz album. You’ll end up buying this DVD sooner or later.