Released: 2013, AFM Records
My fellow Metal writer, colleague and friend Adrien Begrand were discussing reviews and lists as consumer guides and so I thought it would be a good time to get caught up on some higher profile double Live albums that are available. Many fans don’t automatically get live albums but if Granny is asking what you want in your stocking this Christmas, these should be easy for her to find! This month I have reviewed Live albums by Kreator, Rhapsody Of Fire, Sabaton and Testament. Feel free to enjoy al the reviews in this mini-feature.
After the big split, when the band fragmented into two parts, Luca Turilli’s version hit the studio and Alex Starpoli’s version hit the road. The end result of that big tour was this nice Double Live album LIVE FROM CHAOS TO ETERNITY. It comes in a nice double digi-pak which doesn’t thrill me, I prefer the jewel cases, but it is well appointed. There is a nice touch among the many live photos and that is a personal message to the fans from all six members.
We can trust Rhapsody to provide a full and bombastic Double Live album. The album is a ‘tour representation’ style recorded on the European Chaos To Eternity Tour in 2012 across nine countries. It’s the full show and not abbreviated. There is drum solo, a bass solo, a guitar solo and lots of interludes, narration, crowd interaction, and all the good things that make a live show a unique performance, rather than just a dry representation of the studio work. The part where drummer Alex Holzwarth breaks into ‘Hot For Teacher’ by Van Halen during his drum solo made me laugh out loud, showing that what can be a deadly serious band can have a sense of humour too! Fabio sounds fantastic as always and can do everything live he does in the studio. The crowd levels are very good, present but not intrusive or muted.
The production is crystal clear which is important due to the amount of additional pre-recorded material such as the narration on ‘The Dark Secret’ among other songs. My main complaint is that with these sorts of live albums that try to capture a concept it is almost impossible. The song sequencing means that if you try to follow lyrically, you can’t because everything is out of order. Songs from the 10th album in the story come before songs on the first album. It would like attending a live reading of the Lord Of The Rings and have the reader reading random chapters out of order. As a listener you just have to let that go. The album is long, over an hour and 45 minutes long, with a generous 24 tracks leaning more heavily to the newer records and thankfully there is at least one song from every single album. This is a good move as many bands neglect certain albums their live set-list. There is quite a bit of crossover with seven of the eleven cuts from the last live album in 2005 (LIVE IN CANADA) making the cut again but overall I feel this is the superior live album.
I think this is a really nice exclamation point on the entire saga, wrapping up the 10-release project with a big, bold Double Live. Now fans must wait to see what the band will do with DARK WINGS OF STEEL their next follow up album to ‘The Chronicles of Algalord’ and LIVE-FROM CHAOS TO ETERNITY is a nice stop-gap.