Released: 2008, King Foo Entertainment
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
This particular release in my big hands right now was going to happen some day - just not a single doubt about it. The legendary Finnish heavy metal dinosaurs, Tarot have finally been captured live on a DVD release, titled LIVE UNDEAD INDEED (the cover concept - both by its name and the actual name, reminds me strongly of Slayer´s LIVE UNDEAD EP...An unfortunate coincidence, perhaps? I don´t think so.), which actually is also a double-DVD release. Is there any better way to celebrate the band´s very long career as the unquestionable pioneers and forerunners of the Finnish metal scene than to finally get this thing out that surely most of us have been waiting for from these fine Finnish heavy metal champions for ages?
Disc 1 introduces Tarot´s actual 25-anniversary show (that was filmed on August 17th 2007) that took place at the Rupla Club in the band´s hometown Kuopio where Tarot played for the first time 25 years ago. What a cool way to get into a nostalgic mood, and I´m quite sure even the band members felt pretty nostalgic when playing the show in that special venue (maybe with an exception of the keyboardist Janne Tolsa and ´another voice´ behind Tarot, vocalist Tommi Salmela, as they weren´t part of Tarot back then yet). As for some technical details as for starters, the whole show was filmed by 5 different cameras by a professional camera crew, so we can talk about a relatively expensive and professional product on this particular aspect at least.
And as this is a special Tarot show, the Tarot members perform a great selection of songs from their whole career, even if the main emphasis is still a bit on the later era Tarot material. However, some of the most instant classics such as "Wings of Darkness", "Back in Fire" and "Follow Me into Madness", have gladly found their way on the set list of this special gig, which is a good thing. Of course some of you may complain a bit why they didn´t include any songs from their excellent TO LIFE FOREVER album (1993), but I guess the band has their own reasons for that (you can, however, witness plenty of the TO LIVE FOREVER material from the band´s past days on the 2nd disc of this double DVD). Another observation is that naturally the guys have wisely skipped playing cover songs from Black Sabbath, or Rainbow, or Judas Priest that they most often play at their gigs - with an exception of "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" by Blue Öyster Cult (sung by Tarot´s ´old-new member', Tommi Salmela), which has become sort of a mandatory part of Tarot´s set list since they decided to make a cover out of it. Also, one of the coolest things in Marco is how he communicates with the audience. It´s been always hilarious to listen to his clever quips in-between the songs. He always makes everyone laugh, which is naturally a sign of a born showman.
Having seen personally several Tarot shows during my own life, this show at the Rupla Club was honestly one of the better ones I have ever witnessed from them - and yes, probably the most memorable one as well due to being 25-year anniversary show from them at the same time, too.
The 2nd disc contains all kinds of interesting footage from the band´s past years; even from the years when the Tarot guys looked more like a glam band during the "Follow Me Into Madness" era in 1988-89. There´s also an interview section in this 2nd disc in which Marco and Zachary go through the whole history of Tarot, but in their mother language Finnish. There´s no text in English for that interview (or for any other language for that matter, which is a true pity), so unfortunately if you don´t understand the Finnish language, you will unfortunately miss a hell of a lot of fun stories of the Hietala brothers, about f.ex. "The Karma of Tarot" amongst other interesting and worth knowing things about Tarot´s history, told in a very detailed and funny way. One of the most special pieces of footage on this 2nd part of the DVD is a piece that has been shot at one charity event called "Heavy Metal On Ice" where Tarot teamed up with a bunch of figure skating stars - thank God Tarot themselves were not on the skates, but only being responsible for the music for that event in January 2008. There´s also footage taken from a Japanese TV channel, in which the Hietala brothers had a short acoustic set for a Japanese music show called "Bang up Rock" in Yokohama in 1995, performing together 2 songs "Do You Wanna Live Forever" and "Stigmata (I Feel for You)" in that show. Plus, what you are also about to get, are the mandatory behind the scenes, old TV interviews, soundcheck sections, etc., with the addition of Tarot´s latest two official promotional videos, "Pyre of Gods" and "Ashes to the Stars". A pretty complete Tarot DVD package if you ask me...
All in all, LIVE UNDEAD INDEED is definitely a mandatory purchase for every Tarot fan, but especially for those who haven´t ever got a chance to see them live thus far. So get it immediately and be very positively amazed by all th greatness of this Finnish heavy metal institution named Tarot that they have thrown on our way for almost 3 decades already.