Title: Live Discharge-20 Years Of Total Destruction
Publisher: Nuclear Blast
Reviewed: June 2019
Rating: 4 / 5
There has been a bit of activity in the Destruction camp lately with the announcement of new members, Eskic (guitar) and Black (drums). In addition the band announced their 15thalbum BORN TO PERISH will be out in August. This combined with the fact we are trying to review every Metal DVD ever for our database and the fact that I just reviewed the Rage 20th anniversary DVD last month, this seems as good a time as any to get ready for some Destruction and write a review of their 20thAnniversary DVD, LIVE DISCHARGE.
This single disc DVD it quite well done. It comes with a 20 page, full colour booklet, something you don’t usually get in DVD’s anymore. The layout and design is nice, menus are easy to navigate and the graphics look fine.
Some DVD’s have a weird habit of calling the main concert feature a ‘movie’. This is one of those! The concert in question is actually a compilation of three concerts, two from Germany, Wacken in 2002, Full Force in 2002, and Z7 in Switzerland in 2003. Spliced in amongst all the live clips are footage of backstage and before the shows so I supposed in hindsight it is a bit of a ‘live road movie’, rather than a full concert of just one concert. The sound is great, the footage is fine although it is a bit strange when it keeps flipping back and forth between gigs, song by song. It is actually a bit more interesting in that sense. They even included a segment called ‘Bestial Invasion Fuck-up’ where during the worst possible moment, the last song at Wacken, Mike’s guitar rig goes down! The stage power is messed up and they have to stop the song! It was brave to include this clip, especially since they were taping it for the DVD. It gets fixed and they finish the show to mighty cheers. The 25-chapter film runs about 90 minutes. It is pretty much anything a fan of seeing Destruction live could want, even a drum solo!
LIVE DISCHARGE shoots it load with a huge amount of bonus stuff. There are a pair of videos; ‘Desecrators’ and ‘The Ravenous Beast’. There is an11-minute mini-tour documentary of their 2002 trip to Australia. It is the usual stuff, backstage hi-jinks, drinking, hotels, autograph sessions and so on. In addition, there are no less than six clips from concerts and festivals and a promo clip from a TV show dating back to 1985! The combined running time of all these clips and videos is about 90 minutes.
The main bonus feature is a documentary, more like an interview, called ’20 Years Of Destruction’. It runs for 45 minutes and is just Schmier, Mike and Sven sitting in the back of the bus getting interviewed. There is background music making it hard to hear what they are saying, which is annoying. Drummer Sven, who was in the band at the time and in the documentary, looks kind of bored for a lot of the time. It was nice to have him included but he didn’t have much to say as he was ‘the new guy’ and as history shows, he didn’t last long, as he was only in the band for two albums and three years. What I did appreciate most of all was a pretty extensive detailing of when Schmier left the band in 1989 for 10 years. Mike said he was proud of that era, when they released the indie stuff, but admits it only sold very poorly. There are a few still shots scattered in the interview and it is pretty minimalist but nevertheless still a treat for fans of the band. The definitive Destruction documentary has yet to be made.
There are a couple more bonus features and in my opinion, they are not that much of a bonus. We get an incomplete discography with audio clips from each album, although in a moment of historical revisionism, the non-Schmier releases from the ‘Neo-Destruction’ era, (the DESTRUCTION EP, THEM NOT ME EP and THE LEAST SUCCESFUL HUMAN CANNONBALL) are omitted. There is a photo gallery that I suspect most people might glance at once and never watch it again.
LIVE DISCHARGE is really well done and as we are celebrating the bands 35th anniversary in 2019, I think they are overdue for another documentary DVD with all the bands videos.