Emperor-Live Inferno (DVD Review)

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Reviewed: April 2020
Released: 2009, Candlelight
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

This is one of those weird, sort of unclassifiable products that bug the heck out of me.  Is LIVE INFERNO a DVD with two bonus live albums?  Is it two live albums with a bonus DVD?  The packaging is weird, it is kind of like a DVD set in terms of shape and size,  it is a hard cover book style, but the DVD is listed third after the two CD’s.  These kind of things keep me up at night.  Thankfully this was released as a Double Disc and a DVD and this set kind of mushes them together.  For the purpose of this review, I’m counting it as a DVD.

No matter how you look at it, it looks neat, there is a 16 page booklet attached (meaning not free standing/removable) and this is the kind of specialty edition you want to preserve in good condition.  The booklet is nice but it is just a bunch of still shots from the live DVD, no lyrics, no extras, just a page of technical credits.

The DVD  captures the band in a final (sort of) blaze of glory filmed at Waken Open Air on  August 5th, 2006.  I say ‘sort of’ because the band reformed again in 2016 but until then, this was the penultimate performance in front of 60,000 people.

The one hour and 10 minute concert is pretty on par with what is usually filmed at Wacken.  By this I mean it is on a monster  stage, a giant multi-camera affair, huge sweeping arial shots, giant pillars of flame, crowd shots and overall excellent production values.   There are some study trickery, some slo-motion, toggling back and forth between black and white, it is all as good any I’ve seen.   I always feel that these giant Black Metal shows would be more interesting and intimate, if that is the correct term, in a grimy back-alley bar, on the Waken stage on a nice summer evening!  These guys are standing motionless, brightly lit about 10 feet apart!   The sound quality is pretty much perfect, although to actually have poor sound these days, where most shows are captured digital-direct to the sound board, would be inexcusable. I’d be more surprised if the sound was poor.  As to be expected there is minimal stage banter Emperor is not that kind of a band.  Overall the whole presentation is minimalist.

It is a fantastic show, I wish I could have seen it, however to me, the real value in LIVE INFERNO lies in the hour-long bonus feature simply called ‘Emperor’.  It is a combination of live footage, backstage footage, interviews, and autographs sessions, a guitar clinic and more. This mini road movie spans 2006-2007 and follows the band (informally) across Europe, (Tuska, Hellfest etc) England, America and so on. The smaller shows in the US seem to be more in line with what a Black Metal show feels like it should be but who am I to say?    The quality of the bonus features is adequate, handheld cameras and clips, some lasting only a few seconds.   The hour gives us just a little taste of what it was like on the reunion tour.

LIVE INFERNO nicely documents a certain point in time and now almost 15 years ago since the Wacken show, we can enjoy a nostalgic look back at the second era.


CD 1.
Live at Inferno Festival in Oslo, April 2006

1. Infinity Burning (Medley) (5:43)
2. Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times (4:40)
3. Thus Spake the Nightspirit (4:45)
4. An Elegy of Icaros (6:23)
5. With Strength I Burn (8:33)
6. Curse You All Men! (5:06)
7. Wrath of the Tyrant (4:24)
8. Towards the Pantheon (5:39)
9. The Majesty of the Nightsky (4:48)
10. The Loss and Curse of Reverence (6:38)
11. In the Wordless Chamber (5:34)
12. Inno a Satana (4:58)
13. I Am the Black Wizards (5:38)
14. Ye Entrancemperium (5:43)
15. Opus a Satana (1:13)

CD 2.
Live at Wacken Open Air, August 2006

1. Infinity Burning (Medley) (5:58)
2. Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times (4:28)
3. Thus Spake the Nightspirit (4:45)
4. An Elegy of Icaros (6:11)
5. Curse You All Men! (5:18)
6. With Strength I Burn (8:29)
7. Towards the Pantheon (5:38)
8. The Majesty of the Nightsky (4:33)
9. The Loss and Curse of Reverence (6:41)
10. In the Wordless Chamber (5:53)
11. I Am the Black Wizards (6:03)
12. Inno a Satana (6:31)

DVD 
Live at Wacken Open Air, August 2006

1. Infinity Burning (Medley) (5:58)
2. Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times (4:29)
3. Thus Spake the Nightspirit (4:45)
4. An Elegy of Icaros (6:11)
5. Curse You All Men! (5:18)
6. With Strength I Burn (8:29)
7. Towards the Pantheon (5:39)
8. The Majesty of the Nightsky (4:33)
9. The Loss and Curse of Reverence (6:41)
10. In the Wordless Chamber (5:53)
11. I Am the Black Wizards (6:03)
12. Inno A Satana (6:31)

Bonus feature.

 

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