Reviewed: June, 2020
Released: 2008, Limb Rcords
Rating: 4/5 (Just the DVD)
Over the years I’ve done a number of more ambitious series of reviews instead of simple stand-alone reviews. This is perhaps my most ambitious project yet. This series of reviews was born out of three seemingly dissimilar and unrelated components; my viewing habits, a stockpile and the global pandemic of 2020.
As a habit and personal preference, I don’t watch a lot of TV. I prefer to read and listen to music. Over the years whenever I have bought a CD, often it will come with a bonus DVD. I would listen to and enjoy the CD and because I don’t watch much TV I just started putting the CD’s with a bonus DVD in a pile, thinking to myself, “I’ll watch the DVD….‘someday’. Over time the pile grew and grew and grew.
Secondly, it has long been a personal goal of mine, and Metal-Rules.com, to review every Hard Rock and Heavy Metal DVD on the planet. Over the years we have reviewed hundreds of stand-alone DVD’s, more than almost every other Metal webzine. However these little bonus DVD’s that come with CD’s are often, dare I say it, are largely inconsequential or ‘throw-away’ DVD’s, with not much substance other than a video or two, or maybe a brief ‘making of’ the album at hand. They are neat for the die-hard fans who want to shell out a couple extra bucks for the deluxe version of the CD but mostly they are not a big deal, very often there is not enough true content to release on their own.
At the tail end of March 2020, like many thousands of people, I lost my job due to lay-off’s precipitated by the global pandemic. In my first real full-week of self-isolation, it was April 1st in the evening, and I was sitting thinking, “How am I going to keep myself productive and occupied these next several weeks?” And there it was, sitting on my desk, staring me in the face as it had all these years. A pile of EXACTLY 50 CD’s with bonus DVD’s that needed reviewing! That ‘someday’ had suddenly became, ‘now’.
And so begins… The Covideo Chronicles. (Covid + video…get it?) By the time you read this I will have reviewed all 50 DVD’s sitting in that pile and compiled this series. 50 DVD’s. 50 days. 50 reviews. Some of these bonus DVD’s are full concerts and documentaries, some are merely a few minutes long. My goal was to do a very quick synopsis of the DVD (not even the CD) just the DVD. I’m quite sure many of these albums have already been reviewed over the years here on Metal-Rules.com. In fact, the longest part of these reviews will probably be my rambling introduction.
These are in no particular order. I was thinking of doing them chronologically by release date or maybe alphabetically but in the end I decided to review what I felt like watching that day. This exercise was a simple daily task, it kept me keep me amused and primarily I’m glad to get that damn pile off my desk. Enjoy!
I’ve been on a bit of a Eldritch kick lately. I’ followed the band for many, many years and recently (Winter of 2019) I had a chance to buy the last few studio albums that I didn’t own so now I have pretty much everything they have done.
I’ve had this Double Live album for literally years and listened to a few times but never watched the DVD, probably because it is four hours long!
The package is a classic double fold-out digipak with the two live albums and the DVD. The liner notes explain the concept behind the concert. This concert was filmed in Italy on May 22nd, 2008. It is a two-part concert. Part 1 is songs from the last four albums. Disc Two is songs from the first three albums. The DVD is the complete show.
The concert was shot at the Music Street Club and is a pretty professional affair, a multi-camera shoot with good sound and good lights. They play to a decent sized crowd on their home turf. It is a nice long show, divided into two segments, ‘Blackened Alive’ (the new stuff) for the first hour and then ‘Incurably Live’ for the second hour, focusing on the old stuff. I’ll fully admit, I ‘like the older Prog-Power stuff a little better. For this leg of the show they bring their old keyboardist, Oleg Smirnoff back as a guest and give him a prominent place on stage. The band says this is probably the last time the will be playing the old stuff so it is good to have it captured for posterity. Like any concert, how much you want to watch the show is dependent on how much you like the band. It was a good energetic performance that I enjoyed watching. I’ll never get to see them live so this is the next best thing.
The DVD has a few nice bonus features as well. There is an interview with the ex-drummer, Adriano. The interview is simple, single-camera with Terrence and (the signer) the Adriano sitting by the pool. It is good to see they can still be friends and they just have a casual chat for about 10 minutes.
There is a second interview with the whole band that runs about 13 minutes. Again filmed by the pool at the singer’s house, the band is just sitting around, drinking beer, snacking and in a nice touch they include a couple of old members, it’s very causal, a backyard BBQ and even a dog and various wives and girlfriends walks into the shot at one point!
There is a documentary when the band played in Chicago in 2006. There are two things about this feature. You have to speak Italian to know what is going on. Secondly, this is way too long. The documentary is not really a documentary but just clips from the road shot with a hand-held camera. It is an hour and 20 minutes long! There is just way too much extra, non-essential footage like long stretches of the band driving around, filming and talking Italian. There is about 30 minutes of blurry, one-camera footage of the Chicago show, but the rest is just like some bad home-movie, shots of the band going into tourist attractions, in the hotel rooms, shots of the city, I think you would have to be a real die-hard Eldritch fan to watch and enjoy all of it.
Lastly there are three videos, which is great because you will never see an Eldritch video on MuchMusic, VH1 or MTV in North America! The videos are of varying quality and the clip ‘Lonesome Existence’ from the album PORTRAIT OF THE ABYSS WITHIN seems weird to me with a footage of a priest chasing a rabbit through a sewer! Still, it is nice to have the videos from the Limb Records years in one place.
In the liner notes the band stated they really wanted to capture the evolution of the band and I really think they did. The band has a couple of distinct phases, progressive Power Metal to more thrash based traditional metal without heavy keyboards. For their first and only DVD to date they did a great job!