Reviewed: June, 2020
Released: 2012, Cleopatra Records
Rating: 3.5/5 (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!
Last year while on a business road trip I was very pleased to find Hibria’s first live album, BLINDED IN TOKYO in a used CD store. What was even nicer it is that is was the 2012 Cleopatra Records pressing which includes the DVD of the concert. The only disadvantage is that the live CD is a shortened version of the concert dropping three songs. As a side note, the two CD Japanese pressing on Nexus is the full concert and you can buy the DVD as a stand-alone in the standard DVD case.
The DVD is the full live show recorded and filmed on May 15th, 2011 at the Shinagawa Prince Stellar Hall in Tokyo. The concert was filmed before a few thousand enthusiastic fans in a big sized room. The stage is pretty big and aside from a backdrop it was a pretty plain set design.
The 18-track concert is a multi-camera shoot with great sound. The light design was a little plain but adequate. The band rips through cuts from the first three albums in a relentless fashion. I really like the busy drumming of Eduardo who is always smiling it seems. There is it too much crowd interaction, the band just rip through the set. They end with a killer one-two-three punch of ‘Tiger Punch’, ‘Steel Lord Of Wheels’, and ‘Rotten Souls’. Superb!
There are no real bonus features except a video for ‘Shoot Me Down’ and about a minute or two where the camera follows them backstage after the triumphant gig. Overall the DVD is pretty plain but gets the job done preserving that iconic show.
BLINDED IN TOKYO captures the band at arguably the height of their power before a stylistic shift, label changes and membership changes diminished their reputation, credibility, fortune and status. This is an exclamation point on the career of a band that would never again, to date, regain the prestige they once had.