Reviewed: June 2020
Released: 2009, Candlelight
Rating: 3.5 (DVD only)
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 had this on my desk for a few years. While I enjoyed the album I never watched the bonus DVD. Time went by and the band being as productive as they are, they actually released four more studio albums before I watched the making of their fourth album, ACROSS THE DARK!
The bonus DVD appeared on the 2CD jewel case version of their album from 2009. The CD also came with two bonus tracks. The DVD has five components; a photo gallery, a documentary, two videos and a making of segment of one of the videos. The photo gallery is a tour montage and like most photo galleries, not that interesting.
The video for ‘The Elder’ which was from their first album, IN THE HALLS OF WAITING from 2002, is a bit low budget but effective and they look young! The next video, ‘Mortal Share’ was pulled from their third album, ABOVE THE WEEPING WORLD from 2006. It is much higher budget and there is a ‘making of’ segment shot in location over the course of four days in an abandoned warehouse. There is lots of footage of people looking cold and bored while technicians worked on electrical issues! It seems weird that the videos on the bonus DVD are from other albums. They shot a video for ‘Down With The Sun’, the first video and single from ACROSS THE DARK, why didn’t they include that as well? Most albums that have a bonus DVD, have the video from that same album included! Maybe the bonus DVD was completed before the video was done.
Most importantly in my opinion is the documentary about the making of the album. Ville (guitar) and Nillo (vocals, bass) host the 18 minute feature, not too long, not too short. It is shot in muted tones and in a professional style interview they go step-by-step and song-by-song for the album with some accompanying footage. I thought it was neat to get a brief look at Finnvox studios as well. This was one of the better ‘making of’ features I have seen.
This DVD was a refreshing change from the usual drunken hi-jinks that show up on these things. Insomnium is a class act.