Reviewed: June, 2020
Released: 2011, Massacre REcords
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!
This is the second Legion Of The Damned bonus DVD I reviewed in this feature, the other being on April 12th when I reviewed the bonus DVD that came with CULT OF THE DEAD. The deluxe edition comes with alternate artwork and the bonus DVd. I wish the band would stop putting out multiple albums covers. In my estimation the regular version album art is way better than the deluxe version.
Some people, myself on occasion raise an eyebrow in skepticism, when an underground metal band has big name commercial endorsements. Being endorsed by a musical gear company is one thing but when it comes to other non-musical related things it seems odd. The reason I mention this is because when the first feature on the bonus DVD starts, there is a long list of sponsors that scroll across the screen including things like Jagermeister and monster Energy Drink. Those brands make me think of those horrible Metalfests in the US featuring a slew of crappy nu-Metal and mallcore bands and not some cool, underground thrash band from the Holland. The bonus to these sponsors is, of course, money. Accordingly this DVD looks really, really good. It is very slick and polished with high production values and far superior to the last one.
The first segment is a 44-minute studio report. The album was produced by Peter Tagtgren at Abyss Studios and it was really nice to see what this legendary studio looks like up close. It is not as glamorous as you might think! The studio report is very detailed and lots of gear talk as well.. There are German sub-titles but luckily for me everyone speaks English for the DVD. The movie is a little slow and the band is very serious, it’s all business, no crazy drinking or pranks, they kept it very professional. Tagtgren gets lots of interview time explaining the recording process and each member has long interview segments with some explanation of their gear.
There is a short three minute segment about the album art, photo-shoot with the band getting their make-up done, to make it look they are burn victims. Very gory!
Last of all there is a mini-tour diary of when the band played at a Metal fest in Germany. It starts at the very beginning loading all the gear and merch into the multi-person van and off they go. The logistics are impressive. They leave early for a show in Germany on Friday, A show in Austria on Saturday and a show in Switzerland on Sunday. It blows my mind, in my nation, you can drive for three days straight and still be in the same country. Over there they can traverse four countries in three days! It’s not all glory for a working class band, setting up in the rain and mud for the Austrian gig doesn’t look super fun! The last segment ends a bit abruptly after the Swiss gig but it really gives you an idea of the life of the band.
A lot of time and energy went into the making of the album, the concerts and the DVD and it really shows with a top-notch bonus DVD.