Reviewed: June, 2020
Released: 2016, Punishment 18
Rating: 2/5 (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 1stin 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 in 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!
To me, Node is one of those very region-specific, underground bands that has been around forever but never seems to get anywhere. From Italy these guys have been doing melodic death/thrash for almost 25 years, but I never see them in the Metal media, on bigger tours or mentioned on-line. However there they are, like warriors in the trenches churning out slid material to a small audience.
Even though they have been going for years, and were signed to Massacre Records and to Scarlet Records, the first I heard Node is when they signed with Punishment 18, that cool label that exposes lots of underground thrash bands from around the world to a wider audience, thanks to good distribution. COWARDS EMPIRE is their sixth full-length studio album and it comes with a bonus DVD. A minor complication is that it is region protected so I can’t watch it on my North American DVD player, I had to use my computer.
The only feature is a live concert that lasts one hour. It says it is a 20th Anniversary concert but they do not say where or when it was filmed. Depending how you count their 20th anniversary was probably around 2014.
The gig was filmed in front of a small audience in a small club… somewhere. It is about a four-camera shoot and switches back and forth between black and white and colour. The sound quality is quite decent. The band looks synchronized, all dressed in white shirts, black ties and splattered in blood. There is a pretty simple lighting rig too but overall the quality is adequate. They run through a heavy-duty an unmelodic version of Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell’ too which isn’t a catchy or fun as Children’s Of Bodom’s version. Or Highlord’s version. Or Holy Mother’s version. Or Sinner’s version. Or Heidevolk’s version…you get the point.
There are what seems to be a few former members come up and perform for a little bit for that family feeling. The entire concert rips by and there is very little interaction with the audience. When they do address the audience it is in Italian.
I think a true Node fan would really enjoy this, despite the few minor flaws I mentioned and I really doubt they will ever tour extensively overseas, so unless you live close to Italy, this could be your only chance to see them live. It is a nice little keepsake but really only amounts to a local bar gig.