Reviewed: June, 2020
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!
For my whole life as a Metal fan I have been seeking out new bands. It was perhaps coincidence that back in 1994 when I was in Vancouver that Holy Records had a little bit of distribution and I happened upon the band Orphaned land and their debut album SAHARA. I bought debut album on cassette (I still have it) and I was immediately a fan of the band that combined middle-eastern sonic elements into their Metal sound and I have been a fan ever since. They seemed so exotic and innovative at the time, and 25 years ago, they were! Their 4th album came with a bonus DVD.
The DVD is 40 minute ‘making of’. It is one of the better ‘making of the album’ segments I have seen. It is like a mini-movie in design and execution. By this point the band was signed to Century Media who had bigger budgets than Holy Records so it is the bands first DVD.
It starts with a bit of history of the band and it follows with the band through the entire process from conception, composition, writing, recording, creating the booklet, mastering and so on. Every member of the band gets interviewed and time to share their philosophy of life and religion. Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) is brought in to do the mastering and he has a number of nice things to say about the band.
It is a fascinating look behind the scenes at one of the more unique Metal bands on the planet.