Reviewed: June, 2020
Released: 2018, Metalville
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!
Perzonal War are one of those weird bands that I like but seem to lack personality. I actually bought their debut album way back in 1998 with really knowing who they were at the time and I’ve followed them every since except without being a really die-hard fan. I think I have eight of their nine studio albums in my collections and they are all really good but just not top of my mind. This is not the best benchmark but one of the big popular Metal databases that lets the public rate releases. For the Perzonal War entry, out of the 15 items they have released over the years (demo’s, EP’s albums etc) only two have been reviewed and both reviews are bad. So in a odd way I feel maybe it is not just me that feels this band lacks public recognition despite having been around 20 years and having nine albums!
In 2018 the band put out their very first live album, NECKDEVILS LIVE. The title is weird, (what is a neckdevil?) the album art is boring and I know this is not the bands fault but the album art has one of those huge region code stickers printed, not stuck, printed right on the cover. The CD itself is one of those annoying concert where they cut out a bunch of songs, a real waste.
However the bonus DVD includes the whole concert. It is a 20th anniversary concert recorded at what looks like a bar. There is not date for the concert provided but the liner notes say it was Kubana Club in their home-town of Seigburg, Germany. Although the crowd is small the band really gave the fans a good 20th anniversary show, almost 2.5 hours long! The 29-song concert covers pretty much every era of their career. The show is plain, a simple stage, simple lighting rig and it is a three or four camera shoot. The sound quality is very good however.
For the true fan there are lots of special aspects of the concert. The band brings up Akki from Suidakra and Sascha Assbach from Fall Of Carthage for the song ‘Incantation’. Next the band does a neat three song acoustic interlude. Then they bring up another couple of guests from the band Architects of Chaoz; Gonzo on bass and Dom on drums. These two bands did a split EP back in 2015. For the cut ‘Putrefaction Of Mind’ two ex-members, Frank and Sascha join the band on stage as well. At one point ex-member Sven makes an appearance as well. A highlight for me was the guest appearance of Victor Smolski (ex-Rage) on the cut ‘Regression Of The Art’. It was a very cool concert, it would have been neat to be there.
There are a couple of bonus features as well. There is a video for the song Dead Man’s Theories from the CAPTIVE BREEDING album in 2012, which is extremely well done. It is a concept video that has the band breaking into a music store at night and then doing a performance video. A bunch of fans show up on a bus and a cleaning lady calls the cops, it’s all very clever. Even the end is something that I haven’t seen before, a nice tribute and introduction to the crew who sot the video, almost like a mini-behind the scenes but it was very well done. Lastly there is a 22-minute interview with various members sitting around in the studio BUT (!) it is in German and no subtitles are available! That was a bad oversight and very annoying for me.
This DVD runs almost three hours long and is a really great value and celebration of the band’s 20 years and a good introduction to the band if you don’t know them yet.