RIGOR MORTIS-Slaves To The Grave-The Covideo Chronicles-Day 39 (May 9th, 2020) 

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: June, 2020

Released: 2014, Rigor Mortis Records

Rating: 2/5 (Just the DVD)

Reviewer:  JP

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!

The tale of Rigor Mortis is one of tragedy.  The band offered up a pair of unremarkable but solid and respected thrash albums in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  Like many bands there was a long hiatus between recorded output.

As early as 2012 the band had a third full-length studio album in the can. Their comback SLAVES TO THE GRAVE is as good (or better) than anything they had done.  This is where the tragedy comes in.  While playing a concert right before Christmas in 2012, guitarist, Mike Scaccia died of a heart attack.   This naturally delayed a lot of things but in 2014 the band put out the album but the band was back on ice.  In 2019 Vocalist Bruce Corbitt also died which seems to pretty much have derailed the bands comeback, however promising it was.

The bonus DVD is a tribute to Scaccia.  It is 25 minutes long with the first 20 minutes of the band in the studio making the album. It is just a hand held camera, with no real lights of direction, just a fly-on-the-wall approach.   There is one live song, ‘Vampire’ being played at a bar in Texas and it is a really basic single camera shot. The DVD is really bare-bones, a home-authored affair with no menus or production value of any kind.

There is not much more to say, this DVD doesn’t have too much content and it is short and bitter-sweet to watch it in 2020 with two of the guys in the band no longer with us.  The value in this DVD is for fans to get a last look and perhaps goodbye to a decent lil ‘ol’ thrash band from down Texas way that never quite made it.

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