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First a note: This review is of the DVD+CD version.
Asphyx are for me local superheroes. Arguably Asphyx are one of the very essential death metal bands that changed and defined death metal. Finally after being around in various states for the last 23 years they finally released their first live offering. Asphyx as a band is known for their great live performances and just sounding like a steamroller so the question is how well did it transfer to live DVD and the 2 CD's?
In short the answer to this question is very well, extremely well even nay even they made a benchmark of how a death metal band should make an live CD + DVD release.
This release is split in several parts.
First there is the center piece of the DVD. The “Live” subsection of the DVD, their gig in Essen Germany.
Then there is the “Death” subsection on the DVD. This part is the interview of the band in which the most important band members through the history of Asphyx talk about their role in the history of Asphyx.
Finally there is the “Doom” subsection on the DVD. This part has various of extra footage.
Lastly there are the live CD's. The material found here is just the audio part of the Live subsection of the DVD.
To start with the beginning. The box you get looks quite good. It has neat art in the traditional Asphyx style. The booklet gives you the standard information as well as the short story behind this release and a few pictures of Asphyx throughout the years. Nothing really exceptional but you don't really need more considering the entire history of the band will be dealt with later but now on to the DVD.
The awesome aka Live.
This is the part around which this release revolves. The actual performance in Germany from 2009. This performance still includes the former bass guitar player Wannes Gubbels who has been replaced by Alwin Zuur from Escutcheon in 2010.
This part is all you could ever want from a Asphyx live CD/DVD. The sound is great, Raw and powerful. The camera is what you want, no constant changing of the camera angle and you can see everyone doing their part. The performance itself is great. Asphyx as usual put their usual energy in this gig thus giving you a real good indication of what they are like if you see them yourself, the best term for this is neckwreckingly awesome.
The total length of the performance is just under 2 hours at 1 hour and 48 minutes. Various tracks from The Rack, Last One on Earth and Death the Brutal Way are played here with maybe a slight focus on the last one. The song's are all performed excellently and there is nothing else really to say about it.
All this material can also be found on the live CD's. Which are handy for when you don't have a DVD player nearby and feel like some live Asphyx or if you want to listen to this on the computer.
The neat aka Death
This is the Hordes of Disgust interview with the band. It basically just consists of most of the important members of Asphyx saying what they did. This interview is fairly low budget and the most special thing you can see is where they briefly walk past the building where they used to rehearse which was in the process of getting demolished. I almost daily saw this building and this gave it something extra for me but sadly other than this you can just watch the the band members talk. It would have been neater if more stuff from the local area was showed or just anything other than their fairly boring faces. Still it gives a good view of the history of the band in a nice amount of detail.
The Cool aka Doom
This part is one of the coolest extras of any DVD I’ve ever seen. You can see footage of Asphyx performing live at various places throughout their history. The most interesting is watching them perform material from the “Embrace the Death” era when they were all young kids. The material here almost could be its own DVD. The various performances of the band here are mostly really good. The Death the Brutal Way video promo is nice to have as well.
In the end this release is nearly perfect. The only complaint I have is for an fairly extensive extra. If you are an Asphyx fan or even a death metal fan in general I can only say that I really recommend getting this as this is the best live release I’ve ever seen. In the end I'm giving this a 92/100.