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Pretty good - 70%

SWE_n0thing, May 27th, 2005

Apparently there were no reviews for this DVD, and I just bought it (well, actually two months ago), so why not make an own review?

I first discovered Dark Tranquillity when they released their Character album, and I enjoyed it. I got the other albums and listened to them a couple of times too but none of them was, in my opinion, as good as Character; the only one that could compete with Character was The Gallery and Projector. Sadly enough, they don't play any Character material (but that's pretty easy to understand because this DVD was released two years before Character) and not especially much of The Gallery material either (just one track: Punish My Heaven). I'm not saying that Dark Tranquillity's other albums sucks, because they rule... but not as much as Character, The Gallery and Projector. Ok, now to the DVD.

This it starts with a keyboard intro, and the Dark Tranquillity logo and a sign that says "Staining Poland, Live in Krakow 2002" rolling on the screen closely followed by the DVD cover panning over the screen from the left. It looked fine untill the Staining Poland sign appeared, which looked like something done in Paint in one minute. And it's the same thing when the DVD cover appears, it looks very unprofessional. Well, enough about the unprofessional video editing. The intro bursts into the track called "The Wonders at Your Feet" and Mikael Stanne, the second greatest metal vocalist (after Tomas Lindberg), jumps up on the stage and starts with the ordinary brutal scream, "Alright!". The performance and sound quality is great and Mikael Stanne looks happy as usual. But something strikes my already from the start, do they have to make those extremely fast clips between the band members? That's bad because of two things, 1. I wanna see how they play and how they make anything sound so perfect, and 2. It's pretty fucking annoying. And the worst thing in the whole song (maybe on the whole DVD), when Niklas Sundin does his solo, isn't you supposed to see him then? It seems as they show everyone but Niklas Sundin. That's the third annoying thing on this DVD, and the first track isn't finished yet?!

The next track is "The Treason Wall" which is in my opinion one of Dark Tranquillity's worst songs. Nothing special here, only Mikael's fantastic vocal performance. It still seems as the video editing guys don't get it, it isn't cool. I also notice the white flashing lights, for gods sake, please lay off the fucking lights. It looks really weird if you watch it on the TV or the computer because it looks like the lower part of the monitor/screen updates later than the upper part and it makes the whole movie to look "laggy". I don't think that I have to descibe every track one by one, so I just pick the best ones or the ones I feel that it's worth to comment. Two tracks after "The Treason Wall" is "White Noise/Black Silence" which is one of my favorite track of the Damage Done album. I actually think it sounds better live, so this one is really fantastic. After this great song comes Haven, the mediocre title track of the album with the same name (damn, that sounded stupid). Finally a The Gallery track! "Punish My Heaven" is a great track, but I would prefer Mine Is The Grandeur Of Melancholy Burning instead. I gotta say, this track really spanks ass live, but Mikael Stanne messes up one of the cooler parts of this track, the "That's right! You'll suffer my punishment!" part with some other style (or whatever you should call it) of saying it. When the Spanish-like sound that reminds me of tap dancing (even if I'm pretty sure it isn't) kicks in it's a shame it's set to a so low volume.

The next one is "Monochromatic Stains", the best track of the Damage Done, which sound better recorded in the studio even if it also sounds good live. Nothing special here. The following track is from Projector, yay! "Undo Control" starts as the usual with the string picking and then Mikaels calm singing, instead of the female vocals on the orginal. When the song really starts with the "I resist without control" part that sounds really heavy on the studio recording but live it sounds really lame. It gets better, the killer riff (when Mikael sings "Claws that set in sleepĀ“ December"), but that doesn't save the track from being shitty live. I don't understand why they choosed to play this one live, it sounds much worse live than on the album, why didn't they pick "Auctioned" instead? It's 100 times better, and would be cool to see live. After this disappointment the great track "Indifferent Suns", my favorite from Haven, beggins. It sounds really good live, with those kick drum hits so perfectly fitted to the melody. It sounds as good as one the record, and probably the best track on this DVD. Only one bad thing about this, the camera man that shoots Anders Jivarp (the drummer), and filming like he was drunk or something. After this "Format C: For Cortex" follows, one of the better Damage Done tracks. It sounds great live, and Mr. Stanne sings (and growls) great as usual.

Now my favorite track of all time, "Lethe" from The Gallery! The most disappointing things about this one, is that Mikael doesn't sing those "despair-ish" vocals (something like that) as good as on the record. I've seen a live video from '96 (or maybe '97), and on that one he sings those completely perfect. Well, it's still really good. The last kick ass track on this DVD is ThereIn, which is performed really good and Mikaels fantastic clean vocals sounds perfect live.

Another very annoying thing that I forgot to write about earlier is that the audio isn't synced with the video especially good.

This DVD also includes the "Monochromatic Stains" and "ThereIn" video together with some bootleg tracks recorded with a decent video camera, and it sounds really cool, more "raw". There's also some photos, pictures and desktop images included and a pretty interesting Interview with Mikael Stanne. In my opinion they could replace the photo gallery, the bootleg videos with some studio footage. It would be really cool to see how they work in the studio.

Just a quick summary: Good performance, shitty editing. It was pretty hard to decide a rating for this one, but I think the performance compensates for the lousy editing.
Best tracks: Lethe, ThereIn, Punish My Heaven, Indifferent Suns.