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Performance-wise, Emperor was tight as hell on this show. This is the only time I've seen Emperor play live. From what I read of their live performances, Emperor was better experienced thru their recorded material not thru their concerts. Well that was certainly disproved for me after I watched this dvd. Emperor is a solid live unit. I didn't realize until now how Ihsahn dominated most of the guitar parts as he was responsible for most if not all of the guitar fills and solos in their live setting. But I'll echo the sentiments of the other two people who reviewed this in saying that the performance was too short. I'm pretty sure this isn't the complete set that Emperor played at the London Astoria. How I wish they could've added more songs to this dvd. Conspicously missing are classics like "The Loss and Curse of Reverence" and "Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times." But again, Emperor's performance here is flawless. "With Strength I Burn" is even better live than on cd.
However, as a dvd, this leaves a lot to be desired. There's a lot of things I found irritiating on this dvd. First, in-between songs, they fade the scene to black simply just to put the title of the next song on a plain black screen. It messes with the flow of the show. Why couldn't they just continue with the scene and flash the title on the screen? Second, they do this fast camera work alternating crowd and band shots for EVERY blastbeat part.
The cameras also focus too much on Ihsahn. Drummer Trym seems to be second in the camera exposure hierarchy but it could've been better if they occasionally focused the camera on his kick drums as he's a monster with the blastbeat. Samoth, Tyr and Charmond Grimloch are relegated to the sidelines as most of their shots are incidental (or how close they get to the oft-focused Ihsahn).
I'm not too hot about the 'special features'.I wasn't too excited with the inclusion of the video of "The Loss and Curse of Reverence" as I already had it as bonus on the expanded edition of Athems. Plus, there's not much in terms of special features - just a discography and a photo gallery. An interview would've been a nice touch.
I'd say that "Emperial Live Ceremony" is a victim of its age. This was released back in 2001 and the special features may have been special back then but are merely ordinary compared to the added features on most of today's dvd releases.
This isn't a definitive Emperor dvd. But it certainly is a good release that captures the band in its fine (and rare?) live element.