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My expectations of this DVD were shattered. I heard so many good things about it the anticipation grew and grew. Finally I purchased it off eBay and anxiously awaited its arrival.
In comparison to some other music DVDs I’ve seen, this one lacks in content. It has a concert of 17 songs, band history with 10 music videos, a making-of of the DVD, a fan section, merchandise links and two bonus songs played live. At first glance this seems like a healthy load of content. Well, that’s at first glance. It’s not until you view these pieces individually do you see how useless they really are. I’ll begin with the concert, since it was what I was anticipating the most.
For any DVD, the concert is the main “attraction”. Everything else is icing on the cake (or, in DVD terms… bonus material). This was the part of the DVD I wanted to see the most. I’ve seen Kreator live two of the three times they’ve been to Toronto, so I knew the kind of live show they put on. Unfortunately any expectations I had for the concert swiftly disappeared. There are three things that piss me off about the concert; two major and one minor. I’ll start with the minor to get it out of the way.
The concert is actually two concerts amalgamated. The annoying part is they go back and forth between the two (South Korea and Brazil) to create the setlist that is listed on the back of the DVD (minus the last two songs). It shouldn’t really matter, but it just bugged me after a few songs it’d go back to the location they had just left. Kreator’s setlist doesn’t change that much, couldn’t they have gotten a very similar setlist from just one of those locations? I guess not. I suppose they wanted to do something different.
One of the major things that annoyed me with the concert was the production quality. It’s too good! I know, that sounds like a really stupid thing to complain about for a live recording, but it’s true. Throughout the entire concert I felt like I was listening to the CDs. Only when the band paused and you could hear the crowd cheering did I feel like I was watching a DVD or listening to a live recording. That really bothered me because when I watch a music DVD I like to feel like I am there, or at least get a live feeling from the experience. When that fails, I am greatly disappointed. I know Kreator wouldn’t dub over their songs (if they did I would lose a lot of respect for them), but they completely erased any live feeling from the DVD. I felt like I was watching a really long music video. I wasn’t connected to it at all, and needless to say I was bored.
The second thing is the camerawork. Holy shit. What is it with retarded colouring, inverted colours, superimposing images on top of one another and other random stupid shit that is so attractive? Again, I felt like I was watching a music video. The entire time the colours would be fucked, inverted or something else. The angles were decent but a lot of the time I couldn’t even see the band. And even if the camera was focused on the band or a member they were invisible because they decided to cover them in blackness or some other shit. When the colours weren’t inverted or the negative wasn’t shown, there was this constant green hue to replace it. I guess the editors had a blast creating this DVD. It’s unfortunate that crap like this plagued the entire concert from start to finish.
The history section isn’t anything special. It basically reiterates what any Kreator fan would know while throwing in a music video every now and then. The music videos are a nice touch, but nothing special or something to save the DVD. Thankfully you can bypass the useless history lesson and just watch the videos if you wanted.
The two bonus live tracks suffer from the same things as the concert; ridiculous editing and overproduction. They’re listed on the back of the DVD as part of the setlist but aren’t actually part of it, so I guess that’s how they justify them being “bonus tracks”.
The fan section is also pointless. It’s just random video of fans from all over the world giving the devil’s horns and screaming “KREATOR!” to the camera. Oh, and they had to show how dedicated they were by showcasing their Kreator tattoos. At least the fan section on Slayer’s DVD was entertaining.
There are also appearances of band members from several other bands, but nothing to get really excited about. Most of the time they just compliment Kreator and tell you (the viewer) to have a good time.
Once again, the making-of is pointless. It’s a couple minutes of a video just showing people setting up the audio equipment. That’s it. Not much of a making-of. I was very disappointed with this part. And after viewing all this mediocre, sub-par material you get to browse the Kreator merchandise!
It’s unfortunate that there’s very little good to say about this DVD. At least it’s in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, and some of the videos and the concert are in widescreen format. The setlist is solid, though I wish they played something from Endorama (I happen to think that album isn’t that bad); they start and finish the concert like they usually do, so nothing new there. The music videos are okay, but not worth the purchase. Everything else isn’t worth it. Perhaps you’ll want to see the concert, but probably only once. I know I only want to see it once. I’d like to give the band the benefit of the doubt and use the excuse that they rushed the DVD, but I can’t even do that because it’s their first DVD release, and they’ve had forever to put it together. You would also like to think that after 20 years of making music and exhaustive world touring that they’d be able to provide some more (quality) material. Perhaps they’re holding out for their next DVD release or some kind of boxset or maybe this is the best they can do. I’m just glad I only spent $11 on it.
I would recommend this DVD but watch it before you buy it. I wish I did.
You can get a pretty good idea of what you’re in store for with a glance at the DVD cover, which has the Kreator Coma of Souls guy slicing the heads off of attacking demons. Which is kickass German thrash metal. This, being released at the same time as the double live album, has the same performances as Live Kreation with the exception of the closer Flag of Hate/Tormentor (those being from the With Full Force Festival). Not all of the songs from the live album are on the video but those are made up for with all of the DVD’s special features.
The sound is fucking awesome and the footage is great. Mille plays away fiercely on stage and knows how to get the crowds feeling “aggressive.” The crowds in Korea respond surprisingly well, singing along enthusiastically. Ventor bangs away furiously and even takes over vocal duties (Allright Busan!!!!) for Riot of Violence. The only person that I had a problem with was Sami Yli, not because his playing wasn’t good it was just that he had no stage presence. While Mille is headbanging like crazy he just kind of stands there looking bored. But that hardly takes away from the concert. The new shit is played really well. A definite highlight is the great version of Lost, which I originally thought of as just another shitty 90’s Kreator song.
Between songs they show different clips of the Violent Revolution tour with some appearances by Sodom, Eric from Testament, Gene Hoglan, Paulo from Sepultura, Snake from Voivod and a bunch of other people. One of the best parts of the DVD is the history section which is a little documentary about the band with all of there videos (without Coma of Souls). It has some cool interviews and shit in German so you’ll need to put on the subtitles during this section. This is really cool and also lets you see the sad decline from Toxic fucking Trace to Endorama. Other special features are the usual discography which has pretty much everything Kreator has ever done, a small “making of Live Kreation” thing, and a slide show.
The only thing I guess I could complain about is that they could have replaced Servant in Heaven or something with Under the Guillotine or Awakening of the Gods for the DVD. And that the in between fan footage can get annoying. Oh wait a second you can choose to watch the concert by itself without that crap. Nevermind.
Highlight performances: Betrayer, Flag of Hate, Terrible Certainty, and… Terrorzone = Fucking YES.
Just to let you know...I am reviewing the version that comes with the 2 CD and DVD...although I am just going to review the DVD right now...I haven't actually listened to the CD yet anyways.
This is Kreator's first live CD and DVD...and it is a very good DVD really, but I have one major complaint. Thrash is a raw form of Metal right?? It should sound intense..and mainlybe unpolished (or raw). Well, the footage of the live performances on this DVD are not very raw. The footage is very edited...tons of screen shots going on, tons of camera effects (black & white, negative color stuff, etc.). For me this just takes away from the live feel of the DVD...it seems more like a movie than live footage...and I don't like that. The only other complaint I have...and this tends to happen with a lot of music DVDs....is that you can just barely hear Mille's guitar...so at times it sounds quite lame...like when he is soloing or playing a solo rhythm...or is playing a riff by himself...like in Terrible Certainty. Other than this...the performance is quite fucking good...especially the new material and the last like five songs. Even the material from Renewal, Cause for Conflict, etc. are good. Actually, I'm beginning to think Cause for Conflict and Renewal are probably pretty good.
This DVD has some cool fucking features that give it a better rating for me also. First off...during the live concert footage they show clips from people around the world where they toured that includes tons of Metal band members such as Messiah Marcolin, Snake, Tobias Sammet, Eric Peterson, Marduk, Moonspell, among others. Secondly, there is a cool fucking history of the band that is pretty informative and has some awesome fucking clips of Kreator playing when they were Tormentor...some cool interview clips...it just has a bunch of cool fucking clips and information. The other great thing is that they have all the videos that Kreator has even made...of course there are some stinkers like Chosen Few...but its fucking cool to have them all on here.
All and all...this is a great thing to own for any fan of Kreator...and is a good introduction to the band even. Get the limited box set edition with the CDs and DVD if you can...its awesome. KREATOR!!!!! m/