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A perfect look back and forward - 92%

kluseba, June 27th, 2011

It’s hard to believe but Saltatio Mortis exist already since the year 2000 and with this great package, they honour their tenth anniversary in a very special way. Many things have happened in only a few years and what started as an acoustic project that tried out some electronic sounds and industrial metal vibes before they really got into the German Medieval Rock scene and created their own and unique brand with the last two studio albums. The band has lived many changes of styles, many experiments and many line-up changes and those good and bad times a portrayed in the great documentary on the special version of this package. This documentary shows the band in a very close and authentic way and makes me understand more some choices the band made and things they have done over the years.

Concerning the concert itself, the location of the historical town hall of Wuppertal is simply elegant and beautiful, the crowd is amazing, the band entertains in a very funny, diversified and fresh way and twenty-nine songs are played in more than two and a half hours which is amazing. The band plays some old classics from their first records like the darker “Dunkler Engel” or the band’s first hymn “Falsche Freunde” but also recent stuff like the absolute band hymn “Spielmannsschwur” or my favourite track which is the energizing “Prometheus” without forgetting about some acoustic and traditional material as in “Le corsaire”. But that’s not enough as the band invites musicians from other genre bands like Die apokalyptischen Reiter, Feuerschwanz and Subway to Sally to perform some songs with them as well as the German metal queen Doro Pesch who was in “Warlock” or Victor Smolski from the German power metal legend “Rage” which creates a very interesting guest list. Some old band members also join the stage and there are many changes, surprises and experiments during this concert. I want to point out the medieval star ensemble in the traditional tracks “Daedalus” and “Dessous le pont de Nantes” which are two highlights on this record. If this wasn’t enough, the band adds an exclusive acoustic after show concert on the special edition that features many traditional medieval songs like “Merseburger Zauberspruch”, “Skudrinka” and “Ecce gratum” which show the other side of the band.

In the end, this package delivers anything a true Saltatio Mortis fan can dream of and is a great look back and also forward concerning the rich history of the band. The special edition is definitely value for money and worth to be discovered. The only problem I still have with the band is that the exotic medieval instruments and old fashioned lyrics sound less experimental, fresh and diversified as those of the leading genre band “In Extremo”. From a visual point of view, the band doesn’t use any special effects at all on stage which can get boring after two and a half hours but which doesn’t bother me too much as the band is really into its material and has a great entertaining connection to their fans. The camera settings and the sound are also above average and very well done.

If you are interested in a mixture of simple rock and metal music with exotic instruments in a crushing live performance or if you want to get a first approach to the band itself or to the German Medieval Rock genre, I can really recommend you this package and suggest you to risk some money on it and purchase this great gem that may be difficult to find outside of Europe. This is a piece of Germany’s modern (and sometimes even traditional) musical culture and the sympathetic and vivid band should get way more attention than “Rammstein” and Company.