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Legendary Vocal Performance! - 95%

Efilnikufesin17, May 4th, 2009

Iced Earth's live DVD, Alive in Athens features a great performance from the Power Metal/Thrash Metal band, Iced Earth. The DVD features two concerts from back to back nights which adds up to a 28 song set list. The set list is great featuring classics like the Something Wicked trilogy, the epic Dante's Inferno, Pure Evil, and Stormrider. The concert features one of the best performances I have ever seen on a live DVD, rivaling great live DVD’s by legendary bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

The performances by all of the musicians are flawless. Matt Barlow never misses a note singing and sounds better live than he does on the albums/. Barlow’s emotional performance on Watching Over Me takes an average ballad and makes it great, far superior than the album version. Another high point is Barlow’s epic vocals on the Something Wicked trilogy, the highlight of the concert. Brent Smeadley and James Macdonough hold down the rhythm section great while Jon Schaffer provides great rhythm guitar work. The rhythm section makes the songs seem twice as intense as they are on the albums, adding much to the songs. They take some average songs such as some of the material off The Dark Saga and make it much better than the studio album versions. Larry Tarnowski also provides some memorable lead guitar parts in the concert; however the production seems to focus more on Jon Schaffer’s rhythm guitar rather than the lead guitar, which is good, because Jon’s Rhythm guitar is what really drives Iced Earth songs.

The only flaw in this DVD is the production. While the sound quality is great, making you feel like you are at the show, the filming of the concert is not the best quality, and you can tell that it was a low budget for filming the concert and that there were only a few cameramen there to film, but they do an decent job of filming. Being a drummer myself, I would have liked to have seen more than just the occasional close up shot of the drumming, but the camera crew seemed more focused on Barlow and Schaffer mainly, which is okay, as it allows you to see Barlow putting on arguably the best live vocal performance of all time. These are just minor flaws however, and don’t really take much away from an outstanding performance by the band.

This is a top notch performance from a great metal band that I would recommend to any metal fan, regardless of what genres you like. It covers a lot of Iced Earth material, giving you a chance to see a lot of songs performed that aren't regularly played at Iced Earth shows. This is also a great DVD to get if you have never heard anything by Iced Earth, as it covers most of their best material.

Highlights: Barlow’s Vocal performance, Dante’s Inferno, Stormrider, Something Wicked Trilogy.