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In overdub we trust! - 75%

grimdoom, May 31st, 2008

In Flames has never been known for their sense of humor, but given the title of this DVD and the fact that the vocals are overdubbed makes one wonder if they've turned over a new leaf.

For starters, this double DVD is LOADED with all kinds of goodness. For starters it contains several promo videos, a handful of live performances and an interview with a random mtv personality.

On the first DVD there is a double live set, one that consists of the entire 'Soundtrack to Your Escape' album and the other set of classic In Flames tunes. Musically, this is a brilliant performance, with the exception of when the drummer messes up on the first song. The instruments sound as good as ever, the vocals are noticeably dubbed. In the beginning Anders finishes and starts singing when his mouth isn't moving and/or has pulled the mic away to the point where the clarity of his voice wouldn't have come across as such. Plus when he is speaking in between songs the mics volume changes.

This is enough to give this a 'zero' rating, but given that there are other live performances, and that they are (or at least appear to be) live, coupled with the promo videos and lengthy interview more than makes up for it (or at least enough to give this something in the double digit range as far as a rating goes).

This is a pretty good DVD as it shows how the band is live, tight and intense. You can tell that they enjoy what they do and that they are for the most part at least, real. This is recommended to fans only.

Solid DVD, could be better. - 82%

woeoftyrants, January 20th, 2007

Gathering footage and highlights from what many consider to be the high point of the band's career, "Used and Abused: In Live We Trust" is a pretty wealthy collection of some of In Flames' larger performances, insight from the past 2 years or so of the band's success. Disc 1 mainly focuses on two live shows and a mini-show, while Disc 2 highlights the band's music videos from the Soundtrack to Your Escape album, as well documentaries of the U.S. and worldwide tours following the release of STYE.

The first show, considered to be the main feature of the DVD, is the band's performance at the Hammersmith in England. Multiple camera angles of the stage and band members let viewers see everything that happens through the show's duration, and do a great job of getting intimate with each member's performance. All of the band members make reasonable use of the stage's large size, and the crowd is ravenous in its reaction to the band's performance, as seen on the vicious circle pit on "In Search for I." By all means, this was a high-profile show, and In Flames went all out for it; all of the members are seen in the signature jumpsuits rather than street clothes, lots of pyro and lighting effects are in use, and there are even gigantic backdrops on each side of the stage resembling Marshall amplifier "walls" that bear the band's name. Pretty sweet.

However, the size of the venue and ambition behind the show do nothing to overshadow the music. Sound quality on this show is superb, and the band's flawless performance make it all the better. Much of the set list is from the "Reroute to Remain" and STYE albums, but two older cuts do make their way in: "Behind Space" and the opener, "Pinball Map." The newer outings sound better than they do on album, probably due to the massive live sound and enthusiasm behind the performances. Stage energy is in high form here; Anders works the crowd fairly well during the middle of the set list, and sounds much better hear than on album. (Thank God.) Jesper and Peter both seem a little shy to move, but they're the same way through the entire DVD's duration. Thankfully though, they do more than make up for it the tightness of the show. Daniel's drum work is without mar, and the natural drum sound is a relief from the triggering most bands use. One really cool aspect of this show is the surprise cover of Pantera's "Fucking Hostile," the band's tribute to Dimebag shortly after his death. My personal favorites from this performance are "The Quiet Place", "Touch of Red", and "My Sweet Shadow." I believe all of these songs were given a good kick in the nuts for the live aspect, and the lighting/pyro helps out as well.

Disc 1's second feature is the Sticky Fingers show. Rather than a large music hall like Hammersmith, In Flames return to a Stockholm club for a homecoming show. Obviously, this show is much more raw and stripped-down than the show I just reviewed; the band stick with street clothes on this show, and there's no backdrop or pyro. It's just a raw performance, but the sound mix is incredibly clear. The club is packed to the brim, and I think that Anders' communication with the crowd is better this time around because of the physical closeness. Camera angles still offer the same intimacy as the Hammersmith, and maybe even more, since the cameramen were right underneath the stage. Due to the sizing down of venues, the band don't have much room to go crazy, but they clearly make the best of the situation.

There are actually two sets to the Sticky Fingers show: Set 1 is the STYE album played in full, which actually doesn't come off as half-bad. The band are reasonably tight in their performance, but some moments come off as boring. ("Evil in a Closet", "Like You Better Dead", "Bottled.") Likewise, what some considered to be the low points of the album are vicious here, such as "Superhero of the Computer Rage" and "Dead Alone." Set 2 spans the band's whole career: 1 song from "Lunar Strain," and two from each subsequent album, except for "Reroute to Remain." The older material has new life to it, and is played with the utmost of proficiency.

The mini-show is taken from one of the band's largest shows from the 2004 STYE tour. Only two songs are shown, both from the "Clayman" album. They sound great, and the band are on an even grander scale than that of the Hammersmith show.

Disc 2's main feature is "Jester TV," a 60-minute documentary archiving the making of music videos and tour experiences. Viewers get a healthy glimpse of the production process behind the videos for "Touch of Red" and "The Quiet Place," and get to see some of the band's most memorable moments while being on the road. Interviews with each band member are given, which are only somewhat interesting. Music videos for all of STYE's singles are included, and also a live video from Japan of "Dial 595-Escape"; but not the singles from "Reroute to Remain." (Which makes absolutely no sense, if you ask me.) The only exception for RtR is a live video for "System."

The "Soundcheck" portion of Disc 2 is rather useless, and shows the band rehearsing two songs before the 2005 STYE show on Disc 1. Skip it.

Overall, In Flames' first DVD outing is impressive, and has plenty of depth to boot. The performances are great, but Disc 2 seems to drag things down a bit.

It's ok - 70%

Necrobobsledder, March 22nd, 2006

Somehow it didn't occur to me until later that the vast majority of songs played live on this CD were culled from Soundtrack to Your Escape. This was a big disappointment to me as I first viewed this DVD as a way to hear a lot of their older material. However, most of the songs from Soundtrack are decent I guess.

Since this is a DVD and not a CD, though, I won't talk too much about the music itself and will focus more on the performances of the band and other aspects. Overall, the feeling is very energetic and the shots of teenagers from the crowds are pretty interesting. However, Ander's delivery doesn't sound as harsh and biting live as it does on CD and there aren't enough charming, funny moments that make watching it more than just experiencing the music in visual format. In my opinion, DVDs should capture more of the essence of the a whole and individually. I think more close-up shots of each band member and more personal comments from Anders would be nice...perhaps some jokes here and there.(One particularly memorable part, however, is when Anders announces to the whole crowd that he has to tie his shoe. lol.) Instead, they just plow through track after track, to the point of tedium. I'm not sure how many slow songs In Flames has, but they should've played a few more to contrast with the fast ones. In addition, probably the most well-known 'slow' song In Flames has, Only for the Weak, sounds annoying because the background instrument for the chorus is a synthesizer instead of a guitar.

Now on to the second disc...this is basically just documenting In Flames touring via different modes of transportation in different countries. Most of it seemed to focus on their trip to Japan, which they said they have visited several times. An interesting note about Japan is that most of the people in the front row at concerts are young girls, which isn't very common elsewhere. Heh, someone asked the drummer if any of the members were distracted by that, to which he graciously declined. Anyway, so they keep talking about what they went through to record Soundtrack and mentioning the videos and such, and a couple of the interviewers kept bringing up the question of whether or not there was a video for Evil in a Closet. It was really fucking annoying because this was mentioned several times and every time the drummer or someone else gave some vague answer and shirked it off. Just answer the fucking question. Also, they decided to put in this superfast slideshow of In Flames's experiences in hotels, restaurants, etc. in Japan and it was very nauseating, quite frankly. Thank god I wasn't epileptic and watched that.

Well, overall this is a decent DVD, but it lacks entertainment value beyond the music itself. If I saw the band live, I would just care more about hearing the music I guess, but in the comfort of my dorm or what have you I want a little extra.

Note: I could swear that each time they played Touch of Red the stage turned red.