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FANTASTIC SHOW; MOST INFLUENTIAL INDUSTRIAL BAND EVER ! - 90%

BlackenedSally, February 21st, 2021
Written based on this version: 2002, DVD, Sanctuary Visual Entertainment Midline

Shot during a worldwide tour, upon release of the excellent ¨Filth Pig¨ album, this DVD finds Al and company in incredible form, obliterating your eardrums with 13 songs, filmed with one Hi8 camera (more on that later) Live industrial metal does not lend itself to much variation respecting the studio album versions, so don't expect innovation in that regard. The editing and filming are top-notch, except maybe for a stage that is usually a bit too dark, however you still get to see everything that's going on, fine and dandy. They play mostly their most popular hits, plus 5 songs from the now classic ¨Filth Pig¨

When I received the DVD, and read ¨filmed with one camera¨ on its back, I wanted to kill myself, but upon watching, I realized that, while strictly true, the footage is comprised by shots taken on 13 different gigs/venues, from a plethora of different angles, and put together a lá Ozzy's ¨Live And Loud¨, so every angle shows the band on a different stage, with different looks, instruments, and clothing, and the end result emulates a multi-camera, multi-angle filming. The editing is maybe a little fast, yet not MTV-like.

Picture : it was filmed 1996 so 4:3 picture aspect ratio was used, resulting in black bars on the sides of your screen, but that did not bother me in the very least. Picture bitrate hovers around 4-6 Mbps; not very generous, so you do get some microblocking during selected complex scenes like rapid drumming + strobo lights, and the dark shots are purposely grainy for effect. Luckily hi8 is a true 480 line format as opposed to lower resolution on VHS, resulting in a mega-sharp picture that your player will not have problem escalating.

Sound : wow ! The sound is crystal-clear, with loads of bottom end from the keyboards and drums, while the bass guitar is trebley, so it can be heard in the mix over the boom. The guitars -two of them, and even 3 when Al decides to wield one- are fantastically panned across the stereo landscape, and the vocals are processed and low in the mix, just as on their studio records. The audio was taken from one of the gigs, and rumor has it is soundboard, but I can swear this was mixed in a studio; you can't have a raw soundboard sound this well-mixed. No way in hell. There are, however, slight volume and bottom-end variations from song to song, yet nothing major. There is a 5.1 option I can't comment, since I only do stereo. There was absolutely no need to fire up my subwoofer for this puppy.

Highly recommendable product, since it shows Ministry at their peak, and a must-have for any Ministry fan, although casual listeners will be delighted to have this as a sample of the most important industrial bands of all times (Rammstein are great, but overrated)