DVD REVIEW: Ayreon – Electric Castle Live and Other Tales

Come with me now; be joyful. It is time to enter The Electric Castle!”

After the wild success of the Ayreon Universe shows in 2017, where an audience of international Ayreonauts was treated to a best-of selection of Ayreon’s most popular songs, the Poppodium 013 once again opened its gates to the gentle hordes in September of 2019. 2018 had seen the twenty-year anniversary and the re-mixed and -mastered version of Into The Electric Castle, and thus it was a logical step that this new live show centered around that album, a favourite of many. To the great thrill of not only the fans but the artists as well, Arjen managed to gather most of the cast members of the original album, and the most admirable substitutes for those who couldn’t make it. Continue reading

Watch Tarja’s Full “Luna Park Ride” Concert from 2011, Deluxe Version Coming Soon

International music legend Tarja has shared a full-pro-shot concert from her 2011 “Luna Park Ride” show in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tarja’s label earMusic will release a standalone version of the concert on May 29th, which was only a limited edition item as part of Tarja’s Act I release. For the first time available on audio and video, the fan-filmed material is topped with 14 (!) bonus live performances and offers the full package including previously unseen photos. Continue reading

Amon Amarth – The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm

It’s hard to believe that Amon Amarth has been a band for over twenty-five years. The incredible arc of their journey from a suburban bunch of guys from nearby Stockholm, Sweden with a dream to world dominating metal force majeure is nothing short of astounding. As much as I have followed their career as closely as possible, there were definite gaps in my knowledge. In the incredible new documentary/concert film Amon Amarth – The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm (Metal Blade) certainly illuminates the backstory of one of the greatest modern metal bands today. It definitely didn’t happen overnight and there were many missteps that could have ensured they never succeeded. However, the Amon Amarth story is about perseverance and the strength to achieve what your mind desires. Continue reading

Rammstein – In Amerika

Rammstein in amerika

Rammstein fans have reason to be optimistic. Frontman Till Lindemann confirmed this year that they have started work on a new album (anticipated to arrive in 2017) which will no doubt prompt a world tour. I’m already exited by the prospect.

In the meantime, you can whet your appetite with In Amerika (Spinefarm Records), a concert film of their triumphant 2010 show in Madison Square Garden and features two extras – a 21-minute short showing the making of Liebe Ist Für Alle Da and the star of the show: Rammstein In Amerika – a 2-hour rockumentary chronicling the career of this famously private band.

Following the a well-established rockumentary formula, the most surprising thing about it is its duration. It genuinely doesn’t feel like 2 hours and never once gets boring. This suggests some serious skill on the part of the director, and quick check on IMDB shows that Austrian Hannes Rossacher is an old hand at documentary and working with bands. Indeed, he has worked with Rammstein before (in 2003, on Lichspielhaus – a collection of videos, gig footage, featurettes & TV ads) and deftly delivers a story that’s true to the band’s culture and endearing in its portrayal.

The story starts with the band members in East Berlin, covers their meeting and formation of the band that was to become the Rammstein that has remained unchanged (in terms of members) since 1994 and takes us through the apprenticeship of their early German shows and the release of Herzleid.

The origin story, however, (this is “In Amerika” after all) is treated as preamble. The film’s meat begins with the recording of Sensucht and the band’s first US tour in 1997 with fellow Germans KMFDM, follows their journeyman phase, explains their 10-year absence from the Land of The Free and culminates with their masterful return where they sold out The Garden in less than 30 minutes of pre-sale.

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The outstanding quality of the engaging film-making provides extra colour and depth to the band for existing fans and serves to expose some of the cerebral and emotional qualities of Rammstein that’s hidden from those less familiar behind the shock-rock stories and stage hype. It’s not all about the pyromania.

Wisely avoiding overuse of purpose-shot band footage, Rossacher relies heavily on the band’s own archive footage and interviews from an array of well-known (and not so well-known) faces. This serves to keep the piece grounded and prevents it from becoming the self-parodying fluff that many music DVDs become. Excellent.

In Amerika is available on DVD or Blu-Ray and has the following tracks:

Disc 1 – Madison Square Garden

01 Rammlied

02 Bückstabü

03 Waidmanns Heil

04 Keine Lust

05 Weisses Fleisch

06 Feuer Frei!

07 Wiener Blut

08 Frühling in Paris

09 Ich tu Dir weh

10 Du riechst so gut

11 Benzin

12 Links 2 3 4

13 Du hast

14 Pussy

15 Sonne

16 Haifisch

17 Ich will

18 Engel

 

Disc 2 – Documentary

01 Rammstein In Amerika

02 Making of Liebe Ist Für Alle Da

 

8.0/10

PHILIP PAGE

Soilwork – Live In The Heart of Helsinki

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Soilwork’s first concert album/DVD, Live In The Heart Of Helsinki (Nuclear Blast) is everything it should be. They cover songs from every album and yes, there’s about 3-5 more songs I wish they had included. What’s there is good enough for me. This is the second recording with the guitar tandem of David Andersson and Sylvain Coudret, and they perform older tracks like ‘Bastard Chain’ and ‘As the Sleeper Awakes’ with conviction and the passion of the original players. With 23 songs here, I’m extremely impressed how strong Bjorn Strid’s voice sounds. His power is intense regardless if its a song like ‘Overload’ or ‘The Chainheart Machine’. He is joined on the mic by Revamp/Nightwish singer Floor Jansen on ‘Let this River Flow’ and Sonic Syndicate’s Nathan James Biggs on ‘Black Star Deceiver’.

 

The production on here is superb, visually and sonically. No one gets lost in the mix here, keyboard maestro Sven Karlsson and bassist Ola Flink are upfront and as clear as everyone else. With all the extra drum cams of Dirk Verbeuren it’s worth it alone to watch him casually run through the his insane performances of the songs. I’m really happy with this release. It truly pays homage to the bands’ almost twenty-year long career. No album is forgotten here, and I wish more artists would remember that in general. You never know what was a fan’s first album and this right here satisfies all that. Plus, The Circus Club looks and sounds like a place you’d want to see a show.

Live In The Heart Of Helsinki is available as DVD/2CD and Blu-Ray/2CD and the following tracks:

DVD/Blu-Ray/CD:

01. This Momentary Bliss
02. Like The Average Stalker
03. Overload
04. Weapon Of Vanity
05. Spectrum Of Eternity
06. Follow The Hollow
07. Parasite Blues
08. Distortion Sleep
09. Bastard Chain
10. Let This River Flow (feat. Floor Jansen)
11. Long Live The Misanthrope
12. Tongue

CD 2

13. Nerve
14.The Chainheart Machine
15. The Living Infinite I
16. Rise Above The Sentiment
17. Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter
18. Rejection Role
19. Black Star Deceiver (feat. Nathan J. Biggs)
20. As The Sleeper Awakes
21. Sadistic Lullabye
22. As We Speak
23. Stabbing The Drama

DVD/Blu-Ray bonus material:

Documentaries:

01. Spectrum Of Eternity: A Brief History Of Soilwork
02. Behind The Scenes Of The Living Infinite

Drumcam Videos:

01. Long Live The Misanthrope
02. Rise Above The Sentiment
03. Spectrum Of Eternity
04. Tongue

 

8.5/10

WORDS BY OMAR CORDY