Heavy Metal

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Heavy metal (often referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues-rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are generally associated with masculinity and machismo.

The first heavy metal bands (Proto) such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, though they were often critically reviled, a status common throughout the history of the genre. In the mid-1970s Judas Priest helped spur the genre’s evolution by discarding much of its blues influence; Motörhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Bands in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWoBHM) such as Iron Maiden followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal had attracted a worldwide following of fans known as “metalheads” or “headbangers”.

Visit the NWoBHM sub-genre page for more details on this particular music movement.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_Heavy_Metal

Inclusive Traditional Heavy Metal Genres

Melodic Metal is often short for Melodic Heavy Metal and as such is usually included under Traditional Heavy Metal on the MMA. On rare occasions Melodic Metal releases may also be included under Power Metal however, such as Arven's Black is the Colour (2013).

Sub-genre collaborators (+ child sub-genres & shared with Hard Rock and Glam Metal):
  • 666sharon666 (Leader)

heavy metal top albums

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BLACK SABBATH Paranoid Album Cover Paranoid
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RAINBOW
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4.45 | 187 ratings
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heavy metal Music Reviews

CRIMSON GLORY Astronomica

Album · 1999 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"Astronomica" is the 4th full-length studio album by US power metal act Crimson Glory. The album was released through Spitfire Records (US release)/Rising Sun (Europe release) in September 1999. Crimson Glory achieved quite a bit of success with their first two albums, which both featured a melodic but still at times pretty hard edged US power metal style. Their third full-length studio album "Strange And Beautiful (1991)" was generally not received that well though, and the band folded soon after its release. With a few lineup changes (including the replacement of original vocalist Midnight with Wade Black) the band reunited shortly in 1999 and recorded "Astronomica". Crimson Glory disbanded for a second time shortly after the release of the album.

After the stylistic mish mash of "Strange And Beautiful (1991)", fans of Crimson Glory probably didn´t have high expectations to "Astronomica". Stylistically it´s more or less a return to the US power/heavy metal style of the band´s first two albums though, and fans of those two albums should find a lot to like here. Midnight was of course an iconic frontman and his helium screams are legendary, but Wade Black does a great job here. He has a strong and commanding delivery, and can sing both raw and higher pitched screaming type vocals and his voice fits well with the instrumental part of the music.

The material on the 10 track, 69:44 minutes long album (about 20 minutes of which are silence following the closing track "Cydonia") are well written and relatively varied. There are hard edged US power metal tracks like "War Of The Worlds", "Lucifer's Hammer", and "Cyber-Christ" featured on the album, but there are also more epic and sometimes bordering power ballad type tracks like "Astronomica", "Edge of Forever", and "Cydonia". Some tracks are very well written, powerful, and memorable, while others are less remarkable. Everything features a professional touch though, and paired with a powerful and detailed sound production, and high level musicianship, "Astronomica" is a relatively successful return to form after the generally ill-received "Strange And Beautiful (1991)". It´s not a perfect album by any means, but there are enough quality here to warrant a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

JUDAS PRIEST Sin After Sin

Album · 1977 · Heavy Metal
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Unitron
Probably my favorite 70's Priest album, maybe because in parts it reminds me of Rush's Caress of Steel. The energetic fun heavy metal is at its most energetic and fun with the likes of Starbreaker and Dissident Aggressor, and the summer introspection anthem Last Rose of Summer is the Priest equivalent of Rush's Lakeside Park with its laidback rock perfection. Raw Deal is pure swagger in the vein of their later Killing Machine album. Their heavy metal version of Diamonds and Rust is beautiful and one of the best cover songs out there so much that more people know it as a Priest song than a Joan Baez one, and Here Comes the Tears is intensely and emotionally powerful with one of Halford's absolute finest and touching vocal performances.

MOTÖRHEAD Ace of Spades

Album · 1980 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"Ace of Spades" is the 5th full-length studio album by UK heavy rock/metal act Motörhead. The album was released through Bronze Records in November 1980. After a couple of slow years (in terms of success) from 1975 to 1977, where a recorded studio (debut) album was also shelved, Motörhead gained a little attention with the release of their self-titled debut full-length studio album in 1977. It wasn´t until the release of their second full-length studio album "Overkill" in 1979 that things really started rollin´ though. In fact 1979 proved to be an especially busy year for Motörhead who also released their third full-length studio album "Bomber" and the shelved album they had initially recorded as their debut. In that version titled "On Parole". Even The Beatles seldom released three studio albums the same year. But Motörhead were on a roll with both the multible album releases and lots of touring, and "Ace of Spades" more than continued their momentum, and ultimately went on to become their most commercially successful release. It was also the first Motörhead release to see a decent distribution in the US, which was handled by Mercury Records.

"Ace of Spades" was recorded in August and September of 1980 at Jackson's Studios, Rickmansworth, England with producer Vic Maile. The band have often since in interviews spoken positively about Vic Maile, who understood how to handle the wild partying band in the studio and make them perform to the best of their abilities, but also for his ability to bring their loud and raw sound to tape without applying too much polish, but still with a clarity where you´re able to hear the details. To my ears it´s not a perfect production and especially the drum sound leaves a bit to be desired, but overall the sound suits the music well. The band sound as savage as on previous releases. The delivery is organic, gritty, and raw, but it shouldn´t be interpreted as if the trio of Eddie Clarke (guitars), Lemmy Kilmister (Vocals, Bass), and Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor (drums) can´t play, because that´s far from the truth.

The original version of the album features 12 tracks and a full playing time of 36:42 minutes. All tracks are blues based no nonsense rock´n´roll played loud and with a filthy attitude. It´s distorted, it´s ugly, and it´s presented in a primal raw form that´s not far from sounding like it was recorded live (which it isn´t). The tracks deal with ladies, sex, gambling, and life on the road, so all in all just your regular rock´n´roll subject matter. It´s the iconic opening title track (which is also one of the fastest and most hard edged tracks on the album) which most people know off this album, but there are several other great tracks featured here like "Love Me Like a Reptile", "(We Are) The Road Crew", and "The Chase Is Better Than the Catch". Not all tracks are equally memorable though, and in that regard "Ace of Spades" is actually not the most consistent quality release by Motörhead, despite it´s now legendary status.

Upon conclusion "Ace of Spades" does deserve it´s prominent place in rock´n´roll history though, as it´s predominantly a high quality release featuring some really catchy and powerful music. Had all tracks been as memorable as the tracks mentioned above, I would have rated this with a 5 star (100%) rating in a heartbeat, but as that´s not the case a 4 star (80%) rating will do.

IRON MAIDEN Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

Album · 1988 · Heavy Metal
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SilentScream213
Another Maiden record and another set of fantastically composed pure Heavy Metal tracks. Maiden continue to retain a very signature sound all while laying down tracks that don’t sound like anything they’ve done. This is probably their most melodic album yet, and most accessible in a way – it’s almost pure fun all the way through. The opener “Moonchild” is full of catchy riffage and anthemic vocals, “Can I Play with Madness” almost sounds like a pop song, and even the epic “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son,” at almost 10 minutes, goes by in a flash thanks to its ever changing yet never boring structure. “The Evil That Men Do” and “Only the Good Die Young” also feature some of my favorite lyrics from Bruce and provide some dark, moody atmospheres contrary to the rest of the album.

The record is pretty much exactly what anyone can expect from Maiden, while at the same time continuing to surprise with the band’s songwriting abilities. All songs are great and full of memorable qualities.

METALLICA ReLoad

Album · 1997 · Heavy Metal
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Vim Fuego
“ReLoad” at first sight? Hey, at least this one doesn’t have jizz on the cover like “Load” did! It looks like an egg yolk, or perhaps an embryo. Wonder what the cover image is called? "Piss and Blood XXVI"? Well, fuck...

So, yeah. Like Metallica’s previous instalment in the series “How to Disappoint Long Time Fans, but Sell Millions Anyway” (more commonly called “Load” and released in 1996), this album is covered in bodily fluids. But then, should anything different have been expected? Originally intended to be released as a double album, “Load” and “ReLoad” were recorded in part at the same time. That even Metallica got bored and couldn’t be arsed to hang around in the studio to finish this off in one go is an indicator of what’s going to be offered up here.

Like “Load”, “ReLoad” is too long. Listening to it is a chore. However, it does have a couple of points of interest, but these really aren’t enough to redeem the album.

First track “Fuel” is a silly, double-entendre-laden cock rock parody. While it might be the closest thing here to Metallica’s thrash roots, the riffs are second rate and forgettable, and it is painfully infantile.

Second track and first single from the album “The Memory Remains” is the strongest song across both Load albums. It features a broken, despairing vocal from Marianne Faithful, representing a fading star lamenting a career which is slipping relentlessly from her grasp. This is pretty much as good as it gets as good as it gets. “Devil’s Dance” actually lets Jason play. Pity he’s restricted to a simplistic pulse under an unremarkable song.

“The Unforgiven II” is an unnecessary reworking of “The Unforgiven” from the 1991 self-titled album. Yes, it’s a ballad. Yes, it’s got loud and quiet bits (but in the reverse order! How thrilling!). Yes, it’s got abstract lyrics. Yes, it’s long and boring.

“Better Than You” demonstrates one of the big problems here perfectly. It’s a big, fat sounding rocker, with Bob Rock’s big, fat, comfortable sounding production stamped all over it. And that’s the problem. Rock is a well… rock producer. It’s just not metal enough. See, this band has “metal” in it’s name – the first five letters – so is it really that unreasonable to expect the band to maybe please, play metal? Oh, for Fleming Rasmussen’s sharper, crisper production style from the past!

“Slither” is filler. The first riff sounds like a truncated “Smoke on The Water”. And the vocal effects are annoying. “Carpe Diem Baby” starts off slow and pedestrian. “Carpe Diem Baby” finishes slow and pedestrian too. Another six minutes of your life you won’t get back. “Bad Seed” is sort of bluesy and bouncy, but it’s more filler.

“Where The Wild Things Are” is a bit more metallic, and has a memorable vocal melody. But those double-tracked vocals? Awful! Yuck! It’s also the last Metallica writing credit for Jason Newsted. “Prince Charming” starts off promisingly with a jamming riff, and an uptempo vibe, but at it’s core, it’s Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” forced through a Metallica filter.

“Low Man’s Lyric” however, is a revelation. A ballad that’s not your traditional power ballad, it features a hurdy gurdy and violin, giving it an almost folk rock feel. And there’s no amplified power to it. Just when you expect everyone to stomp on the effects pedals and rock out, the music pulls back from the brink again. Kirk Hammett weaves some subtle solos over this, and James Hetfield’s heartfelt vocal creaks with heavy emotion.

And then the mellow, melancholic feel of “Low Man’s Lyric” is stamped all over by “Attitude”. Nope, it’s not a Misfits cover, more’s the pity. It’s another five minutes of turgid, bland rock.

Then “Fixxxer” sneaks in at the end. Finally, something hard driving and compelling to listen to. No, not very metal, but this song is heavy in other ways. There’s some raking slide guitar, with clean solo counterpoints, a throbbing bass line, oblique lyrics, and some reptilian vocal effects. Yes, it’s similar in formula to several other tracks on the album, but for some reason which is hard to fathom, it actually works this time, after half a dozen previous fails.

This was the third album in a row Metallica had fashioned using the same safe but ultimately tedious formula with Bob Rock twiddling the knobs at the soundboard. It took them a few more years, and a disastrous attempt at changing the formula (yes, the dog turd on a putting green that is “St. Anger”) before they gave Rock the boot. While Metallica’s output since has been inconsistent to say the least, there have been no more of these flaccid monstrosities inflicted upon the metal world, so maybe it was ultimately Bob Rock’s doing? More than likely though, it was just the band’s mindset at the time. “ReLoad” may have left a lot of long-time fans feeling disillusioned and disappointed, but it was still a success in it’s own way. It didn’t chart or sell as well as “Load”, but that’s relative – it still went triple platinum in the United States, and sold multiple millions of copies worldwide. However, success isn’t a synonym for interesting.

heavy metal movie reviews

FOZZY Unleashed, Uncensored, Unknown

Movie · 2003 · Heavy Metal
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martindavey87
I’m totally unashamed about my love for this band and this DVD! Released in Fozzy’s early days when they were playing mostly covers, this is complete rock ‘n’ roll nonsense documenting how Fozzy created heavy metal and then signed a dodgy contract that left them stranded in Japan for twenty years!

The main documentary is hilarious. You can tell everyone is just having a blast filming it, and the added cameos from the likes of Zakk Wylde, Sebastian Bach and Mike Portnoy just add to this. And at barely a half an hour in duration, this main feature has plenty of replay value.

There’s an abundance of extras too, including more daft early Fozzy shenanigans as well as sincere and out-of-character footage too, showing that even in their early days this band possessed unlimited potential, but then, what would you expect when rap metal pioneers Stuck Mojo joined forces with wrestling icon Chris Jericho?

ACCEPT Restless & Live

Movie · 2017 · Heavy Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Restless & Live is a concert release from the veteran German Heavy Metal legends Accept. It was released on Nuclear Blast Records in 2017 on several formats; such as a CD set with tracks taken from different concerts across the touring cycle for Blind Rage (their third studio album since being reinvigorated by the joining of new singer Mark Tornillo). It was also released as a Blu Ray of a single entire performance at 2015’s Bang Your Head Festival. If you’ve got a bit more money to splash out you can get a set with the Blu Ray and CD versions, or if you prefer DVDs that’s also an option.

My personal preference for concert movies or albums is that they come from on single concert not a mix of shows, and if available preferably on Blu Ray, so for me this was the version I went for and am most happy with. (which this review will be focusing on).

In terms of specs: The Blu Ray version is in 1080p with PCM Stereo and DTS HD Master 5.1 options, Region:All. There aren’t any bonus features. There’s a booklet with some photos but no linear notes.

So the main reason you are buying this disc is for the concert; which is about an hour and forty-five minutes of blistering classic Heavy Metal. The 18-song tracklisting is pretty heavily focused on the three Tornillo-era albums, with a few of the classic ’80s crowdpleasing tunes added in as well. So if you’ve already got the DVD that came with Blind Rage its still worth checking this out for the different tracklisting and higher production values. (The CD version of Restless & Wild contains 27 songs and more of a mix of material).

The tracklisting is: 1. Stampede 2. Stalingrad 3. London Leatherboys 4. Restless & Wild 5. Dying Breed 6. Final Journey 7. Shadow Soldiers 8. Losers & Winners 9. 200 Years 10. Midnite Mover 11. No Shelter 12. Princess Of The Dawn 14. Pandemic 15. Fast As A Shark 16. Metal Heart 17. Teutonic Terror 18. Balls To The Wall

The performance is tight and professional but still has that ‘live’ feeling and energy, it isn’t all sterile but it isn’t loose and sloppy either, its just right. They all give it gusto and look pretty into it. There’s no complaints on vocals, musicianship or song selection for me. Wolf Hoffman’s guitar solos are as entertaining as you would expect and there’s a fun bass versus guitar trade off section at one point. The camera work, editing, sound and mix are all solid. Nothing jarring or out of place, no sync issues, all instruments audible and in correct balance. The songs sound clear and yet muscular.

Its a pretty simple and honest affair. There’s no gimmicks here; no big show with giant robot crabs on stage or band members catching fire or shooting lazers out of their eyes, and there’s no life changing documentary, no animations weaved into the concert or anything… but if you want to buy an Accept live concert and watch songs like ‘Fast As A Shark’ and ‘Balls To The Wall’ played well by the new line-up and competently captured and prepared for home viewing then it is an absolutely fine product and I highly recommend it to fans of the band, especially to fans of the newer three albums. For me, watching songs like ‘No Shelter,’ ‘Stalingrad’ and ‘Pandemic’ belted out enthusiastically are worth the money.

If you are new to the band, this is a very strong starting place, (if not entirely representative of the overall discography) and if you are a fan already its a worthy addition to your collection.

IRON MAIDEN Live After Death

Movie · 1985 · NWoBHM
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siLLy puPPy
Universally cited as one of the absolute best live albums of all time, LIVE AFTER DEATH is the first live album / video release of IRON MAIDEN’s classic early Bruce Dickinson years and was recorded during their “World Slavery Tour.” Despite lasting a whopping 331 days, this double LP album only took two venues as their source for representing their electric live performances. The first 13 tracks were recorded at the Long Beach Arena in California, USA and the remaining five tracks were taken from a night at Hammersmith Odeon in London. While LIVE AFTER DEATH was released both as audio LP and video VHS in 1985, the two aren’t exactly identical in content. The audio LP originally contained 18 tracks (one of which is “Intro: Churchill’s Speech”) but the VHS visual experience only had 14 tracks. Unfortunately when LIVE AFTER DEATH was originally released on CD it was too long for a single disc and instead of simply issuing a double disc, EMI unwisely decided to cut the last five tracks which included the Odeon performance, therefore it is highly advisable to obtain the Sanctuary remastered version which was released as a double disc and retains the entire run of one classic song after another.

LIVE AFTER DEATH is the absolute perfect live album. I very rarely put live albums high on my list of favorites because more often than not something or many things prevent them from capturing my attention and worthiness as essential. If it’s not the weak production values then it is the inability of the band to capture the magic that is manufactured in the studio. That is not the case here. IRON MAIDEN was at the pinnacle of their creative prowess at this point and after several outstanding and classic albums to mine for material, they perfectly execute these live performances and offer every little ounce of excitement heard on the studio releases. Bruce Dickinson nails the vocals and the thundering trio of Steve Harris’ bass and the guitar synergy of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith accompanied by Nikko McBrain’s stellar drumming style doesn’t get any better. While most of the tracks are performed rather faithfully to their studio versions, there is plenty of live improvisation taking places as well. Standout moments include Bruce’s attempt to get audience participation on “Running Free” and another great difference can be heard on “Revelations” where the tempo is upped and Bruce changes the vocal phrasing to make the track sound different and refreshed.

The video release offers all the theatrical visuals of the tour. The “Powerslave” album was based on ancient Egypt and likewise the stage was Egyptified to the max with sarcophagi, hieroglyphs and a mummified Eddie embellished with ridiculous amounts of pyrotechnics. The tour was a smashing success and this release whether it be audio or video is the perfect testimony to the genius that went into every single detail. The sound and mixing is perfect as well as Martin Birch found the perfect balance of every cast member and delivered one of the most satisfying production jobs for a live release that i have ever heard. In the visual department Jim Yukich perfectly captured two nights in Long Beach showing a great band doing great things at the peak of their game. Another piece of perfection with this one is the brilliant cover art of Derek Riggs surpassing previous album themes of Eddie as the mascot by incorporating those themes of previous albums covers and then putting it all on steroids. The spread of the album is breathtaking in content and color with the boldness of the yellows and blues. Every aspect of talent on board with this release guarantees to wake the dead. I cannot find one negative thing to say about it. It is true that Bruce doesn’t hit every note exactly as on the studio version every single time but when he doesn’t he offers interesting new ways of interpreting the classics. This is simply one of the most perfect live releases i have ever encountered and even MAIDEN themselves haven’t even come close to achieving similar results. Masterpiece.

OZZY OSBOURNE God Bless Ozzy Osbourne

Movie · 2011 · Heavy Metal
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progshine
It is an interesting documentary that tries to focus on his personal life. But it stays in the middle of the road in the end.

You have this big and interesting chunk talking about Sabbath then when it comes to his solo career they talk about 2 albums and... that's it.

Look, if you're doing a documentary or you focus on the music or in the person, every documentary that tries to do both end up staying in the middle of the fail road.

This is interesting, it gives you an idea how Ozzy was really in bad shape for so many years and how he turned things around, but it's far away from being a great and complete documentary.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY The European Invasion: Doom Troopin' Live

Movie · 2006 · Heavy Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Doom Troopin’ Live: The European Invasion is a live concert video from Black Label Society, available on Blu-Ray. It documents the European leg of their touring in support of ‘Mafia.’

The setlist is fairly heavily comprised of material from the ‘Mafia’ and ‘The Blessed Hellride’ albums, with little from the first three records, which may be disappointing if its your only BLS video purchase, but which does result in little crossover with their other DVD ‘Boozed Broozed & Broken Boned.’ A similar idea to Kiss’ Alive II perhaps.

There are 16 tracks in the main Paris concert according to the back of the box but three of those are jamming. They tease the crowd with a bit of ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’ for example. Plenty of the time between songs is given over for additional guitar soloing as well.

It’s a decent mix of fast and slow, its mostly heavy but there’s a bit of light in there and it gives a lot of time over to Zack’s guitar talents, without wasting too much time away from actual songs. I think a good balance has been struck of all of Black Label’s constituent parts.

The performance is fairly strong, noticeably so on the ballads. Zack has a good stage presence pumping fists, pointing and striking poses, although some of the spoken crowd interaction is very mumbled and hard to make out. A lot of the songs feel a lot faster, louder and heavier live than they did on record, and feel crunchier and more earthy sounding. The drumming in particular is a lot more impressive live; Craig Nunemacher has a lot of character I hadn’t noticed before seeing this.

I think the sound is very good. Its well mixed, fairly heavy and the songs have bite. It feels ‘live enough’ but it isn’t sloppy. Again, a good balance has been struck, this time between concert-feel and actually good sound.

There was a fair amount of effort put into the stage design too; mic stands made out of chains, skulls on plinths, an impromptu pub made out of amplifiers with beer sat on it, flashing siren lights, BLS banners etc. There’s a professional looking lighting show and the camera work is well done. So in one way, it’s a good looking concert too.

In another way however, the visuals are the only letdown for me as the editing is a bit distracting. A lot of time, especially in the earlier songs, is given over to fancy effects, going black and white momentarily, screen overlays, slow motion, fake film grain etc. which some viewers may find a bit too distracting. Luckily instances of this reduce as the show goes on. It isn’t enough to spoil the concert in my opinion, but if you are picky about that sort of thing I would recommend that you try before you buy it.

I had read negative reviews about this concert stating either that Zack was miming his vocals, that there were very obvious vocal overdubs or that the audio and video were out of synch. Whichever way, if you look at his mouth it doesn’t match the sound of the singing. That would have been a huge letdown for me. I was worried because the same vocal-synching issue had been a fairly big distraction on a Marilyn Manson and a Queensrÿche Blu-Ray I owned and I didn’t want to buy this if it shared the same problem.

I looked on youtube to see footage from the DVD which indeed had the problem, but read reviews that claimed the problem didn’t exist. Luckily when I watch my copy (region 0 Blu-Ray, with the audio set to DTS HD Master Audio) there is no issue at all. All the tom rolls, guitar solos and singing matches what you see on screen. Admittedly, Zack has a lot of effects on his vocals, other members do backing vocals and there are some sections of pre-recorded music like in lots of concerts, that you were never meant to think was live, but that’s about it.

The bonus features include an extra four songs (‘Been A Long Time,’ ‘Suicide Messiah,’ ‘Stillborn’ with massive extended-jam & ‘Genocide Junkies’) from London, three music videos from the Mafia album, a making-of for the ‘Suicide Messiah’ video and a 50-minute documentary feature called ‘Backstage Pass.’

The video is 1080i HD Widescreen 16:9 (1.78:1). The audio options are LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS HD Master Audio

Overall, this is a fairly enjoyable Blu-Ray with a well performed and sounding concert and some interesting extras. I would recommend it if you like the band, as long as you aren’t very picking about over-edited concerts or only like the early material.

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