Stunning everyone with the technicality of “Defiant Imagination,” Canada’s beloved QUO VADIS have returned, presenting a triple DVD that rests on the top rung of the ladder of quality. Recorded in their hometown of Montreal, the show itself spans two discs and hits the high points of their discography, so it’s not as if the live footage could be deemed “Defiant Imagination” fest. Touching on “Forever…” and “Day into Night,” a reasonable amount at least, the powerhouse that is this ensemble offers something for even those fans who trailed off before their latest album dropped.
As I’ve come to expect from these dudes, the sound is excellent, the production value is top-notch and the camerawork is exceptional. In short, one can tell that “Defiant Indoctrination” was recorded professionally, the band admitting in the liner notes just how much effort went into this specific project. Besides the stellar musical performances of the tight knit unit, the interpretive dancing and performance art is tasteful while the inclusion of a choir, cellist and violinist increases the ambiance like you wouldn’t believe. The songs are never less than interesting – if not amazing, like “Silence Calls the Storm” – and the hometown crowd energizes the Canadians as if they were imbibing Red Bull the entire night. Perhaps the weakest link in the whole chain is QUO VADIS’s penchant for using the same tempo time and time again, made obvious by the relentless double-bass and overall predictable rhythms. Yet, much of their material is riveting. As a bonus, especially for drummers out there, drum footage occupies the third disc, which accentuates Bercier’s immense talent from behind the kit. He actually does a lot more than what the recording would have you believe. Plus when they seemed to be losing steam, the guest appearances by Souto (vocals) of ANONYMOUS and Auburn (guitar) of CRYPTOPSY lifted their spirits, noticeably recharging the group.
The only thing I still wanted to see after “Defiant Indoctrination” concluded was some sort of documentary that showed the band interacting with one another in the studio, in the bus, in the venue. I tend to enjoy stuff like that. Nevertheless, the individual components of a live show such as this have culminated to produce a monstrous film. QUO VADIS aficionados need apply as soon as the opportunity presents itself. I was ecstatic when the DVD appeared in my mailbox and I think you will be too. (Online May 7, 2006)