Like the advertisements and coupons that arrive each week offering “2 for 1” deals, THE HAUNTED’s DVD “Caught On Tape” offers up two full length concerts for the price of one neatly packaged DVD. The setlists on both offer just about as much material as THE HAUNTED could muster with only two records out at the time the shows were filmed, and to give some diversity to their own catalogue they drag up the classic cut “Blinded By Fear” from now deceased melodic death band AT THE GATES, whom the brothers Björler were members of.
The Tokyo set from 2000 is of decent quality, except that unfortunately the venue was quite dark and draped in a low orange glow that really obscured the band at times in far shots. The sound quality was acceptable, but overall was not as impressive as it could have been such as the live bestial Thrash machinations on the “Live Rounds In Tokyo” album released by THE HAUNTED. This section of the DVD was the only thing I could complain about with regards to this DVD, and is the reason it was not a perfect 10/10, although very very close.
The set from Malmö, Sweden is vibrant and bathed in a very colourful sound and lightshow that really showcases the band at their best. Vocalist Marco Aro (who has now been replaced by original HAUNTED vocalist, Peter Dolving), commands the crowd with a calm yet ferocious demeanour despite the venue being fairly small in size. The sound for this set is excellent as well as the camerawork in capturing THE HAUNTED as close as possible while they churn out song after song of intense Thrash, proving that they are at the forefront of the new wave oThrash along with bands such as CARNAL FORGE and CORPORATION 187.
The bonus material is a nice little look inside Studio Fredman in Sweden run by the infamous Fredrik Nordstrom who has honed and developed some of Europe’s most powerful Metal bands such as IN FLAMES, OPETH, and Nordstrom’s own project, DREAM EVIL. The interviews are interesting as always since rarely are there video interviews conducted with Metal bands that haven’t had a following for more than a decade on mainstream music channels on cable. Although only 25 minutes long, I enjoyed it and found it sufficient to give a look into how albums are recorded and what goes into the whole process. OPETH’s newest DVD “Lamentations: Live At The Shepard’s Bush Empire” is certainly worth a look for those who enjoy seeing bands in the studio, as well as the one off DVD in CANNIBAL CORPSE’s latest effort “The Wretched Spawn”. THE HAUNTED broke new ground in this first, and I hope in future more bands continue this trend as I love seeing the process of albums in production. (Online March 26, 2004)