One of the forefathers of the Swedish Death Metal movement is back with a first ever live DVD that was shot in Stockholm in 2003. This 48 minute concert is filled with adrenalin and punishment. Now this is how a concert should be presented on DVD. First off, it's in widescreen format which looks great. The direction is beautifully shot. You get plenty of good angles of the band performing both individually and as a whole. The lighting is also fantastic. You can see the band as clear as day and the lights don't drown out the band. It's razor sharp. The sound recording is also top notch. You can hear every last ruthless lick and beat perfectly.
There are also some shots of the fans bangin' thy head to the beat of the merciless, but the fans aren't the stars of the show, the band is. I hate it when directors think the fans are more important than the band when shooting. The fans aren't doing anything special. Only shoot fans when chicks are taking their tops off, ok?! Matti sounds just as ugly as ever and he never gives the fans a chance to catch their breath as they move from one intense song to the next. The one thing I was sort of shocked at was that in between songs, Matti talks to the fans in Swedish. Don't worry, it's subtitled. For as heavy as this band was/is, I never knew how much melody and infectious riffs they put into their music both from the past and today. Yeah, I never really listened to the band until a few months ago. I am a late bloomer, but admit it. The band throws in everything here including the kitchen sink. You get only the choice cuts from all of their albums and why shouldn't you? The band was on hiatus for a long time and they have a nice collection of songs from their catalogue. The fans win big here.
And since this is a double DVD, you are treated to some goodies. Besides the concert on disc one, you get the usual photo gallery, a band bio and a discography section. The best part of the DVD is the menu screen. It's from the "Pieces" E.P. and you get to choose your selection by highlighting one of the members severed head. Beautiful! Disc two is a documentary of the history of the band. It's very detailed information coming first hand from the band, Matti, David and Fred. Included in here as well is plenty of live footage of the band playing their demo songs from 1989. That is a real treat. It's raw footage. It's weird to hear "Soon To Be Dead" played back then and now. The difference is so grand. While the whole interview is in Swedish, it's subtitled and very interesting to listen to. There are some really good stories in there like the eerie story behind "Skin Her Alive", the truth about the missing lyrics to "Pieces" and how the record industry works in their eyes.
There are plenty of vintage clips inserted between songs and it's cool to have. This disc is a must have for all that loved this band or the genre. It's definitely entertaining. (Online November 28, 2004)