I should preface this review by saying that while I am a big FATES WARNING fan, my knowledge of their repertoire covers only the John Arch era. I find the first three albums to be absolute masterworks of early Progressive Metal, but for some reason I have never had the urge to check out anything the band released after Mr. Arch left the group. That being said, my experience with this DVD is basically an experience with a brand new band. Sadly, after viewing this release, it is highly unlikely that the urge to check out later FATES WARNING will ever surface.
The main attraction here is a live set shot in Athens, but you could probably tell that already from the title of the DVD. The performance is quite competent, with the band showing an ease and confidence onstage. The sound and video quality are top-notch, but this is ruined by the cinematography. I would expect the cuts to at least be in synch with the music, but instead we are treated to montages of images that have no rhythm, no flow, no rhyme and no reason. Really, why would they include a shot of Ray Alder re-arranging the microphone cord on the floor of the stage when they most definitely have other footage that would be much more interesting to see?
The extras here are even less interesting. First we get a "behind the scenes" feature which is basically alternating footage of a soundcheck, a rehearsal and live performances of the songs from the main part of the DVD, only with worse video and sound quality. The other feature is a two-song set from the 2005 Holland Headway Festival, featuring Mike Portnoy on drums and, you guessed it, songs that we've already seen on the DVD, but again with worse quality all around.
Die-hard fans of later FATES WARNING will probably want this, but I can't see it capturing the interest of anyone else. If I'm any example, "Live In Athens" definitely won't be winning over any new fans for the band. (Online April 1, 2006)