This concert starts with “Deformed” and ends with “Into the Grave.” Do I need to even continue?!? Okay, if you want more… I saw Grave on their very first ever US tour, way back in 1991, at a place in Chicago called Medusa’s, which I think is apartments or something now. I had already proclaimed the band’s debut, Into the Grave, as probably the best Death Metal album ever, and hearing the guys play it live only further solidified that Sweden was the place for Death. Well, Chicago was that night! This live performance isn’t as massively mind-crushingly heavy as they were back in ‘91, but it is a pretty radical improvement over 1997’s disappointing live effort, Extremely Rotten Live. Sure, there are several songs that I wish had been included (where is “Hating Life”?!?), but the only way I’d be 100% satisfied with a live Grave show is if the guys played literally every single song from their flawless masterpiece Into the Grave, plus all of You’ll Never See…, Soulless, and “I Need You” (from 1993’s …and Here I Die… Satisfied EP), in addition to the newer stuff. Grave is just that awesome. I do kind of wish that Ola wouldn’t introduce “Bullets Are Mine” by saying that it’s the “one and only ‘Gangster Metal’ song ever written,” though.
I should mention that the video (16x9 anamorphic, of course) is up to the very high quality by Metal Mind releases. And the audio (5.1 Dolby Digital surround) is truly stunning. The band’s sound is clear and crisp, although maybe not quite as thick as I might have optimally liked. Still this is in line with how they actually sound now, and I’m just being nostalgic.
The bonus features include a couple extra live clips, filmed in Germany, and the video for “Soulless,” which I’d never seen before, making it one of the coolest extras of all time. Plus an interview, bio, photos… you know, the standard assortment of good stuff. Get this and continue hating life!
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