A lot of excellent metal related DVDs were released in 2014, including concerts, documentaries and more. Here are our picks for the top 5 metal DVDs of 2014.
1. Katatonia – ‘Last Fair Day Gone Night’ (Peaceville)
To celebrate their 20th anniversary a few years ago, Katatonia did some special shows, which included playing their 2001 album Last Fair Deal Gone Down in its entirety. The 4-disc set Last Fair Deal Gone Night features their show from London’s Koko venue and other goodies.
Just the double CD concert and DVD version of it would be an excellent collection, but Katatonia take it one step further with a second DVD that’s a documentary. The extensive 136 minute documentary chronicles the band’s history from 1991 to 2011. It’s narrated by Jonas Renske, Anders Nystrom and Daniel Liljekvist. Archival photos and videos are shown as the band members talk about their history.
2. Lamb Of God – ‘As The Palaces Burn’ (Epic)
The Lamb of God documentary As The Palaces Burn was originally supposed to feature the band’s fans from all over the world and how music can unite people in difficult times. The difficult times ended up being for the band after frontman Randy Blythe was arrested in the Czech Republic and charged with manslaughter in the death of a fan at a show.
The beginning of the film does feature a couple of different fans and their stories, but then the focus and the tenor shifts to Blythe and his ordeal. As The Palaces Burn documents a tragic event and its aftermath with skill and dexterity. It illuminates the legal part of the case while also delving into the emotional impact it had on Lamb Of God and those around them, all while being respectful and honoring to Daniel Nosek’s memory.
3. Gojira – ‘Les Enfants Sauvages’ (Roadrunner)
Gojira have documented the tour cycle of their latest album with the DVD/CD live release, Les Enfants Sauvages. The band is no stranger to releasing live performances, as this is their third DVD in the last 10 years. The package is exquisite; in addition to the DVD there is also a matching CD version of the show and an excellent hardcover photo book, which documents the 150 shows they played on the tour.
The show itself is just shy of an hour and the band does an exceptional job of moving through its set list. Very little time is wasted between the songs. The camera work is distinctive as the shots bounce back and forth between clean shots of the band and angles that make the viewer feel like they are in the audience. It gives the feeling of actually being at the concert instead of in a living room.
4. The Black Dahlia Murder – ‘Fool ‘Em All’ (Metal Blade)
The Black Dahlia Murder’s Fool ‘Em All(whose cover art and title is an obvious nod to Metallica’s classic Cliff ‘Em Allvideo) once again is another triumph for Michigan five piece. The main backbone of the documentary is the tale of the death metal posse being out of place on the legendary touring punk festival Warped, which is supplemented with an almost endless amount of on the road hijinks and tomfoolery.
At times you could be forgiven for thinking that you’re watching a comedy film, with founding members Trevor Strnad and Brian Eschbach taking the lead roles in some alternate reality Seth Rogen-esque motion picture.The added 3D elements are intentionally lame, with the scenes in the third dimension simply involving the band clowning around in front of green screen backgrounds. The final section of the DVD follows the band on their European tour.
5. Scott Ian – ‘Swearing Words In Glasgow’ (Megaforce)
For the past three decades, Scott Ian has been making music and traveling the world in Anthrax. During that time he has had a lot of interesting experiences and met a lot of famous people. He’s accumulated a ton of stories that you’d probably only hear if you knew him personally.
Last year, he decided to share some of those stories with the masses and embark on a spoken word tour in Europe.Swearing Words In Glasgow captures his show in Scotland. The format of the show is simple. It’s Ian with a microphone standing on stage telling funny and interesting stories about himself and his encounters with some other well-known musicians. It’s not the type of spoken word performance where someone is reading poetry or waxing eloquent on philosophy. It’s basically what you’d hear if you were sitting across from Ian at a bar having a beer together.