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Live Shit Binge&Purge - Metallica

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4 Reviews

Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Heavy Metal / Artist: Metallica / Box set / Audio CD released at Elektra

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    4 Reviews
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    • More +
      21.12.2007 06:56
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      While more for hardcore Metallica fans, the rest will from this dvd see how great they are live.

      This box set has always been known as the 'must have' for hardcore Metallica fans due to its sheer volume of material and showcase of Metallica at their peak. Thankfully it was re-released in dvd form a few years ago, which this review will concentrate on. To compare the older release had the Seattle and San Diego concerts on vhs, but also came in a crate style box accompanied by a large booklet. The price of the dvd is also more reasonable generally for US citizens than the old vhs release, but can be expensive for overseas fans since it doesn't have official release anywhere else (and import copies can be expensive). So onto the contents:

      San Diego dvd:
      This is the main feature of this set, a concert that goes close to 3 hours during arguably the peak of Metallica's career and live shows (in particular the 3 year 'Nowhere Else To Roam' tour following the release of the Black album). The show opens with a ~20 minute documentary of Metallica's history to that point. Some interesting concert footage including that of Cliff, the justice tour, and some commentary on the classic 'One' video. The the documentary concentrates on the black album, including studio footage of recording and producing it, and the massive reception that followed its release. Interesting to watch, though of course anyone with a bigger interest in the Black Album should also watch the longer documentary 'Classics Albums: Metallica - The Black Album'.

      The concert opens as usual with the 'Ecstasy of Gold', then slams into Enter Sandman. As usual the performance is solid, tight, everything you'd expect from Metallica. The setlist is as follows:

      1. Documentary / intro
      2. Enter Sandman
      3. Creeping Death
      4. Harvester Of Sorrow
      5. Welcome Home (sanitarium)
      6. Sad But True
      7. Where I May Roam
      8. Through The Never
      9. The Unforgiven
      10. Justice Medley (Eye Of The Beholder / Blackened / Frayed Ends Of Sanity / And Justice For All)

      * 'Metallica circus act' (not listed in booklet)

      11. The Four Horsemen
      12. For Whom The Bell Tolls
      13. Fade To Black
      14. Whiplash
      15. Master Of Puppets
      16. Seek And Destroy
      17. One
      18. Last Caress
      19. Am I Evil?
      20. Battery
      21. Stone Cold Crazy

      Theres a mix of everything in this set. Theres some great crowd participation in with 'Die Die by my hand' in Creeping Death, thought the lead guitars at the end is slightly loose but but thats ok. Harvester Of Sorrow is up next, not my favorite song but its good performance, again great crowd participation, and of the lucky few in the 'snake pit'. The scale and size of the stage really shows here, its simply massive spanning all 360 degrees. Next up is the the classic sanitarium, with a very epic feel to it, Lars's drumming gets a lot of footage in this song, its an amazing kit with so many toms and cymbals. After some funny commentary from James, concert moves 4 black album tunes back to back. They all go well, and its great to see the tunes 'Through The Never' and 'Unforgiven' played since they are rarely played nowadays, yet both are still good songs. Unforgiven is especially interestingly with the use of a real acoustic guitar in the verses, as well as the stage crasher before the start of the song, incidents like this (and Metallica's response to them) really gives a sense of 'fun' to the show, not just going through the set verbatim.

      The 'justice medley' follows which is an interesting meld of some of the songs off this album, great stuff. Again bassist Jason Newstead incites some great crowd participation in places, the way the songs chop together is great to, though perhaps it could have done with one less song so more of each song could feature. At least and justice for all gets a good chop including the solo. Next up is what I've called the "Metallica circus act" which is some funny interlude stuff to break up the set, mainly involving drumming. I won't spoil the antics for you, its worth watching.

      Next up is an older kill em all song 'The Four Horseman', its sound a lot 'beefier' live than the album version which is good. I've always preferred James's more cleaner vocals live than the older albums as well. The classic Ride The Lightning is as good as ever, with the usual over the top Kirk solo to finish. Fade to black is another song that always sounds better live, more energy to the performance, this is one of their best. Whiplash then the favorite master of puppets follow, though disappointingly they finish master puppets early at the interlude, so no solos, no acoustic bit. At least the move into seek and destroy is seamless. Again some great crowd participation in this one in the middle of the song, drags on a bit but thats ok. One follows which is always great, with the always great light effects (eg the strobes during the bridge) to complement the song.

      Unsurprisingly, Metallica is running out material slightly here, so delve into some of their typical cover songs starting with Last Caress and Am I Evil. Then Battery is unleashed as the 'final song', its amazing they can keep up the energy after playing for almost 3 hours, it sounds as good as the first in terms of performance. For the encore they come back with another typical cover 'Stone Cold Crazy', ending a monumental set, certainly one of their longest.

      Production wise this one is slightly let down, though thats debatable. 'Overproduced' comes to mind with the ultra slick camera cuts synced up to the songs, which can get a little distracting sometimes from the performance. More tech savvy viewers might notice that this was shot on a mix of video and film, which occasionally shows up with the video footage looking smoother than the film footage (24 fps vs 30fps). While the camera settles its great though, with plenty of footage of all band members across the set. The dvd transfer shows considerably more detail than the vhs release, but isn't quite up to some of the more recent live concert dvds especially in terms of sharpness. Theres some aliasing present - mainly noticeable on the grill of the stage, its nothing too problematic at least. Color is reasonable though occasionally there is some oversaturation and resultant banding of the colors. Despite being over 3 hours on a single dvd, i didn't notice any obvious compression related video artifacts, though the single stereo audio track helps with this giving more space for the video. Subjectively i get the impression it may have smoothed the details over in some sections, that that could also just be a side effect noise reduction processing done to reduce the grain of the video.

      If some of these terms confuse you have a look at this excellent reference dvd/video artifacts. Its good reading anyone who demands high quality video in their dvds (and conversely why this isn't always the case in some dvds).
      http://www.michaeldvd.com.au/Articles/VideoArtefacts/VideoArtefacts.html

      The sound also is a bit overproduced, with lots of reverb and ambience, its perhaps a bit much though. Some of it sounds a bit too perfect, in particular does James really manage to not drop a note throughout the concert, always perfect pitch? probably either by vocal pitch correction or (hoping not) post production dialog touchups in a studio. At least its a well balanced mix, with some great low end showing off the kick drum and toms. The guitars sound great too. Some of the clean guitars sound a bit distorted unfortunately too, not in a good way, this only affects a couple of sections of a couple of songs. There is only a single stereo audio track (192kbps dolby ac3) which is fine. A 5.1 track (ideally full bitrate dts) and a pcm track would have been nice, but i guess would require the original master tapes of the concert which may not even be around, and would definitely require the concert be split over two dvds. Finally audio sync could be better, its never feels 'tight' between audio and video, but at least its never obviously off, its a subjective fault though, most people won't see a problem at all.

      San Diego dvd:
      The next dvd is a showcase of the justice tour, so of course has no black album songs. The minor flaw of this set shows up here in that minor fans might get board of the fact that most of these songs already featured on the first dvd, with only 'The Thing That Should Not Be', 'Breadfan' being entirely new, along with full versions of 'Blackened', 'And Justice For All', and 'Master Of Puppets' instead of the medley versions (first two) and condensed version (Puppets) on the San Diago dvd. For fans however this again a great concert with a somewhat different feel to the first dvd, and entirely different set. This one is more like a typical Iron Maiden concert visually, molded around the justice album artwork.
      onto the set list:

      1. Blackened
      2. For Whom The Bell Tolls
      3. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
      4. Harvester Of Sorrow
      5. The Four Horsemen
      6. The Thing That Should Not Be
      7. Master Of Puppets
      8. Fade To Black
      9. Seek And Destroy
      10. ...And Justice For All
      11. One
      12. Creeping Death
      13. Battery
      14. Last Caress
      15. Am I Evil
      16. Whiplash
      17. Breadfan

      This one has a small flashback sequence before going straight into the concert with blackened, great to hear it in its entirety instead of a tiny snippet as in the previous medley. Overall this concert doesn't quite have the 'fun' feel of the San Diego one, its a more serious straight out concert with no 'antics', not necessarily a bad thing, but for non hardcore fans makes it less interesting. My big highlight of the concert is seeing Master Of Puppets as well as And Justice For All both played in entirely. And Justice is especially great as the set falls apart (intentionally) in a quite spectacular fashion with lots of bangs and swinging fixtures etc. All in all entertaining for the hardcore Metallica fan, but again casual fans may not find it that exciting.

      Production wise this one is again slightly let down (same production crew I'd guess. The camerawork is a tiny bit better, with perhaps a little less tight cutting and more longer pans of the band. Again its shot on a mix of film and video with video noticeable smoother. The same problems are present in the video quality Theres still aliasing present. Color is a bit worse with more oversaturation issues and resultant banding of the colors. No compression issues of note, as expected since this concert is shorter at 2hr 20min instead of 3hr 20min. Again sharpness and detail are acceptable and certainly a lot better than the vhs, but not up with the best of what dvd can offer.

      The sound isn't as good as the San Diego dvd, with still too much reverb. The main additionally problem is this one has more distortion issues (not guitar distortion, distortion that shouldn't be there), occasionally effecting the entire mix. Its nothing awful but noticeable on any decent sound system throughout the concert. The cymbals on the drums aren't as good either sound wise. Again audio sync is passable but not always 'tight'. Also the entire mix gets suddenly gets louder for 'one' and then for the rest of the concert, which is a little annoying. There shouldn't be any need to suddenly adjust the volume knob mid concert!

      Mexico city cds:

      Spread over 3 cds, this is a compilation of performances rather than a single concert. Practically it comes of as a cd version of the San Diego concert, its most the same songs, off the same tour. the set list:

      CD1
      1. Enter Sandman
      2. Creeping Death
      3. Harvester Of Sorrow
      4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
      5. Sad But True
      6. Of Wolf And Man
      7. The Unforigiven
      8. Justice Medley (Eye Of The Beholder, Blackened, The Frayed Ends Of Sanity, And Justice For All)

      CD2
      Through The Never
      For Whom The Bell Tolls
      Fade To Black
      Master Of Puppets
      Seek And Destroy
      Whiplash

      CD3
      Nothing Else Matters
      Wherever I May Roam
      Am I Evil
      Last Caress
      One
      Battery
      The Four Horsemen
      Motorbreath
      Stone Cold Crazy

      Again I'll criticize Master Of Puppets for being cut short before the solos, I'm sure they could have made the over the top 18 minutes Seek And Destroy a bit shorter to accommodate. Yes i'm sure 18 minutes of the song would have been brilliant to see live, but it doesn't translate as well to cd, especially without any video footage. I got a little board by it. I must confess i rarely even give the cds a listen, they just aren't as interesting as watching the concerts. Others may enjoy them more, ok for listening to in the car I guess.

      Sound production is more or less identical to the San Diego dvd, albeit with a more punchy sounding drum (most likely due to the limiter used to boost levels), so not quite as good as the dvd sound wise but definitely passable.

      So overall is this dvd worth buying? Well for hardcore Metallica fans most definitely don't hesitate even if you already have the vhs copy. The newer dvd copy has better video, but still limited in some ways by the source footage. For the more casual Metallica fan only the San Diego concert is of big interest, which I have seen online as a separate purchase now so they'd best to do that.

      p.s. Doyoo admins please spell Metallica correctly! its not 'Mettalica'.

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      • More +
        20.03.2003 09:05

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        excellentee - Advantages: loud, fantastic - Disadvantages: u have to pay for it

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      • More +
        29.03.2001 05:16
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        I waited a very long time to get hold of this awesome box-set. In fact about 6 years or so. I was so thrilled when it came as I had been waiting eagerly by the front door for about 10 days or so since I placed the order! I even bought a new video which was ntsc compatible. So fantastic, wot can I say?! It is beyond doubt a fantastic live show. Very loud, very fast and very heavy. Just wot we all bought it for huh? The talents of Metallica are exceptional. This video kicks ass more than any young bands trying to make it. If you're gonna buy a live video of metal then this is the definite choice to make. The music makes u actually listen to it and wanna be there right in the mosh with all the other metallers. Get out save your money and buy this 100% brilliant video box-set now. U wont be dissapointed.

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        • More +
          28.02.2001 05:10
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          I have always heard that Metallica are supposed to be a brilliant live band, until recently when my friend bought this box set. I now think that they are the best live band ever! The box set consists of three c.d's, three videos, a tour diary and a stencil (quite strange). The videos are taken from two live shows, the first being a San Diego gig in 1992 (this takes up two of the videos). The second video is taken from the Damaged Justice tour in Seatle in 1989 (just after And Justice for All was released). All of the music on the c.d's and videos are top class! It's just makes such a pleasant change to hear all of your favourite songs taken and performed differently and mostly even better than the original recording! There are exceptions of course though, instead of playing their own songs, they sometimes just go ahead and "jam". This usually involves each member taking a go at some kind of really impressive solo ( like in Seek and Destroy on one of the c.d's, they actually take a ten minute break from the song and just involve the crowd with the song and play solos throughout) This might not suit everyones tastes, I admit that it took me a long time to get used to the differences and huge breaks but this is all part of the live experience. This set is absolutely fantastic, I would advise any metallica fan/live gig fan to go straight out and but it now! How ever (here comes the bad bit) the set is so hard to get hold of and is really expensive ( its only really obtainable through mailorder at a decent price) since its a limited edition product. This is a shame but considering the amount of great stuff that comes packed in the box, I think I can forgive Metallica this time!

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        • Product Details

          Disc #1 Tracklisting
          1 Enter Sandman
          2 Creeping Death
          3 Harvester of Sorrow
          4 Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
          5 Sad But True
          6 Of Wolf and Man
          7 Unforgiven
          8 Justice Medley: Eye of the Beholder/Blackened/The Frayed Ends of ...

          Disc #2 Tracklisting
          1 Through the Never
          2 For Whom the Bell Tolls
          3 Fade to Black
          4 Master of Puppets
          5 Seek and Destroy
          6 Whiplash

          Disc #3 Tracklisting
          1 Nothing Else Matters
          2 Wherever I May Roam
          3 Am I Evil?
          4 Last Caress
          5 One
          6 Battery
          7 Four Horsemen
          8 Motorbreath
          9 Stone Cold Crazy

          Disc #4 Tracklisting
          1 Enter Sandman [DVD]
          2 Creeping Death [DVD]
          3 Harvester of Sorrow [DVD]
          4 Welcome Home (Sanitarium) [DVD]
          5 Sad But True [DVD]
          6 Wherever I May Roam [DVD]
          7 Through the Never [DVD]
          8 Unforgiven [DVD]
          9 Justice Medley: Eye of the Beholder/Blackened/The Frayed Ends of ...
          10 Four Horsemen [DVD]
          11 For Whom the Bell Tolls [DVD]
          12 Fade to Black [DVD]
          13 Whiplash [DVD]
          14 Master of Puppets [DVD]
          15 Seek and Destroy [DVD]
          16 Last Caress [DVD]
          17 Am I Evil? [DVD]
          18 Battery [DVD]
          19 Stone Cold Crazy [DVD]

          Disc #5 Tracklisting
          1 Blackened [DVD]
          2 For Whom the Bell Tolls [DVD]
          3 Welcome Home (Sanitarium) [DVD]
          4 Harvester of Sorrow [DVD]
          5 Four Horsemen [DVD]
          6 Thing That Should Not Be [DVD]
          7 Master of Puppets [DVD]
          8 Fade to Black [DVD]
          9 Seek and Destroy [DVD]
          10 ...and Justice for All [DVD]
          11 One [DVD]
          12 Creeping Death [DVD]
          13 Battery [DVD]
          14 Last Caress [DVD]
          15 Am I Evil? [DVD]
          16 Whiplash [DVD]
          17 Breadfan [DVD]