DVD REVIEWS

[Updated: December 04, 2012]

Autumn-Winter 2012:

ARS NOVA-Devine Nigth (DVD)
2011 (Altavoz/Sky Station Inc.)
Rating: 8 points

It’s always nice to review a new product by this Japanese prog rock band. This package is quite exclusive, for it contains a live DVD and a live CD both recorded on their 2010 world tour. In this review I want to narrow myself to the DVD part only. You can find the CD review elsewhere on this website. Beware that these parts are not sold separately from each other, as far as I know. Okay, let’s start with the DVD footage, recorded at Sanctuary in Tokyo on December 19th, 2010. It’s Christmas time and the band has decorated the stage a bit to create an attractive situation. Opener “Salvatore Syndrome” is a fast song with the keyboards dominating the sound. The vocal parts do not have any real lyrics, but they’re only consisting of ‘oh’s’ and ‘ah’s’. The drummer and guitarist play very fast, but the main focus is the keyboard sound of Keiko Kumagai. The seven songs on this DVD run for about sixty minutes, which is an average of about nine minutes in a song. The musicians get enough space for improvisation and showing their skills to the public. The vocal parts in “Fata Morgana 2010” are left out and this way the musicians get the full stage. Shinko ‘Panky’ Shibata on bass and Hazime on drums take full advantage of this and are very much in the spotlight. Don’t rule out the part of Satoshi Handa, because his guitar solo is quite flashing and really a highlight here. Later on, there are some short vocal spots by Sayuri Aruga, who is also the female vocalist of INTERPOSE. The band continues with “Kali”, which is introduced by some flashing guitar work. It doesn’t last long and it’s just an introduction, but it still sounds very impressive. Main influence of the band is EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER, although it’s not that obvious all the time. However, in this song it sure is, while in “Fata Morgana 2010”, it’s less obvious. It’s the keyboard sound, that makes me draw this comparison. The band easily switches from segment to segment, which makes the music sometimes a bit busy. There is a lot happening and if you’re not used to that sound, it might be hard to comprehend everything, that is happening on stage. Die hard prog rock fans will have a great time with all these fast movements and switches, I guess. “Succubus” is the second track, that is on both the DVD and the CD, next to “Fata Morgana”. These are the only two songs, that are on both discs, by the way. Keiko Kumagai looks like a pretty angel, when you watch her face, but when you notice how focused and concentrated she plays her instrument, you see that she is a great musician, who definitely knows her skills very well. She is the true driving force behind ARS NOVA for a long time now. The audience is very quiet during this performance. I guess, that they are enjoying it very intensely. “Cazadora De Astros” is on next and again it contains many mood and speed changes. Just before I wrote this review, I read an interview with MARTY FRIEDMAN, who stated that Japanese musicians love to switch styles and that they are not afraid to play dance music, pop music and very heavy metal in one and the same song. With this in mind, you might comprehend some of these switches a little better maybe. In this song there’s also room for a guitar solo. Just watch the face to face interaction between Keiko and Satoshi. One blink of an eye is enough to know what will be the next move and by who. While in “La Venus Endormie”, there is room for some vocals. I must admit, that I wasn’t too fond about the vocal parts, but I think that I simply don’t understand it and that the Japanese will dig this a little bit more than the average European or American reviewer. The guitar part is very much appreciated by yours truly though. The last song on this DVD is an interpretation of “Beethoven Symphony no. 9 In D Minor”. The band calls in the help of Sayuri Aruga, Hime-Ichigo, Fuyuu and Numero Ueno on vocals on this one. The vocal parts exist of some well-known Christmas songs like “Silent Night” in the beginning of the song. This part may sound a bit mellow, but the instrumental parts in this track are quite heavy with some very fast guitar work. The band also adds Japanese lyrics to this classic and slowly the performance builds up to a climax when the speed goes up. Maybe a bit over the top at times, but hey it’s Christmas time and we’re about to have a nice celebration. I’m sure, that the band is having a great time and I also had a great time watching this DVD. There are no extras on this and after a full hour, it’s all over. This may not have been comparable to a normal ARS NOVA live gig, but it sure was a nice addition to our collection. Merry Christmas everybody!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


CRUCIFIED BARBARA-Till Death Do Us Party - European Tour 2009 (DVD)
2011 (GMR Music)
Rating: 8 points

When CRUCIFIED BARBARA went on tour in2009 for six weeks, they recorded this DVD. It tells the story about the life on the road for this all-female foursome from Stockholm, Sweden. They do this tour with BONAFIDE and the DVD gives you a good overview of what life on the road is all about. It also proves that life of a rock star isn’t always a bed of roses. Small dressing rooms, problems with the bus, so they had to switch busses in France, an accident in which the bus hits a parked car and that is only just the beginning. There are some fragments of their shows as well, but they are very short. The ladies tell, that they don’t have the need to do long tours anymore, like they did when they toured for the very first time. Is it all that bad then? No, of course there is enough booze to have a great party every now and then. But after a good drink it’s back to work again, which can be very hard. Especially when you see in what kind of dumps they sometimes have to play. It’s unbelievable, but in some countries people ought to be ashamed of themselves to have the guts to invite a band in a shithole like I’ve seen in this footage. And if the so-called ‘fans’ come to the show to give the band a hard time, then you almost ask yourself why people are going through so much trouble to have a band on stage in the first place. The ladies give one hundred percent under all circumstances, but in this given example they decided to skip two songs. I am sure, that if you looked inside their heart, the best thing they could do is to cancel this particular gig. And then we get to the very last gig of the tour in their home country Sweden, in Malmö. A big arena is jam-packed with people and after that the tour is over and so is this DVD. In about eighty-five minutes you get insight of a tour diary, that explains a bit more about the 2009 tour of a band, that is willing to give their very best to their fans. You will get to see all the difficulties a band has to deal with on the road, but also the fun times that they have of course. There is no acting, there are no full songs played on this DVD, but this is some kind of reality soap and therefore it contains a lot of recognizable moments. It has become a very nice overview and essential for every die hard fan of this Swedish all-female heavy metal band. The DVD is only available through the website of the band, which might make it a bit hard to get, but it’s worth to order a copy, if you’d ask my opinion. Both thumbs up for CRUCIFIED BARBARA, because that’s what this band deserves.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


HEART-Night At Sky Church (DVD)
2011 (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Rating: 10 points

How nice it is to see the old footage of HEART in the introduction to this live show, that’s the whole purpose of the release of this DVD. The Wilson sisters show us again, that they still are top of the bill performers. With Nancy on guitars and sister Ann on vocals, they form the backbone of HEART from the early seventies until now. Their career has its ups and downs over here in Europe, but in the USA they are huge. And at Metal Maidens we are incredible big fans of the band. Mainly because they easily survived every hype and kept making high quality records with equally high quality songs. Thrash metal came, black metal came, grindcore came, grunge came, nu-metal came, HEART survived them all. With a sound that might remind you of LED ZEPPELIN, their main inspirators, they remained true to their style and that is melodic rock with a groove. When they start this show with “Barracuda”, we turn up the volume a little. What a great riff! “Never” is a nice track, which is the first chance to sing along to their music. Nancy plays blues harp and acoustic guitar on this one. In “Straight On”, Ann shows once again what a great singer she is. This is one of the many timeless songs we get to see on this live DVD. The setting is very nice and the first shivers appear, when the band starts with the acoustic intro to “Love Alive” and the flute is handed out to Ann Wilson. Wow, magic moments are in the air tonight. This is from the very early HEART days, when the two sisters, sorry to say so, were still kids and were making their first steps into the hard music business. Almost forty years later, they still know to astonish music lovers like ourselves and like I mentioned earlier, they survived them all. All competitors can take a huge example of them. “Mistral Wind” is another great song with a very beautiful acoustic intro of Nancy Wilson. We know that these ladies can rock real loud. They can also quiet down the whole hall with songs like that. It’s really amazing to see the concentration by which they play their music. These are the real musicians playing their music with emotion. These ladies don’t do their trick without emotion and you can almost feel it, when they perform their songs. And from the reaction of the crowd, this is highly appreciated. Then it’s time to play some songs from the new album “Red Velvet Car”. We hear three new songs, like “WTF”, “Hey You” and title track “Red Velvet Car”. “Hey You” is performed with special guest Ben Mink on acoustic guitar, who also produced the album. Nancy plays the autoharp and sings the song, which makes it a little bit more special. Keyboard player Debbie Shair plays accordion and percussion. She is the third metal maiden in the band and already a well-known face to long term HEART adepts. In “Red Velvet Car”, Ben Mink plays the fiddle to create a nice, intimate atmosphere, that suits this song very well. ALISON KRAUS hits the stage as a very special guest for another magical moment with “These Dreams”. Another link to LED ZEPPELIN, because Kraus tours with Robert Plant these days. This guest performance gives Ann the chance to take her acoustic guitar, while Nancy plays the mandolin. Both guests are part of the next two songs as well. In “Safronia’s Mark” and “Your Long Journey”, Alison and Ben take a fiddle to give these songs a special touch. “Your Long Journey” is a typical ALISON KRAUS song, by the way. The concert is at full steam by then, so it’s time to bring on the all-time classics and it’s time to rock. “What About Love” already contains a lot of power and we see HEART at their very best here. “Alone” has always been one of my favorite HEART tunes, because of the great vocal parts of Ann. Again, the song makes the shivers run down my spine. While Nancy asks some special attention after this beautiful, emotional ballad with an acoustic intro to another highlight and personal fave of mine; “Crazy On You”. With this song we’ve also come to an end of this smashing performance. In the first encore both take the stage alone with an acoustic guitar, to give the rest of the band a little more time to relax back stage. Together they play “Sand”, which is another ballad type of song with a lot of emotion. The very best part is saved for last with the heavy “Magic Man”, where Nancy cranks out her very best Jimmy Page impersonation. The gig is over and HEART thanks their audience. Some of the people form the shape of a heart with their hands. The DVD contains two bonus tracks, from which I guess they are recorded somewhere halfway the concert. I don’t know why they are cut out of the regular footage, because the songs are of the same high quality as the rest of the show. “Back To Avalon” is first and after “Kick It Out” it’s all over for this DVD after about ninety minutes. HEART kicks it out for the full-length of this DVD. There is more to enjoy very soon, when the band releases a DVD box, that shows footage ranging all over their whole career. In the meantime you’ll have a real good time with this one, I’m sure.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


Winter 2010:

DORO-25 Years in Rock… And Still Going Strong (DVD)
2010 (Nuclear Blast)
Rating: 10 points

It seems like just, that German Metal Queen Doro Pesch was celebrating her 20th year in the music biz. Of course, that was a huge celebration, that would be impossible to top, right? Well, five years later with DORO celebrating 25 years in rocks, she has indeed done the unthinkable and surpassed the celebration she had for her 20th. Fortunately for those of us, who were sadly not able to attend this monumental metal party, it has been captured live on DVD, so we can experience or relive the power, pyrotechnics, guest stars and most importantly the great music that was provided on this special night. In addition to being one of the hardest working musicians, DORO has a love and passion for her fans which she has more than proved over the 25 years that she has been performing. This entire set is beautifully packaged and includes three DVDs and one audio CD. The first DVD is the entire 25th anniversary concert. The fans get to experience the marathon performance (almost three hours long), as DORO and her ever hard working band, featuring Nick Douglas (bass), Joe Taylor (guitar), Johnny Dee (drums), Luca Princiotta (guitar/keyboards) and Oliver Palotai (keyboards/guitar), play a comprehensive and energetic set that spans the entire career of the metal queen from her early WARLOCK beginnings to her latest output, “Fear No Evil”. There are plenty of cool guests on hand to join in the celebration. OVERKILL’s Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth contributes a hard hitting duet with DORO on the track “Always Live To Win”. One of the main highlights for me was the full metal female version of “Celebrate”, which saw DORO joined by some of today’s best metal ladies, like Sabina Classen of HOLY MOSES, Floor Jansen of REVAMP, Liv Kristine of LEAVES’ EYES among others. Tarja Turunen appears for the duet of “Walking With The Angels”. 4/5s of the ´True As Steel” WARLOCK line-up perform a mini-set consisting of three songs with Nick Douglas taking over bass duties. Klaus and Rudolph from the SCORPIONS team up with DORO on a couple of SCORPS’ classics. The whole thing is brought to a rousing conclusion with a great, big metal sing along of the all time DORO/WARLOCK classic “All We Are”. The second DVD is a documentary of the entire behind-the-scenes goings on in bringing this massive event to fruition. It gives the viewer some insight to all of the hard work that went into the whole production. The third DVD is chock full of bonus material and footage, from TV specials to live festival clips. And finally, the whole thing is completed with a bonus audio CD that includes highlights from the gig. Not the whole show, mind you, but some of the best moments. If you are a fan of DORO and WARLOCK, I think it will go without saying that this DVD set is as good as it gets and an essential addition to your collection. DORO continues to tour the globe and spread her message to her metal brethren, with no end in sight. “25 Years in Rock” is a perfect documentation of just how great a performer that DORO has been and continues to be.

Reviewed by: Tony Cannella


Autumn-Winter 2009:

ILSE DELANGE-Live In Ahoy (DVD)
2009 (Universal Music)
Rating: 10 points

Playing live in Ahoy, Rotterdam is not reserved to every Dutch artist and most of the time, it can be seen as the highlight in one’s career. Ahoy is only meant for the cream of the crop under the artists. ILSE DELANGE slowly developed into a well-oiled hit machine over the years. And after releasing so many successful hit records, it was about time to take Ahoy by storm. Having a great band to back her up and an impressive back catalogue, there’s no use waiting any longer... Ilse actually changed from country music to a more mainstream pop and rock sound, that still has a few country influences in the background. Name it whatever you like, I simply call it high quality music, which is presented here as tender love songs, emotional ballads, catchy hit singles and even some ballsy rockers. Ilse’s everlasting smile is breathtaking, her voice is magnificent, her songs are very recognizable and the band does the rest. The set consists of twenty-three songs and for a more detailed review, I’d like to refer you to our CD review section. The DVD contains exactly the same songs, only this time you’ll get moving pictures. Most of the time Ilse only sings, but sometimes she plays acoustic guitar as well. The stage displays some kind of a catwalk, so she can move into the audience as well. “Sister Golden Hair”, a cover of AMERICA, is like a breaking point in the set. “I’d Be Yours” is another huge hit single, but right after that, Ilse shows some real magic. The song “Heavenless” is a true highlight to me. It sounds slightly psychedelic in a way and the whole Ahoy is staring in silence, as she performs this eccentric, PINK FLOYD-alike, very obscure rock song. It’s simply ‘marvellous’ in one word! After “Fall”, there is time for another cover, called “Have A Little Faith In Me”, originally recorded by JOHN HIATT. Then Ilse invites the whole band to the front of the stage for a jolly version of the STEALER’S WHEEL classic “Stuck In The Middle With You” in a kind of cosy, intimate, private setting. “Pirate Of Your Soul” is an exclusive song as well, because it’s previously unreleased so far. With “Puzzle Me”, a new party is created, which reaches its ultimate climax in the next song “Sharp Dressed Man” of ZZ TOP. “The Other Side” closes this small party on stage. Next song “Miracle” on the contrary sounds much slower and very emotional. The lights go down on this one. If there’s still a roof on this building, now it’s time to raise it down with “The Great Escape”. Ahoy is swinging and singing and Ilse and her band keep delivering the goods. “I’m Not So Tough” is definitely not autobiographical, although I would have thought differently several years ago. Ilse is very level-headed and she performs with the biggest ease possible. If I have to judge her show from this DVD, I really must say, that she’s so much hotter than ANOUK nowadays. I haven’t seen such energy and power from ANOUK in the past few years anymore. The DVD closes with “I Love You” and “So Incredible”. The bonus footage consists of some backstage footage and the video clips for “So Incredible”, “Miracle” and “Puzzle Me”. A new rock diva has been born and ILSE DE LANGE is her name. I really hope, that she will keep this natural charm and that she won’t become the bitch, that many of her colleagues have turned into, after becoming successful. I guess not, so the road is clear for Ilse to become the new rock queen of Holland and maybe even for the rest of Europe. A well-deserved full score is granted to a product like this, because this package is steaming hot!!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


KREZIP-Sweet Goodbye (DVD)
2009 (Sony Music)
Rating: 9 points

It’s almost unbelievable how successful KREZIP became during their years of existence as a band (1997-2009). Everybody will probably agree with me, that their first Pinkpop gig in 2000 was just amazing for such young talents. Every song, that they wrote afterwards, became a monster hit and right now I’m reviewing the DVD of their very last concert on June 27th, 2009 at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. Watch the band get ready for this farewell gig. Heating up the engines, so to speak. When the curtain falls, it’s show time again, only this time for the last time in their career. It’s time to rock and roll to the max. Their hits are mixed with some of the lesser well-known material and they even ‘introduce’ an unreleased song, which they played during rehearsals only. A nice surprise for the hungry audience, mainly consisting of young teenagers. No need to ask the thousands of fans to sing along with the band, because every song gets a spontaneous support from the crowd. Some fans are very emotional indeed, because this is the last time, that they will get to see their favourite band live. The band decides to give it two hundred percent one more time. This is their moment. During “In Her Sun”, frontlady Jacqueline climbs the drum kit. From there on, the rock level goes up each time. “Billy Jean” – the MICHAEL JACKSON cover - is included in the set as well (also performed by WATCH TOWER every now and then). With “Play This Game”, we hear the last song of tonight. Big colourful balloons are launched in the hall. We all know this nice phenomenon from bands like ALICE COOPER and JETHRO TULL, who also used this gimmick during their shows in the seventies. Of course, this can’t be over just like that. And so the band has to return one more time for a last acoustic encore with “Sweet Goodbyes”. The band leaves the stage for the very, very last time and unfortunately, they leave their fans behind….crying. The response of their fan base at the end of this DVD are very heartwarming. In the bonus footage, we hear and see the band talk about KREZIP for about eight minutes. And the fans have their saying for three minutes as well, before the gig takes place. “Sweet Goodbyes” includes a huge picture gallery on the DVD. It comes in chronological order and runs for about three minutes. Fans will definitely like this package, that contains the audio and the video material of the very last show by these talented young musicians. I’m curious, who will show up first with a solo career after this. Any bets?

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


STEVIE NICKS-Live In Chicago (DVD)
2009 (Reprise Records)
Rating: 9 points

The voice of STEVIE NICKS is very recognisable. It still gives me the shivers every time, that I hear it. And after all those years, she still knows to impress me with her brilliant performances. And she did it again with the seventeen songs on this DVD, which is recorded live in Chicago, as the title tells you already. No matter, if she is performing with FLEETWOOD MAC or as a solo artist, she’s always responsible for a high quality rock show. In FLEETWOOD MAC, she is backed up by some well-known musicians. But with her own band, she knows to put down a show of equal value on stage. It’s mainly her voice, that takes care of the magic part of the show for me. Tonight she opens with a rocking version of “Stand Back” and from that moment on, there’s magic in the air. “Rhiannon” is performed rather early in the set and it is the first real classic of tonight’s performance. “Crash Into Me” is a cover of the DAVE MATTHEWS BAND. It’s a song, of which Stevie says she wished that she had written it herself. “Dreams” is on next and of course we can talk about another classic here. “Sorcerer” is also from the old days. Together with VANESSA CARLTON, she performs “The One”. In between the songs, Stevie tells us some nice stories, which make a beautiful timeline together. “Gold Dust Woman” has always been my favourite STEVIE NICKS tune and it’s performed with a very lengthy, instrumental outtro. Then it’s time to let off some steam again with the TOM PETTY cover “I Need To Know”, a short rocker to keep everyone focussed. Together with VANESSA CARLTON, it’s time to relax during “Circle Dance”, which was originally written by BONNIE RAIT. “Landslide” and “Sara” are some good old classic FLEETWOOD MAC songs and they bring back great memories! The guitars howl again in the rocker “Fall From Grace”, which is on next. “How Still My Love” is from the early eighties, taken from Stevie’s solo album “Bella Donna” and it’s performed in a long version with a nice guitar solo. Then the groove gets back and it’s time to rock and roll again. An explosive guitar intro gets “Edge Of Seventeen” starting, slowly taking this performance to a steaming ending. The LED ZEPPELIN cover “Rock And Roll” really raises the roof and the steam is coming from the amplifiers. Stevie rocks and no one can stop her now! What voice, what a performance, what a show!! Unfortunately, there’s no bonus footage on this DVD and that’s the only big disadvantage here. But with a playing time of almost two hours, you won’t hear me complain. At the very end of the DVD, we also get to see an ‘orchestral version’ of “Landslide”. And then it’s over and done. The people of Chicago can look back at a marvellous performance and a very nice DVD is the result of this wonderful evening. Great stuff!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


SKUNK ANANSIE-Smashes & Trashes (DVD)
2009 (One Little Indian)
Rating: 9 points

Besides the two CDs in the “Smashes, Thrashes” package, we are also able to enjoy two DVDs. The first DVD is a nice collection of all videos, that SKUNK ANANSIE have ever put out in their long lasting career. Here you have them all together on one disc. Most of these clips are true artistic masterpieces and even a bit rebellious and slightly provocative at times. But they are very well done and give us a nice look back into the band’s career. It’s like a jukebox filled with greatest hits, only this time with video footage added to the music. Even the more recent videos were added to this disc as well. The first clip of “Selling Jesus” shows Skin with corpse paint. A big white cross on her face tells us, that she is a rebellious lady with a mind of her own. While in the latter videos, she mainly shows her feminine side. A very nice document in my opinion and if you see it in the chronological order that it’s recorded, it’s also a nice evolution of what the band looked and sounded like over the years. “Tear The Place Up” is the ultimate highlight here, what a powerful song! The second DVD contains twelve songs, mainly taken from TV shows, that the band appeared in during their career. But it also includes some live footage. See Skin, ready to take a dive into the first ranks of the crowd at the end of “All I Want”. Or watch guitarist Ace going completely insane during “Selling Jesus”! Hear the power and the influences of LED ZEPPELIN during “Charlie Big Potato”. On the other hand, you can also see the band in an acoustical setting for an unplugged version of “Hedonism”. There’s a lot of variation here and therefore this is the most enjoyable disc of this four disc set for me. In “All In The Name Of Pity”, you can see the drummer go completely nuts. See what music can do to people, it’s all captured on camera here. The live footage of “Little Baby Swastika” makes me long for a live CD / DVD package next time. What power they express in that particular song! Although this is nothing compared to “The Skankheads”, that is also recorded live at the Glastonbury Festival. Together with the two CDs, this sure is a great package for all the SKUNK ANANSIE fans out there.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


Spring-Summer 2009:

LEE AARON-Live In London (DVD)
2006 (Attic)
Rating: 10 points

It gives me great pleasure, when I take a look at the live footage on this DVD. The first gig was filmed in London at the Camden Palace Theatre, May 19th, 1985 and the second show at the Dominion Theatre, November 20th of that same year. Both footage is very well-known from the eighties metal shows, such as Power Hour and MTV’s Headbangers Ball (those were the days!). Looking back at them now, it still feels like yesterday. I remember all the song lyrics and I can almost tell, what happens where and when. LEE AARON was the true metal queen back in those days and today she is still a reference for me, when listening to other female singers in this style of music. The career of this Toronto rock star was at its height and her music contained these raw edges, that disappeared slowly hereafter. When Lee decided, that she wanted to follow a more A.O.R/ pop rock style. This is pure heavy metal with a leading role for Lee herself and her partner (in crime), John Albani. The first show contains fifteen tracks, while the second show includes some more modest tracks like “Champion” and “Barely Holding On”. Songs like “Beat ‘Em Up”, “Call Of The Wild”, “Got To Be the One” and “Rock Me All Over” are left out. The first show runs for a full hour. The only annoying thing about this high quality heavy metal show is, that the last song, the ultimate LEE AARON track “Metal Queen”, cuts right in the middle. Weird but true, as they only had a full hour broadcast time, instead of the sixty-five minutes the show really lasted. During the Dominion Theatre footage you’ll notice, that the band has gained a lot of popularity in a few months time. Whereas the Camden Palace show only pictures three or four rows of people, the second show is really jam-packed. Lee is at the top of her succes here. The DVD contains no bonus stuff whatsoever. It would have been nice to have the Reading footage as a bonus on this disc. But this is only a minor complaint. It will not stop me from giving the full score to this absolutely ‘must have’ document of the good old days!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


BATTLELORE-The Last Alliance (DVD)
2008 (Napalm Records)
Rating: 8 points

Dressed up in their best warrior outfits, including some warpaint on their faces, BATTLELORE takes their public by storm. Target of this attack is the hungry crowd at the Metal Female Voices Fest in Wieze, Belgium in the year 2007. In Finland, there are many successful metal bands in this scene and BATTLELORE is definitely one of them.The band consists of Timo Honkanen on bass, Jussi Rautio on guitars, Henri Vahvanen on drums, Jyri Vahvanen on guitar, Tomi Mykkänen on vocals, Maria on keyboards and flute and Kaisa Jouhki on vocals. On the bonus DVD of “The Last Alliance” package, we see their gig in Belgium, dated on Oct. 20, 2007. Their epic, fantasy metal can be loud or modest at times, but most of the time, it sounds quite angry and brutal. Their music has many faces and BATTLELORE shows it all in eight songs. The band prove to be good entertainers, who constantly move on stage and go for it all the way. “We Are The Legions” is the absolute highlight for me, which is also the most brutal song of this set. After about forty minutes, the storm is over and BATTLELORE thanks their audience for being there. The DVD is a nice bonus for all the fans of this fantasy metal band.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


DANA FUCHS BAND-Live From New York City (DVD)
2008 (independent)
Rating: 8 points

This DVD gave me a pretty good idea of what the DANA FUCHS BAND is all about, when playing live. This great singer goes for it all the way and gives her audience the full one hundred percent and sometimes even a little bit more. It’s all or nothing! Already after the first song “Almost Home”, you’ll know that here’s an incredible talent up and about. Dana has got a great voice and puts an enormous power in her performance. I am thinking about female singers like ANOUK, MAGGIE BELL, BETH HART, MELISSA ETHERIDGE, NIKKA COSTA and maybe even JANIS JOPLIN. There is never a dull moment and Dana shows, that she can sing rock, blues, soul and even some gospel, where her roots originally are from. And you can tell, when you listen to the great gospel song “Bible Baby”, which is definitely the highlight on this DVD for me. Dana seems to come from out of nowhere, but she really knows to convince me with her great talent. Dana has a backing band, she can rely on and with these musicians she has already won half the battle. To win the whole battle a good band needs a good frontman or frontlady. Dana proves to be the cream on the cake. She screams, she sighs, she sings, she hums, she shakes, she whispers, she is sexy and willing to give the full hundred percent to overwhelm her audience. The magic is always there and prove is given on this live DVD. The set closes with the classic tune; “I’d Rather Go Blind” and by then, we can speak of a real knock out. Dana has won this uneven battle. The bonus material on this DVD consists of an acoustic part, where you can hear the naked versions of some of the live songs from the NY gig . Maybe it’s there to show us how talented this lady is in every way. Her former husband accompanies her on the guitar in the acoustic set. For more information, go to: http://www.danafuchs.com and be amazed!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


GENITORTURERS-Live In Sin (DVD)
2007 (MVD Visuals)
Rating: 10 points

GENITORTURERS are well-known for their extreme and explicit shows. This DVD shows you some great footage of Gen and her guys rocking out in front of a wild live audience. Unmistakably, Gen is the biggest eye-catcher in the band. The show is X-rated, so don’t show this stuff to young children. Let them have a listen to the CD’s of GENITORTURERS instead. There’s a lot happening on stage and the band goes much further than ever before in their earlier shows. Guests perform small theatrical plays on stage, which are telling the story behind the songs in a live setting. And while the band keeps pulling out industrial riffs and repeating beats, the most horrific show elements happen on stage. Just watch “House Of Shame”, if you have the guts. My grandparents had a wooden cross above the doorway of their living room, because of their believe in Jesus Christ. Here they use the cross for other purposes and ways. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean?!! Say no more!!! If you like the B-horror movies from the fifties and sixties, then you may like this DVD footage. It contains many picture switches, so you never really get to see what exactly happens on stage. Before you’re actually into a scene, they already switch on to the next. You probably have to take a second look at the DVD and maybe even a third one to comprehend everything, that is happening here. The show you’ll get to see is very spectacular though and the ten songs are worthy of a full hour of GENITORTURERS mayhem and S&M torture and tricks. From “Cum Junkie” ‘till “Public Enemy #1” there’s so much to deal with and I can tell you, that you don’t want to miss a thing about a GENITORTURERS show. Not only their show is mindblowing, the music (which will come second place to many people!!) is much more heavy than we’re used to from their CDs. I would say, that it sounds like a mix between MARILYN MANSON and THE PLASMATICS. And their show could be compared to big shows like we know from ALICE COOPER, KISS , PLASMATICS, old TUBES, LIZZY BORDEN and MARILYN MANSON. The bonus footage contains more extreme goodies, like some footage of the photo shoot for Hustler magazine. An incredible story about what happens, when you are in a band like GENITORTURERS and you fly from one place to another in the US and they search your lugage. Imagine, that you’ll have something to explain then. Same happened to LIZZY BORDEN, whent they flew from their Wacken gig in Germany, back to the US. When they searched through the lugage of Lizzy, they found the axe with fake blood on it in his suitcase. He also had a lot to explain that day. In this section, showgirl Kelly tells us the whole story. Next is a mudwrestling part, in which three GENITORTURERS show ladies are wrestling each other in a bath filled with mud. In the ‘tour antics’ section, we see the band on the road for about five minutes. Last but not least, there’s a ‘meet-and-greet’ part, where we see the band members and their fans after the show for no more than only two minutes. “Live In Sin” is a great show, recorded at the State Theatre in Orlando, Florida in November 2006. GENITORTURERS consist of Gen on vocals, Evil D’Vincent on bass, Bizz on guitar and Angel on drums. The CD booklet is printed in full colour and that alone is worth buying. Many bands don’t give a f*ck about a booklet, but the GENITORTURERS want to give all and everything to their fans. A great show, exciting music, X-rated footage, a full colour DVD booklet, I will give the full score here! Website: http://www.genitorturers.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


THE GREAT KAT-Beethoven’s Guitar Shred (DVD)
2009 (independent)
Rating: 11 points

We all know, that THE GREAT KAT is one of the fastest, meanest, sexiest, loudest guitar and violin shredders of the entire universe. And there’s no doubt about it! Her videos are short, but they show us the exciting world of this classically-trained metal goddess and her guitar and violin. The seven videos on this DVD are also short, but very intense. Sometimes, it’s good to view these clips consecutively several times to see and comprehend what happens in here. The video for “Flight Of The Bumble Bee” for example runs shorter than one minute and shows THE GREAT KAT shredding on guitar and violin. In “Torture Techniques”, the leather mistress beats the shit out of her slaves. But she doesn’t just torture her slaves, she also kills the strings on her guitar. No one escapes the claws of THE GREAT KAT! The walls are dripping with blood and with furious speed like this, there’s no one who’s gonna stop her or even dares to. “Paganini’s Caprice #24” is on next. Yes, I do think, that this is the way Paganini meant the song to be. THE GREAT KAT is covered in blood, playing at full speed, while her fingers are burning and there’s steam coming out of her instruments. She doesn’t only play the song on guitar, but you can watch it simultaneously, while she is playing it on the violin as well. This is really fast stuff! And if this video does not contain enough blood and violence, just wait for the next one, called “Blood”. WARNING: this video is not meant for the faint-hearted or people, who watch the MTV shit all the time. This video is brutal and ultragore, but hey, that’s the way I like it. It’s outrageous and rude, but an ultimate pleasure to watch for the thrillseekers among us. Is that a liver being brutally pulled out of someone’s poor body??! Enjoy your dinner and in the meantime I’m getting ready for some more extremeness, my mistress!! “Beethoven’s 5th Symphony” is a legendary piece of music, even in its original form. Let’s see, what THE GREAT KAT made out of it. She performs the song with her band and once again I’m getting goosebumps all over my body. I think, she can be proud of this very fast and furious version. “Islamo Fascists” is a politically tense video message. If the enemy sees this, they’ll definately lay down their arms and surrender immediately. If they still can. Let this be a warning for all the non-KAT believers! The mistress is gonna get you, no matter how, and then you’ll die! This may sound rude, cruel and violent, but if you look at this video, you’ll get the message straight in your face. This is the way, that people communicate with each other in 2009. Wake up, these messages are send out every week. But then for real and not as an ‘innocent’ video clip. Maybe that is the bigger message from THE GREAT KAT behind this one minute video clip? The last video is “Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3”. I think, this is the longest video and the most friendly or in other words, less violent one. THE GREAT KAT is dressed in white and for the last time she pulls the strings fast and loud, like we’re used to. After about eight minutes, the whole show is over and we can start with the bonus footage on this shredding DVD. We start with “Hot Shred Bits”. This is a fast running photo gallery, that plays for about thirty seconds. Then we have the ‘shred geniusses’ section. Here we see pictures of geniusses in the world of THE GREAT KAT. Musical geniusses, like BACH, ROSSINI, BEETHOVEN and MOZART, but also people like EDGAR ALLEN POE, MARY CURIE, GEORGE WAHINGTON and HIERONYMUS BOSCH. Did I forget someone? Oh yes, THE GREAT KAT of course, silly me. I hope, she can forgive my stupidity. The next chapter is called ‘Metal Fugue: Bach’s The Art Of Fugue’. In this segment, THE GREAT KAT shreds along to Bach’s music for thirty seconds. ‘The shred credit’ part closes this bonus section with email and website addresses. While in ‘the shred kartoon’, we see “The Flight Of The Bumble Bee” as a cartoon in forty-five seconds. The absolute last section on this mega fantastic DVD is ‘the shred on-line’ part with more adresses and pictures. Because of the intensive material, it might be more than enough to handle for the average metal fan out there. However, die-hard fans, adorers and slaves of this blonde, leather dressed genius would like to see much more and more! I really love this lady and to show my appreciation, she receives eleven points out of ten, if that would be possible. If that’s not an option, she will have to do with the full score.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


BETH HART-37 Days (DVD)
2008 (Provogue)
Rating: 8 points

The fourteen tracks on this DVD were recorded live at the Centre Staging in Burbank, California. The very last song is recorded in the living room of Bryan Golder. The voice of BETH HART comes close to other female vocalists like MELISSA ETHERIDGE, NIKKA COSTA, DANA FUCHS, ANOUK and maybe even JANIS JOPLIN. “Good As It Gets” is already one of the highlights to me and a real strong opener indeed. Watch how the band works in the studio and inbetween there’s also some black and white footage shown of the band rehearsing these tracks. It’s a nice view in the studio and an honest reflection of the whole atmosphere during the recording sessions. The intro of “Sick” has Beth with a distorted voice, which perfectly matches the energetic character of the song. It’s also the perfect moment for the band to let off some steam. “Face Forward” has got that same power and energy. “Soul Shine” is a gospel kind of ballad. While “For Ever Young” is a slow and very sensitive kind of ballad. It’s these songs, that show the intensity of Beth’s music in the best way possible. “Easy” for example comes right from her heart. This asks for some forceful guitarwork. “Heaven Look Down” and “Missing You” are typical BETH HART songs. Very modest on one hand, yet powerful on the other hand, but always the great voice of this lady in the centre of it all.”Waterfalls” calls for more power, just watch the guitarplayer. “Crashing Down” is a beautiful ballad, which holds a certain darkness. Just listen to the difference between the part with the distorted vocals and the one with normal vocals. It may sound a bit odd in a way, but very beautiful and well thought of. “At The Bottom” marks the end of this DVD, in which we see some bonus black and white footage. After sixty-five minutes, it’s all over. Thirty-seven days of recording sessions are captured in sixty-five minutes of DVD footage. You won’t find it more pure than this.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


JACKAL-De Kade Live 17-12-2008 (DVD)
2008 (independent)
Rating: 8 points

Earlier this year, we saw JACKAL supporting MARTYR during their CD presentation in De Meern (near Utrecht), NL. There they played the same songs, as included on this DVD, but in a slightly different order. JACKAL is a Dutch power, speed metal band consisting of John Bouman on guitar, Nick Radich on guitar (Johny Deeprockets plays on this DVD), Bas Dooijes on bass, Rick Waalewijn on drums and Rebecca Duin on vocals. The sound of JACKAL finds its roots in the eighties, when the original band line-up was founded out of the ashes of STRUCK and STAINLESS. After several line-up changes, they decided to pull the plug in 1992, but in 2007 the holy fire started to burn again and the band gave it another try. To me, these songs sound pretty impressive! This is some great power and speed metal, influenced by saints like CRIMSON GLORY, LEATHERWOLF, LETHAL, VICIOUS RUMORS and very early QUEENSRYCHE. “Enchantress” has got some nice speed and mood changes and in “Pharaoh”, you can sense some Egyptian influences in their sound. The songs are quite innovative at times and this is certainly no straight forward material. Rebecca’s voice shows some resemblance to the late CRIMSON GLORY chanter Midnight (God rest his soul!), especially in the longer pull-outs. The sound on this nine track DVD is quite okay, but the picture quality is dark and blurry at times. Sometimes, the presentation of the band is a bit static as well and there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Not really strange, as most people came to see some brutal black and death metal that night and you are billed as the only power and speed metal band. Despite these few minor details, this DVD is a good way to get to know JACKAL a little better. “The Law” is definitely one of the highlights here, but almost every song is highly recommendable and you can almost feel the power of a live setting. Rounding off with the song“Lost And Found”, JACKAL leaves the stage with an icy-cold howl. I think, JACKAL is one of those bands, we’ll have to watch closely in the near future. A nice introduction to the Dutch band JACKAL on this forty-five minute DVD and can’t wait to hear more of this very talented band from our capital city. If anyone can help me to get a copy of their debut album, released in the eighties, please leave me a message.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


KREZIP-Plug It In; Live At The HMH (bonus DVD 'Best Of..' package)
2008 (Sony/BMG)
Rating: 8 points

KREZIP turned ten years and they celebrated this anniversary party at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. The DVD, that comes with the band’s “Best Of…” CD, contains the full concert plus some bonus ‘behind the scenes’ footage. Only one year after this anniversary show, the band announced that they will be splitting up. What a crying shame, because no other Dutch rock band has managed to write such dense and catchy songs like KREZIP or even come close. Every CD single or CD turned into gold and the band has hit the Pinkpop stage three (!!) times, just to show you how popular they have been in our country. Tonight’s show at the HMH in Amsterdam is actually some kind of ‘Best Of’show. The band is at their very best and the audience sings the songs word for word. It’s good to see, there’s so much young talent in Holland. Although it’s a bit difficult to accept, that the band has called it quits, when you take a look at this energetic and dynamic performance. What a waste of talent! It’s really nice to check out the KREZIP version of the SHOCKING BLUE classic “Venus”, next to their own classics like “All Unsaid”, “Won’t Cry”, “Out Of My Bed”, “Plug It In & Turn Me On”, and of course the ultimate KREZIP song “I Would Stay”. This last song is performed together with the singer of BEEF guesting on vocals, in some kind of reggae version. KREZIP 2008 consists of Joost van Haaren on bass, Jan Peter Hoekstra on guitar, Bram van den Berg on drums and the three ladies Annelies Klijsters on guitar, Anne Govaert on guitar, keyboards and backing vocals and Jacqueline Govaert on vocals and piano (the later two being sisters).The band is in a elated mood and so is the crowd. In the bonus footage, we’ll see the band backstage, preparing themselves for the show. The girls slip into nice dresses and chose their wardrobe for the show, while the guys play some soccer. I think, we’re gonna miss this band very much, when they’re gone. Their very last show at the HMH in Amsterdam (June 27th, 2009) will be recorded and released on both CD and DVD later this year. Keep an eye out for this essential document and wipe away a tear (or two)… We’re surely gonna hear more of each band member individually. Happy anniversary, KREZIP and thank you for all those great years!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


LACUNA COIL-Visual Karma (Body, Mind And Soul) (DVD)
2008 (Century Media)
Rating: 9 points

In the (gothic)metal scene, LACUNA COIL slowly have become real superstars. Frontlady Christina Scabbia is to be found on the cover of every magazine, their shows are sold out and their records receive raving reviews everywhere. It’s strange maybe, but I never really understood all the euphoria about this band. I always thought, LACUNA COIL was a nice band, but definitely not outstanding or special. I put aside my prejudices about this Italian metal machine and with a clean opinion, I started reviewing this double DVD. Just like for example WITHIN TEMPTATION, LACUNA COIL really knows to put together an interesting DVD package, no matter what you think of their music. On the first DVD, we’ll see two live shows. The first one is recorded at Wacken Open Air, Germany in 2007 and it consists of eleven songs. The second set is recorded at the Loudpark Festival in Japan the same year and this part consists of six songs. I notice a lot of power, movement and energy, some hard working musicians and a lot of hair waving around. Christina is a good singer, there is no doubt about it. She constantly moves around and her voice impresses me even under tough circumstances. There is a good chemistry going on between Christina and male singer Andrea Ferro and they are very much involved with the people in the audience. I think, it’s the songs, that don’t seem to appeal to me somehow. And when I notice, that “Enjoy The Silence” is one of the crowd pleasers, I personally get a very strange feeling. This is a f*cking DEPECHE MODE cover. I remember, that metal fans contempted this band back the eighties. We made fun of them. Now it’s the highlight in the live set of a (gothic) metal band. Am I going insane or what? Maybe I am just an old fashioned fart, who’s getting too old to understand the deeper meaning of it all. This doesn’t mean, that I didn’t enjoy the footage though, because the concert was an amazing view so far. The Japanese show is from an indoor concert, where “With Me” and “Daylight Dancer” have been added to the set. This first DVD closes with the video clips for “Our Truth”, “Enjoy The Silence” (DEPECHE MODE), “Closer” and “Within Me”. On to disc number two. Here we’ll see a little bit more about the people behind the musicians in LACUNA COIL. In six different short chapters, we get to see topics chosen by each band member individually. Like drummer Criz is telling about his love for martial arts. He shows some impressive moves and techniques in his part of this chapter. Marco Coti Zelati has made a seven minute topic, that could be called ‘a day in the life of..’ episode of some kind. Marcus ‘Maus’ Biazi shows his love for his seven string guitar, in a rather funny way. Especially the birthday party and the broken string part are hilarious for words. Christiano ‘Pizza’ Migliore shows us the beautiful area where he lives, in a nine minute sightseeing tour. And Andrea Ferro is our guide in the beautiful city of Milan (‘Milano’ in Italian). Christina Scabbia asks our attention for AMREF, a project in Africa, where people build water wells for the poulation out there. Christina has her own well over there, too. The other band members participate in this project as well. We also see short segments of the band while touring in Japan and Australia. There is a short section, where you can see the making of the videos for “Our Truth” and “Closer”. And in a special fan corner, you can watch an interview with Christina, next to three picture galleries. And you can also see what happens, when the fans are asked to let go of their creativity in a video clip. The best videos were chosen and added here. With a special code, you can see the band at work for their new album, but first you have to find it. Good luck! What a nice interactive addition here. I can only give a very high rating for this double DVD, because it’s put together with so much love and done in a very professional way. I still can’t understand the madness about their music after seeing these two DVDs, but I know that this is a ‘must have’ DVD set for all the fans of this Italian metal band.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


LEAVES EYES-We Came With The Northern Winds / En Saga I Belgia (DVD)
2009 (Napalm Records)
Rating: 10 points

Bands take note, this is how all music DVDs should be. The long awaited live DVD/CD set from LEAVES' EYES has arrived and man was it ever a joy and a pleasure to watch! I can say right-off-the-bat, that the band got it totally right and have produced a visual and audio delight for the eyes and ears. Let's get right into it. The first part of the DVD side of things features a totally engrossing and engaging two hour documentary, titled "We Came With The Northern Winds". It follows the band around on their "Vinland Saga" tour. It also features interesting band interviews, some cool footage and insightful comments about touring and recording the bands masterpiece "Vinland Saga". Sometimes with these long band documentaries it is a chore to get through, not so with this one however. It is no problem to watch in one sitting and the two hours just fly by. In fact, it is deserving of repeated viewings. DVD 1 is concluded with all of the bands video clips, that they have done over the years. "Elegy", "Into Your Light", "Legend Land" and "New Found Land" are all excellent productions, that are finally available on one collection. There is also a clip of the band performing "The Thorn" at Masters of Rock 2006. A photo gallery is also included here. DVD 2 is titled "En Saga I Belgia" and is the live part of this set. Here is the band is captured in all of their live glory at the Metal Female Voices Fest in Wieze, Belgium on October 20th, 2007. The band really shines in a live setting. Having seen them on their last tour in Hartford, CT in what was a sparsely populated show to say the least, I can attest to the fact that band simply kills live, whether it be in front of an audience of 100 or 5000, the band puts a lot of effort into their live performances. On this show the band unveiled their viking long ship stage set and it is really a site to behold. It covers one end of the stage to the other. The live set is a run through of all of their best moments from their two albums and one EP. Individually, they all turn in fierce performances. Liv Kristine is spot on in her delivery and is the perfect contrasting compliment for her husband Alexander Krull, who is just a monster on stage. His stage presence is powerful indeed. It would be difficult to single out one highlight on this, it is the whole performance that is the highlight. Every song is great delivered with such professional precision, but my favorites are "Elegy", "Into Your Light", "Legend Land" and "Temptation", to name but a few. Also featured on this disc is a three minute making of featurette and another photo gallery. That set might seem like enough, but also included is a two-CD audio version of the Metal Females Voices fest show. The audio part really pack a powerful wallop. The packaging is tremendous as well. This collection should be a must for fans old and new of this band, who no doubt has a bright, bright future. The band obviously put a lot of effort, energy and passion into the making of this collection and it shows. This shows the band at their best. It is a monumental achievement that LEAVES' EYES should be proud of.

Reviewed by: Tony Cannella


NASHVILLE PUSSY-Live In Hollywood (DVD)
2008 (MVD Visual)
Rating: 9 points

When you touch the DVD, you can almost feel the adrenaline flow. A NASHVILLE PUSSY show is a quick kickstart, followed by driving off in fifth gear. Only then, you’ll get the perfect acceleration. Since Karen Cuda (HEMI CUDA) is part of the band, we can talk about a stable line-up again. She fits in really perfect on the bass guitar. And so the engine is driving on full steam again. Hollywood is ready to rock out completely, and you can see that they’re gonna get their ass kicked tonight. Blaine Cartwright spits out his street lyrics and has total supervision of everything. While his wife Ruyter Suys pulls out the meanest licks and wildest solos from her guitar. She simply can’t be stopped and she constantly moves around like a female version of TED NUGENT or ANGUS YOUNG (AC/DC). But I think, that she looks so much better than these two guitar gods. In a quick rate, I would like to call RAMONES worthy, they kick out twenty classics in seventy minutes here. One song (“Going Down”) is not mentioned on the insert. In the bonus footage, we can watch some interesting stuff. First up, there’s some backstage footage of France, where they meet MARIANNE FAITHFUL at a TV show appearance.. In Australia, they bring the late ROSE TATTOO guitarplayer Pete Wells on stage for a guest performance of the classic “Rock And Roll Outlaw”. Then there’s a live performance at a radio show, where they crank out a sleazy, dirty version of “Hate & Whiskey”, and the fast “Come On, Come On Hell Yeah”. Next is an interview with all the band members for Psychobabble TV, mixed with some live footage. They supported SKID ROW back then. We see Blaine outing some musical ideas in the backstage area, and Ruyter playing guitar in the studio. The best part is kept for last, where MOTÖRHEAD’s Lemmy interviews the band and tells one of his funny jokes, in a way that only Lemmy can do it. The DVD closes with some fan footage from Canada. All this bonus footage is worthy of about eighty minutes. Then, the pussy time is over. As you can see, there’s enough value for money on this disc. A great watch for all the fans of this hard working band. Hell Yeah!!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


WITHIN TEMPTATION & THE METROPOLE ORCHESTRA-Black Symphony (DVD)
2008 (Sony/BMG Music)
Rating: 10 points

“Black Symphony” is the biggest production ever done by a Dutch metal band, I think. The setting is just perfect and the band is very eager to play this live show after very long preparations. A Gregorian choir, the Metropole Orchestra, a well-oiled band, a set comprised of all the greatest hits, a video wall for projections, an awesome light show, firebombs, special guests and a jam-packed hall. I would call this an unique combination for a very spectacular show that no other Dutch band has even dared to present live. From the lengthy intro on, you’ll know that this show will become a very special treat to your eyes and ears. The lightshow is simply perfect! Just check out the effects during “The Truth Beneath The Rose”, to know how spectacular it is. When the last notes of “Ice Queen” have faded, the main concert is over. But this part is only just the beginning of this double DVD. The bonus material on the first disc consists of a peak in the backstage area, before and after the show. The documentary shows a short overview of the career of WITHIN TEMPTATION so far. We see the band’s rehearsal with the orchestra and preparing for the big event, together with guests George Oosthoek (ORPHANAGE) and Keith Caputo (LIFE OF AGONY). During the show, Anneke van Giersbergen (AGUA DE ANIQUE / ex-THE GATHERING) will also show up, by the way. The final chapter shows the last ten hours before the show starts, compressed in a short special of about seven minutes. The second disc starts with a live concert, recorded at the end of 2007 at the Beursgebouw in Eindhoven, a couple of months before the “Black Symphony” show. This live registration is also very spectacular. It only lacks the choir and the orchestra. A very pleasant eleven song live show, that plays for about a full hour. Next, we see the videos for “What Have You Done”, “Frozen”, “The Howling” and “All I Need”. That makes life a lot easier, because now you don’t have to wait until the next millennium to finally spot them on MTV one time. For the last three video clips, we also see the ‘making of’ in the next chapter of the DVD. It’s interresting to know that the video for “Frozen” was shot in Romania. It’s a short but interesting peak behind the scene. The chapter I’d been looking forward seeing the most is the world tour impression, which starts in the USA, where the band supports LACUNA COIL. From the US, they travel on to Canada and back to the US, heading to the West Coast. Later that year, they return to the East Coast for a special headline tour. The footage continues in Romania, Japan and through Turkey, we arrive in South America. From there, they go to Mexico and Colombia. After that, we follow the band on the “Heart Of Everything” tour, where the DVD picks it up from the Astoria in London (UK) and Le Zenith in Paris (France). The last footage in this chapter is from the show in Manchester (UK). The final chapter contains four short sub-chapters. First there’s a ten minute appearance at the TMF awards in Belgium and Holland. Then there’s some footage, where the band receives the pop awards in Holland, consisting of five Sharons, or……..check it out, it’s so hilarious! We see the photo shoot in the studios of Erwin Olaff. And last but not least, you can watch the recording sessions of the violin and cello parts, the choir parts and the horn parts for the CD in a studio in Prague, Czechia. This double DVD doesn’t hold back. Everything you wanted to see is on it. I wonder, what the next step will be for this popular band. Sharon Den Adel will perform at the Night Of The Proms event in Belgium and Holland in November. This DVD can be seen as yet another highlight in the band’s very succesful career. Full score for this marvellous product!!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


Autumn-Winter 2008-2009:

LEE AARON- Video Collection (DVD)
2006 (Attic)
Rating: 9 points

Long time ago, there was a ‘Metal Queen’, called LEE AARON (real name: Karen Lynn Greening). She came from Canada and she was the wet dream of every male metal fan back then. This DVD is a compilation of all video clips, this heavy metal beauty queen once made . In a chronological order, you can hear the musical change from pure heavy metal to a more soffisticated kind of A.O.R., pop-rock kind of style. But it’s a nice overview of her whole musical career, simply because many of the clips were never shown on MTV. Lee was one of the very few ladies, who knew how to survive in the rough male-dominated world of hard rock and heavy metal back then. Her gorgeous looks was a huge advantage of course. However, a good looking body alone is not enough to assure a huge success. She also had a marvellous voice. And people still talk about her with great respect for what she has done for the whole heavy metal scene. She was given the name of ‘Metal Queen’, which is almost the song title of one of her most well-known songs. The clip for this song is the opener on this ten track DVD. It’s also the loudest track from the start of her career. John Albani (ex-WRABIT), her partner-in-crime and her husband as well, played guitar in Lee’s band. I still remember the live shows of LEE AARON in Europe, when I watch the live clip of “Shake It Up”, recorded at the famous Reading festival in 1983. Those two songs were actually the only two video clips I knew and I had ever seen before. The other songs are still quite heavy, but you can’t call it real heavy metal anymore. Think in the direction of people like SHANIA TWAIN, ROBIN BECK, FIONA, AEROSMITH, PAT BENATAR, HEADPINS or BONNIE TYLER to get an idea of what she sounded like later on in her career. Unfortunately, the days of “Metal Queen” never returned and LEE AARON proceeded her career under the name of LEE AARON AND 2 PRECIIOUS. When this outfit didn’t bring her any success, she decided to pursue a whole new career. Lee sings jazz music right now and she is rather successful with it. The memory still remains however and it has been compiled on this hard to find import DVD. The bonus footage is an alternative version of “Sweet Talk” plus a fifteen minutes biography of her career, told by the lady herself. A nice document for all the fans of the one and only ‘Metal Queen’ from Toronto, Canada, LEE AARON.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


TORI AMOS- Live At Montreux 1991-1992 (DVD)
2008 (Eagle Vision)
Rating: 9 points

The DVD of TORI AMOS at the Montreux Jazz festival contains the two memorable live shows on one DVD. It’s 1991, when Tori plays live at the festival in Switzerland for the first time. She is a rather unknown singer/songwriter, who plays piano, too. And almost nobody knows her yet. The expectations are very high though. And she lives up to it rather easily. Just a woman and her piano and ten wonderful, breathtaking songs. These songs make you forget, that there is a cruel world out there. Her voice gives me a very warm feeling. Sometimes, her voice will remind you of KATE BUSH, but in general she sounds a bit sweeter. She even sings acapella in “Upside Down”. A more than convincing live show, that launched her career and put her name right on the worldwide map of very successful musicians. Tori is even asked to return for an encore and her favorite song “Thank You” of LED ZEPPELIN closes her set in 1991. However, the 1992 show is something completely different. Tori has slowly become some kind of superstar. The expectations are perhaps even higher than her first performance. The red-haired lady, armed with her piano is ready to please the audience for forty-five sensational minutes this time. After two minutes however, she stops the show. Tori is being disturbed by people talking, while she is playing. She politely asks them to shut up and continues her concert. COOL! Tori obviously has matured a lot in only one year. She has become so much self-assured. Her announcements contain a high level of cynism, but her performance is probably even better than the one she did a year before. She didn’t forget the self-penned lyrics of “Happy Phantom” this time. And the LED ZEPPELIN classic “Thank You” is being extended with another ZEPPELIN classic, called “Whole Lotta Love”. Of course they have the well-known TORI AMOS ingredients. The acapella part is a bit longer this time and is now saved for “Me And A Gun”. After “Winter”, the gig is over. But Tori has to return on stage again for another encore. It turns out to be a really breathtaking moment, when she decides to play her version of NIRVANA’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Then she disappears again from the stage, hardly taking the time to receive her well-deserved bunch of flowers, but taking away the sunlight she spreaded over the cold stage. TORI AMOS live in concert is true magic, and these two gigs are the absolute proof of that. Ninety minutes of perfection, what more can you ask for? A real must for all the broad-minded music fans out there. No other bonus footage was added to this disk, and that’s the only real disadvantage of “TORI AMOS Live In Montreux 1991-1992. Still, you won’t hear me complain…..

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


ANOUK- Live At Gelredome (DVD)
2008 (Dino Music)
Rating: 9 points

The Dutch rock diva turns everything she touches into gold. Except for her personal life maybe, since her marriage is over now. Her live shows are getting bigger and bigger and in 2008, she performed a sold out gig at the Gelredome in Arnhem, NL. This show is captured live on a double live CD (see our CD reviews) and a double DVD, which contains a single live CD. The whole show seems to be very arranged and contains less spontaneous moments, then you would expect from ANOUK. Does the fire still burn in the heart of this rock lady? Every now and then, it does light up. So you can answer the question with a ‘yes’. But sometimes, the diva makes me almost fall asleep as well. Her previous live shows were a rush of adrenaline and musical firework. This time, the stunning light effects have to create the right atmosphere. In “R.U. Kiddin’Me”, one of my personal fave ANOUK tracks, she walks down on an enormous catwalk, leading her through the mass of people attending her show. In a few other songs though, like “I Don’t Wanna Hurt” and “Graduated Fool”, I really start longing for some more power. Which isn’t exactly a huge compliment. While in “It’s So Hard”, a second marathon down the long catwalk is needed to please all the fans in the back. Get your cameras ready, because she’s coming really close for a moment. In “More Than You Deserve”, the band gets in the spotlight, especially drummer Oscar Kraal, who’s dressed in a black high hat and a KISS t-shirt. For a moment, there’s a sparkle of the old magic back again. But we slow down into the first gear with “Lost” and “Sacrifice” at the beginning of the second DVD. During this concert, ANOUK was helped out by a background choir of three people. And in “Good God”, an additional horn section was added as well. “Jerusalem” is the opener of the grande finale. A finale, that consists of “If I Go” (her latest single), “Nobody’s Wife” (her most successful single) and “Good God”, including those horns. What remains is two music videos for “Good God” and “Modern World”, and a fifteen minute backstage pass, which actually shows all the preparations, that were made before the actual gig took place. From the decisions about the catwalk, until the minute before ANOUK walks on the stage. I really hope, the rock diva will add some more power again to her shows in the near future. For all her fans though, this is a document that may not be missed. For those people, who like the harder side of this blonde lady from The Hague, it’s sometimes a long wait, before the real action starts again.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MELISSA ETHERIDGE- The Awakening Live (DVD)
2007 (The Island Def Jam Music Group)
Rating: 10 points

The DVD of “The Awakening Live” has become a real masterpiece. “The Awakening” is a very emotional and personal album in a way. The live shows are pure and intense. And this particular live show, recorded at the Hard Rock Café in New York City is no exception. I think, it’s the crown on all the hard work for Melissa and her band. Not only on stage, the emotions are highly tensed, but also in front of the stage - her die hard fans - the emotions are almost sensible. And it all comes together in an eighty minute live show. Resulting in a whole lot of joy, which almost explodes from your TV set. The gig proves, that Melissa didn’t loose her strength. She is still capable of playing and writing catchy songs, raw rock songs and beautiful, emotional love songs. Her story unfolds itself during the show, which is absolutely amazing. The crowd really goes crazy. What more can you ask for? That’s shortly about the amazing live show. The DVD has got so much more to offer though. There is a full hour documentary about how the album was made, recorded and produced. You can see the writing process, the house in Malibu, where the band spend a lot of time during the recording and how a new band becomes a group of very close friends. Melissa reveals her deepest thoughts. She explains what she wants to express in her songs and how she wants them to sound. For the band it’s a learning process, for Melissa it’s an outlet for her stories and her feelings. The band receives a Grammy award, and plays at the ‘Live Earth’ concerts on 07-07-07. The event was organised by Al Gore, for whom she has an enormous deep respect. He and his wife Tipper PMRC Gore are also a special guest at the show in New York City. The ‘Live Earth’ footage was not to be seen on the Dutch television, when the event took place. The bonus features consist of a four minute slide show with many pictures. Five video clips for “Message To Myself”, “California”, “Threesome”, “Map Of The Stars” and “Heroes And Friends”. The last four songs are played in a rehearsal kind of setting, where the whole band is performing the songs. “Message To Myself” is a clip in a different setting. The nicest clip is reserved for the most catchy track on the album. The last section is a prologue by Melissa, which she held before opening the show. Followed by a ‘questions and answers’ section. Here, the fans can ask questions to Melissa. Only disadvantage here is, that Melissa doesn’t repeat every question, so you can only hear her answers to some of the questions asked. This is only a minor thing. The whole DVD part is worthy of over four hours of all kinds of footage. It never gets dull and it gives you a complete overview of everything you want to know about the album “The Awake” and the live show of “The Awake”. This live show even shows you some songs, that didn’t make it to the album. What more can we wish for? I can’t make no secret, that I had a marvellous time with this DVD, so the full score goes to Melissa, who finally woke up after a very hard struggle. She can’t be beaten, and I’m very glad for her!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


GALLHAMMER- Ruin Of A Church (DVD)
2008 (Peaceville Records)
Rating: 9 points

The scenary isn’t very pleasant at all. The ruin of a church is not a place to become very happy about. But this is only just the beginning of a dark horror story, that is going to unfold itself here. I believe, that GALLHAMMER starts, where as cult bands such as CELTIC FROST and HELLHAMMER stopped. Three Japanese ladies, looking like they’ve just left the set of the Japanese horror sequel of “The Ring”. A band, that is destined to play the most brutal doom grind, that you can think of. The dark bass guitar of Vivian Slaughter sets the pace, which sounds very slow. The music style of GALLHAMMER could be compared to bands like CELTIC FROST and HELLHAMMER, mixed with some minimalistic raw noise riffs. Add to this the morbid vocal sounds of Vivian and guitarplayer Mika Penetrator and you’ll realise, there is no light at the end of this doom tunnel anymore. The girls have black make up around their eyes. So it looks like they haven’t been sleeping for a month or two. There is no contact with the audience or whatsoever. All these ladies do is torture their instruments and growl their gruelsome mournings into the microphone. They live in a world of their own. Where there is no light, no love, no joy and only morbid visions are able to exist. No wonder, the band creates songs with titles like “Crucifixion”, “Hallucination” and “May Our Father Die”. These three evil, dark princesses are as true as true can be. Going to a funeral is more fun than feeling the pain, the hate and the despair, these girls present you on stage. The bonus footage shows us three songs from shows in London and Oslo. And also here, you can almost feel the cold atmosphere, that GALLHAMMER creates when playing live. At the London show during “Blind My Eyes”, in which drummer Risa Reaper also squeaks out some oral outings, I almost get the idea that the ladies are slowly melting a bit and opening up. But in “At The Onset Of The Age Of Despair”, it is all darkness and sadness again. The photogallery runs for two minutes and the promo videos for “Hallucination” and “World To Be Ashes” are recorded in a live setting. During the seventeen minute interview, the three ladies present themselves like any other metal band. Mika is the shy person, while Vivian is the one, who speaks out the most. An interesting part. GALLHAMMER live is quite morbid. It’s the female HELLHAMMER of this millennium. And you don’t want to loose that. It’s a precious gift. When the DVD is over, the girls return to their coffins again. And all that remains is the ‘Ruin Of A Church’.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


GIRLSCHOOL- Around The World (DVD)
2008 (independent)
Rating: 8 points

The DVD, that comes with this special package of “Believe” is really a nice bonus for all the fans of GIRLSCHOOL. Where else would you be able to check out the video clip for “Come On Up”? Not on MTV, that’s for sure. The main part of this DVD is reserved for “GIRLSCHOOL Around The World”. We see five ladies, including the diseased Kelly Johnson as the fifth member of the band, on tour in countries like England, Germany, America, Sweden, The Netherlands and the oh so cooooold Finland. The words true friendship comes to mind, when you see the lady rockers in Helsinki and Los Angeles. Denise shows, that she is a clownesque rebel and we can see that these ladies have a whole lot of fun, while being on tour. They even show their sportive capacities in a game of bowling, somewhere in Germany. I didn’t see a pin drop, but I imagine that the fun was immense that evening. Besides this documentary, there is a ten minute photo gallery and an interview with Radio Northampton. It’s where Jackie and Enid play two acoustic songs, namely “Never Say Never” and “Crazy” with the lyrics sheets in front of them. The ink on the paper is still wet, the songs were brand new back then. But the two ladies take their task very seriously and make the best of it to make this sound good. It’s very nice to see Enid play acoustic guitar, by the way. We save the best part for last here. Jackie’s birthday party in Holland. I think, it’s an hilarious part, that everybody must see. I will only give one clue. Have you ever seen a flying telephone? Watch this part then. Leading role is for Denise, who needs a light for her cigarette. How this ends, you’ll have to see for yourself. The only thing I’d like to say is: “Don’t try this at home, because your parents won’t like it!!”. I hope, that GIRLSCHOOL will soon release a recent live DVD or a DVD box with a good overview of their career so far. These ladies just can’t do no wrong in our book and I can assure you, that you’ll have a great time watching this nice bonus footage.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


HEART- Live (DVD)
2008 (Soundstage/SoulFood)
Rating: 9 points

After the “Dreamboat Annie Live”, HEART released yet another live DVD, simply called “Live”. No problem, because we can’t see enough of this incredible rock band. Their music is absolutely timeless, and the Wilson sisters doesn’t seem to grow older one bit. Even after thirty-five years of playing hard rock. Their show counts twenty-four songs and they all sound like tiny little diamonds. And although I am not a big fan of acoustic songs, HEART is really an exception to this rule. This music comes straight from the heart and touches you deep down your very soul. There are no big show elements going on here. These are just six people playing the music that they like and it really looks and sounds fascinating for the full one hundred and ten minutes. One of the first highlights for me is Nancy Wilson singing “These Dreams”. I get goosebumps all over, believe me. And this while Ann is one of the greatest singers on earth. But Ann astonished me in many other songs. Especially in greatest hits, like “Magic Man”, “Crazy On You”, “Alone”, “Bebe Le Strange” and “Dog & Butterfly”. The very best song however is “Even It Up”and of course “Barracuda”. Also while playing cover songs, the band knows to impress me. “Love Song” (ELTON JOHN) and LED ZEPPELIN songs “The Battle Of Evermore”, “Black Dog” and set closer “Misty Mountain Hop”, shows HEART at their very best. “Live” is a real must to all the HEART fans out there. I really hope, the next DVD will contain an overview of the band’s career so far, because only then people are able to realize what this band actually did for the whole music scene. And the role of women in the hard rock scene in particular.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


HYDROGYN- Fans French: Live In Paris (VCDR)
2008 (independent)
Rating: 7 points

This is really something different than the previous DVDs, that we reviewed of HYDROGYN. This video CD is only available from the HYDROGYN website. It’s recorded during the ‘Sex & Sin’ World Tour 2007 in Paris, France. What we get is an introduction interview and some short live snippets, recorded at the Nouveau Casino. After that, there is an acoustic event, where Julie performs “Breaking Me Down”, “Confessions”and “Big Star”. Sometimes, the talking of the audience is quite irritating. It distracts the attention of the live performance, especially in the first two songs. If you don’t want to hear this live performance, just shut your mouth and sit down or leave the f*cking place. After these three songs, they change guitarplayers and continue with the SKID ROW cover “18 And Life”. After that, the interview continues. Thirty-five minutes is not too long for a video CD. Especially, when there are no full live versions of the songs here, besides the unplugged session. So I guess, I will only recommend this one to the real die hard HYDROGYN fans out there. If you really want to see the band in full live action, I suggest you should buy the “Live At Godiva's” DVD instead.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


HYDROGYN- No Borders (DVD)
2009 (Destroy All Records)
Rating: 8 points

This two DVD sums up the whole career of HYDROGYN so far, compiled on two silver discs. Fans of HYDROGYN may have bought their "Live At Godiva" DVD already. This DVD was exclusively released for the fans. This is a very important factor, because HYDROGYN wants to become one with their fans. They are very important to them. When you don’t have any fans, you can’t accomplish a successful career and HYDROGYN realise that very well.. On the first DVD, there’s a short interview with producer Michael Wagner. There is also some interview stuff with Julie and Jeff, and ‘behind the scene’ footage recorded during their European tour and their stay in France. The interviews are far more interesting than the ones we saw on their previous VCDR. The second DVD in this package starts with the "Live At Godiva's" footage first. People, who don't own this cool live DVD, will now have a chance to add it to their collection. The original DVD has been sold out for a long time now, so don't wait too long this time. I still think, it's a cool setting to see a hard rock or heavy metal band play live at a strip club. If you don't like the music, the girls can still entertain you, and vice versa of course. Julie is dressed up in her most sexy outfits and it's just great footage to watch. After that, you get to see the full video clips of "Breaking Me Down", "The Sand", "Blind" and "Breaking Me Down" (live version). The DVD closes with a short discography and a short picture gallery. All in all, this is a real ‘must have’ for all HYDROGYN fans out there, mainly because of the fact that the original version of "Live At Godiva's" is sold out now. And with this two disc set, you'll be able to obtain some bonus footage as well. I really hope, that the band will return to Europe again soon, because they are smoking hot on stage and it would be a privilege to meet Julie Westlake in person at last! I know for sure, that there will be no borders after that!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


SCHANDMAUL- Sinnbilder (DVD)
2008 (Fame/Edel/Rock Inc.)
Rating: 7 points

“Sinnbilder” is a DVD by the German folk metal brigade SCHANDMAUL. They are treated like heros in their own country, but over here in the Netherlands, they are not really hot. It’s may be difficult to understand their lyrics, because the band sings in their native tongue. Obviously, they are influenced by German collegues IN EXTREMO and SUBWAY TO SALLY. Except that SCHANDMAUL puts the folk influences more upfront. Birgit and Anna Katharina are the two female members in the band. They both take care of the folky instrumentation, like bagpipes, the flute and some of the less well-known instruments. Still they blend very well together with the folk metal sound of the band. The main part of this DVD consists of an introduction to each band member by means of a ten minute interview. We see the different band members at home or in the studio, while talking about SCHANDMAUL. Very interesting for the German fans or people, who speak German fluently (since there’s no English translation or whatsoever!). The average rock fan however will possibly have more joy watching the live footage from Wacken 2007 though. The band is very energetic and the crowd really goes insane during their performance. And although the music may not be my cup of tea, it’s still very enjoyable to watch this band live in action. One of the highlights for me was the song “Das Tuch”, which is by far one of the heaviest tracks. The interaction between the band members is good, and the same goes for the communication with the audience. So you can talk about a well-registrated live gig here. The bonus feature is a video clip for the song “Frei”, where the bandmembers switch instruments and create a funny atmosphere. Early 2009, a live DVD of the anniversary concert, called “Sinnfonie” will be released. Until then, the fans will definately enjoy “Sinnbilder”.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


SYRENS CALL- Live From The Abyss (DVD)
2008 (Manitou Music/Pervade Productions)
Rating: 8 points

The progressive power metal of SYRENS CALL has always received a positive review by yours truly. The surprise was big, when we saw that the band had released a live DVD/CD in 2008, called “Live From The Abyss”. On the DVD, you will see a twenty song live concert by this French metal outfit. The music of SYRENS CALL could be compared to bands like LANA LANE or French fellow rockers HEADLINE: progressive power metal with a melodic edge. The concert was recorded live at the Nautylis Comines in France on May 3rd, 2007. They open with a brief instrumental intro. It takes a short while, before the first sparkle appears, which is absolutely normal. But at the end of “Survival”, there’s an exciting instrumental part that does the trick. The first highlight of the show comes right thereafter, during “The Druidess of Oya”. Followed by a more emotional highlight in “Cold Embers”. “In The Abyss Of Sorrow” is an instrumental interlude and an introduction to “Silence Of An Angel”. In this song, vocalist Soraya Hostens sings from the balcony of the hall, away from the normal stage. “Pink Star & Tita 09” is a short bass solo by Eric Serre. The band continues with a small acoustic part, which consists of “Brave Hearts” and “Storm”. Very beautiful, but it takes away the natural course of the gig, before things can get restarted again. The audience likes it though and that’s the most important thing. The band peaks at “Far Away”, which is the last song of the regular set. The encore starts with a leading role for Frank on keyboards and Thibaut on guitar in a song, called “Toccattack”. Did you get that? It’s inspired and based upon “Toccata” by JOHAN SEBASTIAN BACH. “Aquatic Coma” is a flashing instrumental, where the band adds another spoonful of IRON MAIDEN influences to their recipe. It also gives Soraya the chance to change from her white dress into her black outfit. The very last song of this almost two hour event is the QUEEN cover “The Show Must Go On”. Although the show definately must go on, it’s here that this ten years anniversary show ends. So we continue with the bonus footage. The ‘making of’ is a fifteen minute tour around the venue before the gig and a short look at the after party. A look at the backstage of hell, as the members like to call it. Sometimes it looks quite funny. The story of ten years of SYRENS CALL is very entertaining and interesting indeed. You hear the story of a band, which starts at the very beginning, when they were still called SNAILBOOSTER. Listen how the band gets together, talk about their influences, line up changes and watch a lot of old pictures and images, that also tell their own story. There’s even some old video footage to be seen in this section. I really enjoyed this part a lot. It really gives you a lot of interesting background information.This particular part lasts for about forty-five minutes. If you already liked the band, this is a great look at their career so far. For people, who don’t know SYRENS CALL yet, it is the perfect introduction to this French progressive metal sensation. Website: http://www.syrenscall.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


V/A- Real Rock Divas (DVD)
2008 (Reality Check TV)
Rating: 10 points

This is something really special to all the fans of female rock and metal. Isn’t that why we are on this website in the first place? Well, you will be amazed after seeing this. This DVD is completely filled with exclusive interviews and live footage. Reality Check TV opened their archives and it’s a valhalla to all the readers of Metal Maidens. All music styles are covered here and we see all kinds of everything ranging from THE DONNAS, who kick off the show, to more underground stuff like STORM LARGE. It’s a real treat to see all this unknown stuff from THE DONNAS for example. Even if some of the footage is from a lesser quality than what you are used to. But sometimes it’s so cool to see rare footage of bands like THE LUNACHICKS, KITTIE, L7 or DORO. It’s simply the exclusivity, that counts here. You just name them and they are on this DVD. HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE, STONEFOX, FIREBALL MINISTRY and L7 are all linked to each other in the L7 section. And I could only watch all this footage with my mouth wide open. This is the cool cult stuff, that everybody out there has been looking forward to see. After LACUNA COIL, you get a short RUNAWAYS chapter, with some exclusive footage by LITA FORD and SANDY WEST. And from there, we go right into the underground scene with THE SKIRTS, performing “Shout At The Devil” (MÖTLEY CRÜE) and “Do You Wanna Touch Me” (GARY GLITTER / JOAN JETT) with Tina of THE BOBBYTEENS guesting on vocals. A short section, but again very exclusive indeed. HARLOW sounds very alternative. Frontlady Amanda comes from another all-female rock outfit, called FLUFFY. And of course you can see some footage by this band here as well. BARBEE KILLED KEN rocks like hell, in the best LUNACHICKS style. And BOMBER rocks it out even louder and wilder. Think AC/DC and LED ZEPPELIN here. Singer Stacey shows, that she’s got balls, too! HELLFIRE CLUB are three blonde frontladies on guitar, backed up by a male drummer (lucky bastard!). A nice band, that sounds like a more punky version of L7. BUBBLE with Share Pedersen, formerly of VIXEN, rocks out loud. Long term readers of Metal Maidens will definitely know this band already. SAHARA HOTNIGHTS from Sweden is captured here from the time, when they were still heavy. Nowadays, they play a more poppy style of music. Just check out the raw version of SUZY QUATRO’s “Can The Can” here. We could already inform you about OHM POWAH. Here, the band shows their skills with LED ZEPPELIN’s “Rock And Roll”. The DVD closes with footage from IMAGIKA and MOTHER EARTH. Man, look at all those names. It’s absolutely mindblowing! In the bonus material section, you are able to enjoy even more exlusive footage of many different rock and metal stars. A must have DVD for every devoted metal head and metal maidens freaks out there.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


Spring/Summer 2008:

AFTER FOREVER- Equally Destructive (DVD single)
2007 (Nuclear Blast)
Rating: 8 points

“Equally Destructive” is a limited edition DVD single. The title track opens with a three and a half minute live video in black and white. The song is catchy and has got a very groovy drive. Next on is “Discord”, which sounds much more extreme, heavy, more bombastic and quite colourful. There is quite a lot of energy unleashed in this four and a half minute video clip. Undoubtedly, this is AFTER FOREVER at their very best. The third video shows us AFTER FOREVER at Lowlands 2007. Backstage material, live footage, this time all in full colour. This joyful part last for about five minutes, which brings the total playing time of this DVD single to about thirteen minutes. A nice bonus for the fans of this Dutch gothic metal band.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


AYREON- 01011001 (DVD)
2008 (Inside Out)
Rating: 9 points

The DVD in this CD/DVD package contains the video footage, that is part of the new masterpiece of Arjen Lucassen. Again Arjen was helped out by many different musicians. A lot of them are female singers like Floor Jansen (AFTER FOREVER), Simone Simons (EPICA), Liselotte Hegt (DIAL), Anneke van Giersbergen (AGUA DE ANNIQUE), Marjan Welman (AUTUMN) and Magali Luyten (VIRUS IV). Quite an impressive list, if I may say so. And I haven't even mentioned guitar player Lori Linstruth (STREAM OF PASSION) here. No wonder, this album breathes magic. The DVD shows how Arjen chose his guest musicians and singers. You can see them at work, while recordign their vocal tracks and there is some great ‘behind the scene’ footage to be seen here as well. The introduction to all these fine musicians takes about fifty minutes. Then there is a beautiful animation clip for the song "Beneath The Waves". The DVD also contains some audio material, like a six track demo with songs from "01011001" in a very pure version. All songs contain vocal parts by Arjen himself. I guess, this is the material that he send to the different singers and musicians to let them hear, what the new AYREON album is all about. Another nice audio part on the DVD are the musical bloopers. Even professional musicians make mistakes sometimes. But these musicians aren't afraid to admit this and they are even willing to share these hilarious moments with their fans here. GOREFEST drummer Ed Warby gets the honour to drum on "01011001". His sessions are captured on a ten minute DVD part. The DVD closes with a trailer about this new CD. A CD, that captures the best of what we have in our country. We can be damn proud of what AYREON has accomplished over the years. And this DVD gives us a nice overview of what happened before a masterpiece like "01011001" hits the stores.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


JENNIFER BATTEN- Whatever (bonus DVD)
2008 (Lion Music)
Rating: 10 points

The limited edition two disc version of Jennifer Batten’s new album “Whatever” contains a bonus DVD with a lot of goodies. So you’d better get ready for some action. The DVD contains ten video clips. Animations with a hidden, deeper meaning, lots of humour, or sometimes just colourful landscapes fill your TV screen. While the blonde guitar wizard pulls the most weird sounds out of her instrument. The video clips are very funny to watch. But to me, the ultimate wet dream are the old, more heavy clips of “Flight Of The Bumble Bee”, “Ya Ain’t Nothing Like A Fast Car” and “Respect” (ARETHA FRANKLIN). Watch the lady with the big blonde hair touch her G-string. Is it my imagination or is it getting real hot in here? This is just so damn cool to watch! If you don’t fancy them video clips, you can also learn to play the guitar just like Jennifer and watch the ‘Geek Guitar Lessons’ on this DVD. WARNING: If you are an amateur guitar player, who is ready to pull the strings for the first time, please don’t even go there. You might end up in an hospital for mental diseased people, who became suicidal because their dream has been blown away by this blonde killer bee. Things may look very easy, when Jennifer shows all her “tricks”, but you’ll soon end up with your fingers broken or knotted together. However, if you’re more interested in the artist behind the makers of the different video clips, then you’ll have a good time watching the interview section. Here you can see the artists, that made all these amazing video clips. Very interesting indeed, but maybe not the most exciting part on this DVD for the average music fan. Now you must prepare yourself to get ready to play the video clips one more time, only this time with the audio comments of Jennifer turned ‘on’, instead of ‘off’. You’ll hear some more background information about these video clips from the lady herself. It really adds something special to the material, that you’ve seen already. After all, these are clips made for instrumental songs. The comments are not meant to replace the singing, but they are definitely worth listening to, especially because the great deal of humour in it. Jennifer tells some wonderful stories here. So we have great stories, great video clips, background information, guitar lessons, what more can we ask for? This DVD is really a ‘must have’ for every guitar nerd out there, because this lady is steaming hot!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


BLACKMORE'S NIGHT- Paris Moon (DVD)
2007 (SPV)
Rating: 9 points

The live shows of BLACKMORE’S NIGHT are a real treat to their fans. The band is very experienced live and they are much more relaxed than on their studio albums. They are so spontaneous on stage and a lot rawer, too. This DVD shows a live show reorded at The Olympia in Paris, France. The band is in good shape and we get to see a show, in which Ritchie plays various instruments. Also Candice plays the flute regularly. The setlist contains a good overview of their albums so far, including songs like “Soldiers Of Fortune” (DEEP PURPLE) and “Ariel” (RAINBOW), which fit very well to the sound of this band. Highlights for me are “Past Times With Good Friends”, “Under A Violet Moon”, Home Again”, “The Clock Ticks On” and “Renaissance Faire”. And sometimes we even get to see a glimpse of the good old days of the guitar maestro himself. Next to the screaming guitar parts though, you can also see Ritchie play the hurdy-gurdy. Now that’s what I call variation! Because of the sometimes very humorous footage, this has become an honest and joyful reflection of what a BLACKMORE’S NIGHT gig is all about. Especially Candice develops herself as a very humorous person, who can describe Ritchie’s strange behaviour in one sentence at times. This adds a special meaning to the already joyful DVD, that the band recorded from this show. A video clip and an interview are represented in the bonus footage. The package also contains a live CD with eleven songs of this concert. You can find a review in our CD section. BLACKMORE’S NIGHT consists of Candice Night on vocals, penny whistle and tambourine, Ritchie Blackmore on guitars, manolin, mandola and hurdy-gurdy, Sir Robert of Normandie on bass and rhythm guitar, Bard David Of Larchmont on keyboards and vocals, Squire Malcolm Of Lumley on drums and percussion, Lady Madeline and Lady Nancy on background vocals and Thomas Roth and Albert Donnenmann of DIE GEYERS on horns.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


THE GATHERING- A Noise Severe (DVD)
2007 (The End)
Rating: 8 points

After more than a decade of fronting the seminal Dutch band THE GATHERING, lead vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen decided to leave the band to focus on her new project AGUA DE ANNIQUE. This special two disc DVD set features THE GATHERING in all of their live glory from Santiago, Chile on their "Home" tour in 2007.The first disc is the entire Santiago concert. It is a good overview of the bands career and features nineteen songs and over two hours worth of music. The live DVD begins with "Shortest Day" from the very underrated "Home" CD, followed by "In Between", which is also from "Home". "Liberty Bell" and "Probably Built In The Fifties", both from "How To Measure A Planet?" follow. "Even The Spirits Are Afraid" from "Souvenirs" is next. The first half of the live DVD focus more on "How To Measure A Planet?" and later, while the second half is primarily made up of "Mandylion" and "Nighttime Birds" era material. I don't know if this is by design or that's just how the set-list fell, but it is definitely nice to see the band show some attention to the '95-'97 period. The band rip through some great classics, like "Leaves", "Eleanor", "In Motion Part I", "On Most Surfaces", "Adrenaline", "Third Chance", but when guitarist Rene Rutten launches into that memorable (and awesome) riff for "Strange Machines", the house really comes down. It's obvious, that the capacity crowd in Chile are loving every minute of it. The thing that has always been great about Anneke is, that she always looks like she is enjoying herself on stage, and this live performance is no different. The duo of "Black Light District" from the EP of the same name and "Travel" close the show and the live portion of the DVD. It looks like everyone - the band and fans alike - enjoyed a very memorable evening of music. Switching over to the second DVD, the listener/viewer is treated to some really cool extras. The first of which is the one hour documentary "Homemade", that follows the band through the recording process of the "Home" CD. Next is a four minute mini-documentary, that chronicles the making of this DVD. Then there is a two minute "thank you"video, THE GATHERING made for their Edison award winning "A Sound Relief" DVD. After that, we have three different fan-made videos for the song "Alone", that was part of a contest, that was run by the band. These were the winners. Three very different and eclectic clips are shown here. Next is the promo video for "Forgotten". Two animated video clips for "Box" and "Waking Hour" bring the second DVD to a close. I have to admit, that THE GATHERING will always hold a special place in my heart. One thing you can say about this band is, that they never played it safe. One thing is for certain, on "A Noise Severe" you get a great overview of the strength of THE GATHERING's material and how strong they stand up in a live setting. No doubt Anneke van Giersbergen will be missed, but I'm sure THE GATHERING will soldier on and continue to make great music. This is a perfect ending to the Anneke era, as a new chapter is about to begin.

Reviewed by: Tony Cannella


HEART- Dreamboat Annie Live (DVD)
2008 (Eagle Vision)
Rating: 10 points

“Dreamboat Annie” is the very first HEART album. Man, do we have some good memories about that one! Two sisters entered the world of hard rock music and astonished all the fans by their musical talent. More than thirty years later, the band is still going strong. On this DVD, the magic of the debut album relives during a live performance of this legendary album. Before the band plugs in, we see a ten minute introduction interview with Ann and Nancy Wilson. The two female pioneers in heavy rock music. Ann, the dark haired lady with the golden throat. And Nancy, the blonde haired lady with the golden fingers. Both good looking, like they never grow any older. The concert on the DVD was recorded live at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles on April 17th, 2007. “Magic Man” opens this magic event, followed by the whole “Dreamboat Annie” album. An album, that contains many classics like “Soul Of The Sea”, “Crazy On You” and of course title track “Dreamboat Annie”. After the regualr set and a short break, the band returns to play some great cover versions of “Goodbye Blue Sky” (PINK FLOYD), “Black Dog” and “Misty Mountain Hop” (LED ZEPPELIN), and “Love, Reign O’er Me” (THE WHO). The band grows after each song. The bonus features include a photo gallery and a short piece, where fans referred to as ‘Heartmongers’ explain why they like HEART so much. Plus we see “Mistral Winds” and “Straight On”, recorded at the L.A. Country Fair. Ann still has got the golden voice and Nancy still has got the magic grips and the beautiful looks. This band can go on for ages, if they stay in shape, which they are now. Third female member in the band, Debbie Shair, who plays the keyboards, has got a permanent place in today’s line up. She even has a leading role in the opening of “Love Reign O’er Me”. Besides Ann, Nancy and Debbie, HEART consists of Ben Smith on drums, Craig Bartock on guitar and Rick Markmann on bass.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


HYDROGYN- Live At Godiva's (DVD)
2007 (independent)
Rating: 9 points

“Live At Godiva’s” is an official live DVD of HYDROGYN. And I must say, that it surprised me in a very positive way. Who expects to see a regular concert registration needs to think it over. Godiva’s is an American stripclub with a neon lit catwalk, including equipment for pole dancers. The live show of HYDROGYN is made around heavy rock, but the female dancers, who are dressed up in their most sexy lingery, are a nice extra. While HYDROGYN frontlady Julie constantly changes her sexy outfit after each song, which makes their show highly enjoyable, too. The live set contains eight songs plus an intro. Besides that, we get to see the “Breaking Me Down” video clip, two short commercials and a slide show. The only negative thing I can think of right now is, that this thirty-five minute DVD runs much too short. It’s over, before you know it! The last song is the instrumental track “King Of Gunndore”, where a male person is being rubbed in with some bloody hot wax. This is very similar to a S.M. act, you would expect at a GENITORTURERS show. Instead, it’s another exclusive look at the ero(ck)tic show of HYDROGYN. The band will tour with GREAT WHITE later on this year. This band was banned at many clubs, because of a firework accident a couple of years ago, where a few people died. I do hope, that HYDROGYN won’t be banned, because of the erotic aspect in their shows. The bombshell is stripping ‘em blind tonight, and you can watch it all on this migthy fine DVD.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MT-TV- West East (DVD)
2007 (Korvid Inc./Blackwing Films)
Rating: 8 points

MT-TV, or ‘Empty TV’ is a continuation of ROCKBITCH. Now I have your attention, I guess. The review of their latest CD “North South” can be read in our CD section. This DVD is called “West East”, a well-thought-of name. On the DVD, we see some video clips, that the band has made. We start with the alternative, grungy, gothic metal song “Cry Me”. Women, wearing heavy make up, now humiliate the bastard, who once humiliated them. A good example of women emancipation. While “Evermore” is much darker and slower and filmed in the beautiful nature. Very sphereful music, topped by a heavy beat. “Hear Me” is the absolute highlight for me. This ‘live’ clip does remind me of the Italian horror metal band DEATH SS in a way, because of the show effects here and there. The song is a bit more uptempo and contains much more power than “Cry Me” for example. The DVD closes with the making of “Cry Me”, a three and a half minute peak behind the scene, which is quite amusing. In closing, we get a part called ‘On The Road’ filmed in 2005, which lasts about fourteen minutes. Alltogether, this is worthy of about thirty minutes of girl power. Can’t wait to see what more will happen to the school bus, that these ladies transformed into a tour bus. Some hilarious moments are on this DVD already. People, who buy this DVD for some shocking sex moments will have to grab back to the old ROCKBITCH material instead. MT-TV focus much more on their musical abilities now and they have got nothing to do with ROCKBITCH whatsoever. These days have all gone!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


NIGHTWISH- Amaranth (DVD single)
2007 (Nuclear Blast)
Rating: 8 points

With the addition of Annette Ohlzon, NIGHTWISH starts to sound a bit more like AFTER FOREVER. They kinda loose their very own, remarkable sound, that they created over the years. “Amaranth” is a video/audio DVD. The video part shows the clip for “Amaranth” in 5.1 and 2.0 sound quality. It’s a mix of the band performing live and on location, combined with a short story. The other video clip is “While Your Lips Are Still Red”. This song was recorded as a theme song for the movie “Lieska”, when the band was still searching for a new female singer. That’s why we have Marco Hietala on vocals here. Inbetween these two video clips, there is a forty-five minute documentary of the making of “Amaranth”. For those, who haven’t got a clue how much work it is to make a good video clip, should watch this part closely. In order to get four minutes of video, you need many different shoots, the gear must be set up and the place must be decorated the right way. Another shoot, different light settings, refurnishing the decoration, another light setting, make up that needs to be redone, and so on, and so on. And in the meantime, you will hear the sound of the song “Amaranth” over and over again. Outside somewhere, the ‘play part’ of the video clip is shot. We meet some characters of the video clip. They meet the band in person, too. Then you can see that people from a heavy metal band are living in a totally different world than the people, who figurate in this heavy metal video clip. Later on that day, the crew shoots the special effects and another video clip is born. A nice DVD with a nice peak in the kitchen of video clip making.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


THE PLASMATICS/W.O.W.- Ten Years Of Revolutionary Rock And Roll (DVD)
2007 (MVD Visual)
Rating: 10 points

The career of THE PLASMATICS started with a giant bang in 1978. Shock rock was still in its elementary days and only existed, because of bands like ALICE COOPER, THE TUBES and KISS. But what this band showed on stage, went beyond that and I mean far beyond it all. KISS and ALICE COOPER worked with a good balanced show, including giant pyros, some bloodspitting, a live boa constrictor on stage and the beheading of Alice by the guillotine, but everybody could see that it was all a big show. THE TUBES was an organized mess, that looked like a circus with a freakshow and some nude female dancers. But it was only a gimmick. The show effects of THE PLASMATICS really shocked people. It all started out with a guitar, that was slashed into two parts with a chainsaw. After that, a TV was blown to pieces. And later on, the band did some stunts, that had never been done before. Not even by experienced stunt people. Leading lady, and most eye-catching member of THE PLASMATICS was WENDY O’ WILLIAMS. Okay, a six feet tall guitar player (Ritchie Stotts) dressed up in a tutu is also not someone you will meet every day. But Wendy was controversial and ready to attack every single minute. And when the press lost attention and the camera was tending to look the other way, she came up with another idea and everybody was focussed on her and the band again. Performing live was not enough for her. She just needed to shock people and that’s why she decided to perform topless every now and then. That would raise some eyebrows. People get used to controversial behaviour, but this was not an issue for Ms. O’Williams. She shaved her head and grew a mohawk. In 2008, nobody will even look up, when they see somebody with a mohawk. Not even, when this certain person is a lady. But it is the late seventies and a lady with a mohawk is even bigger news than an earthquake or a tsunami. The press and the local governement looked constantly over Wendy’s shoulder. They watched every single move of the band and a lot of their shows were banned. Also in Holland, where freedom is the most natural thing, their show was forbidden. And when the band got permission to blow up another police car during their supernatural shock rock show, they still caused another riot by people, who were against the whole show. Wendy got arrested at times and the fans of the band simply worshipped their controversial moves and shocking stage act. When THE PLASMATICS pulled the plug, Wendy decided to go solo. A great decision, because she had build up a great reputation in this scene. People watched every move she made and backed up by a solid band, she was ready to attack every hall in your neighbourhood. And when you think, that Wendy would cut down a little on the show effects, you are ever so wrong. Maybe she did pull out some show effects from her live shows, but the stunts in her video clips became even more extravagant and exciting. Wendy went from driving in a school bus through a wall of TV sets in the desert, to crawling out of a driving bus and climbing into a helicopter above her, letting the bus disappear into a deep valley. You may know the stories from the pictures in magazines like Kerrang. And her musical career got a nice boost from all this attention as well. She was also nominated for a Grammy and received full score rewards for her solo albums, which went from punk rock mixed with noisy sounds to pure heavy metal over the years. She even formed a team with KISS boss Gene Simmons as a songwriter. Can you imagine that? Okay, did you get the whole story? Then it’s time to insert this three hour plus DVD into your player and see the whole story on your TV screen. Hear the complete story of former band members, roadies, managers and other people close to the band. See all these amazing video clips, that the band has shot. See the live footage of the band, and get goosebumps all over. If there ever was a band, that excited, shocked, overwhelmed and pleased their fans, it must have been THE PLASMATICS. Misunderstood by all these short-sighted people in local governements and media. Adored and worshipepd by the true fans. Their literally smashing controversial career lasted for ten long years. This memory will remain for decades and decades. Wendy is sadly missed, but man did she leave her mark on the whole heavy metal and shock rock scene! This DVD is an ultimate tribute to the mohawked, topless lady with the chainsaw. Successors, if there were any, didn’t even come close to the success, the impact nor the sound of THE PALSMATICS and W.O.W. It’s 2008 and the band nor their DVD will be banned anymore. All these magical moments are captured on one silver disc now, and is ready to be viewed by everybody, who wants to with their mouth open wide. The DVD tells us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And Wendy sits on her own cloud up in the sky. And when she is fed up with things, she swings around with Thor’s hammer and makes it thunder on earth. I bet, she laughs her ass off up there seeing us silly people here below. Thanks for all these magical moments Wendy, we love you for that. And if I ever get struck by lightning, I know it’s you that hit me so hard…..again.Website: http://www.plasmatics.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


SHOW-YA- Live 2006 (DVD)
2007 (Masterworks Corp./Balancing Rock)
Rating: 10 points

The long talked about reunion of SHOW YA finally became reality in 2006. This two hour DVD shows their reunion gig at the Shibuya C.C. Lemon Hall, recorded on Oct. 20th, 2006. From the first moment on, there is magic in the air. Five beautiful metal queens enter the stage. Miki Nakamura on keyboards, Satomi Senba on bass, Miki ‘Mittan’ Tsunodai on drums, Miki ‘Sun-Go’ Igarashi on guitar and Keiko Terada on vocals. True metal heroes for the connoisseurs of heavy metal. Just look at the freshness, when they open their show with “Out Of Limits”. Taking you back to the mid-eighties, it’s like time has stood still and the band has actually never disappeared from the scene at all! We see a well-oiled machine, working at full blast. Raw, pure, loud and bad to the bone. Besides their magnificent live show, including solo spots from all the different band members, we also get to see studio parts and footage from the band on the road from Kobe to Tokyo and inbetween. While in the solo spots it’s crystal clear, that we are dealing with some real professionals in SHOW YA. The keyboard solo is heavily influenced by Jon Lord of DEEP PURPLE, while the drum solo, based upon a techno version of the “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff, is influenced by the late Cozy Powell and Bobby Rondinelli in his RAINBOW days. This is really cult material! Miki shows, that she can still play some mean guitar riffs, even after pouring half a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey down her throat. For a moment, we hear the well-known riff of AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie”, a song they played on one of their seven inches.“Lovers” remains the biggest highlight of all, which closes with some spectacular explosions. What more can I say about this awesome and BEST all-female heavy metal band from the land of the rising sun? I can only reward this DVD with the full score. Which is the best way to do, because otherwise Keiko will use me as her sparring partner during her kick boxing sessions. And we really don’t want that to happen, do we?

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


VANADIS- Vanadis (DVD)
2007 (independent)
Rating: 7 points

VANADIS mixes gothic metal with symphonic rock, which is something that hasn’t been done that much before. This DVD is packed together with their four track demo CD, which is reviewed in our CD section. The DVD has a playing time of forty minutes and contains a live show recorded at P60 in Amstelveen on 07-07-07. A magic date! The recordings may not have a superb sound and vision quality, but it’s the idea that counts. It’s a good way of profiling yourself to a bigger audience. Let’s focus on the content of the DVD now. The female vocals of Manalys sometimes form a duet with keyboard player Ruben Marrenga, like in “Ad Midjum”. Despite the magic date, the band is suffering from technical problems in DVD opener of “Mortal Prison”.The song however shows the remarkable mix between gothic metal, a bit progressive rock and a load of symphonic rock. VANADIS consists of Manalys on vocals, Ruben Marrenga on keyboards and vocals and David Macro on bass and flute. Daniel Zonneveld still plays the drums on this DVD, but he has been replaced by Sascha Grutterink in the meantime. One of the highlights on the DVD is a song called “Fooled”, which was also the outstanding track on the CD for me. Although the sound quality may not be perfect, we see a very hard working band, that proves that they come up with some very nice musical ideas. Another highlight I’d like to mention here is the song “Ancient War”, which has an enormous power, especially in the beginning of the song. While set closer “March Of Storms” sounds just awesome and is definitely one of my favorites as well. See the enthusiasm by this young band. Watch the band grow, during the gig. Although VANADIS is still in the early stages of their career, you can tell, that they have the potential to become huge.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


V/A- Beautiful Voices III (DVD)
2007 (Nuclear Blast)
Rating: 10 points

This is the third volume in the great “Beautiful Voices” DVD series. I suppose, on this day and age of You Tube, it is possible to see to see virtually anything your heart desires. Still, there is nothing like popping in the DVD and having it all right there, plus the quality is better. So, I was eager to check out volume III, as I have already been a fan of the first two parts. This DVD is stacked with great videos from some of the best female fronted bands around. Of the nineteen videos on this collection, they run the gamut from some of the more well-known, established acts to some lesser known acts, that may be a surprise to some. The NIGHTWISH video for "Bye Bye Beautiful" is an appropriate opener, what with having 'Beautiful' in its title and all. I think, this is such a great song, that showcases the strong vocals of Annette Olzon and her great stage presence. Next is Italy's LACUNA COIL with "Within Me". Their videos are always entertaining and visually interesting, and this one is no different. XANDRIA is the real wild card here. I am not at all familiar with this band, but I found myself going back to their "Save My Life” video for multiple viewings. I was very impressed. The song is so beautifully dramatic and the video is a perfect compliment. Holland's AFTER FOREVER is up next with their clip for "Energize Me" and this is a definite highlight for me. AFTER FOREVER is one of my favorite bands and I think vocalist Floor Jansen is one the greatest talents in metal. If there is one complaint for me on this collection - it is a small one - why did they put the TRISTANIA video for "Equilibrium" on this, since it was also on Volume I? Don't get me wrong, I love TRISTANIA, but surely, they could have found something else to put in its place. Okay, I'm done complaining. Having said all that, I really like this video and love the song. Next is SIRENIA with "The Other Side". A cool video, that almost has a fairy tale like feel to it. Bands like IN THIS MOMENT ("Prayers") and Canada's THE AGONIST ("Buisness Suits & Combat Boots") provide a healthy dose of heaviness with their respective clips. The metal queen DORO checks in with a live video of her track "Strangers Yesterday". Holland's EPICA closes things out with their stunning video for their great track "Never Enough". A lot of great bands are respresented: DELAIN, AUTUMN, DELIGHT, BIF NAKED, LEAVES' EYES, STREAM OF PASSION and FIREWIND. Thank god for the good people at Nuclear Blast for putting this collection out. This series is an essential must have for anyone, who loves female fronted bands or just plain good music. Male or female, it doesn't matter there is just plenty of great music and videos on this collection. Bring on Volume IV.

Reviewed by: Tony Cannella


V/A- No Remorse Documentaire 2007 (DVD)
2007 (independent)
Rating: 9 points

NO REMORSE is some kind of a ‘school of rock’, where all-female rock and metal bands, in the age of thirteen to twenty-four, can present themselves to a bigger audience. It’s a Swedish initiation, and so we get to see only all-female Swedish rock and metal bands here. Are you kidding? No, I’m deadly serious here. There are six bands presenting their music on video. The DVD opens with the raunchy rock of BITCHSLAP and “Left Out And Ashamed”. BITCHSLAP is a five piece alternative rock band, that sounds like a heavy version of AVRIL LAVIGNE. Their singer also shows some similarity with this American rock star. “Left Out And Ashamed” is a strong opener, maybe not too heavy, but very catchy indeed. We continue with the band OBSTINATE and their song “Wake Up”. OBSTINATE is a four piece outfit that sounds darker and a bit more alternative than BITCHSLAP. Their grungy style could very well be compared to HOLE, only with less aggressive vocals. VISION rocks on with “Rocking Tonight”. They look very flashing and sound really great, like a good mix between JUDAS PRIEST and MÖTLEY CRUE. Leather, lace, flashbombs and a good rocking sound. So far, it’s definitely the highlight for me. SCANDALUX continues with “Think Twice”. Again I hear loud guitars and I see four ladies, that like to rock out loud. I hear the sound of THE CULT from their “Electric” era, only this time with a Debbie Harry-lookalike on vocals. A powerful combination, that sounds remarkably well. On we go to the next band, YOU AND ME BOB and a song called “Little Boy”. And with this band we’ve returned to a more alternative sound of the latter version of L7 or SLEATER KINNEY. The guitars sound more rock and roll than metal on “Little Boy”. Last but not least, we have BAD SURPRISE and the song “Awoken”. The band has got a very retro sound, which reminds me of a heavy, spooky version of THE KINKS or JEFFERSON AIRPLANE. VISION and SCANDALUX really stand out on this mini video presentation. But that’s not all there is to enjoy on this DVD. Can somebody please help me out, because my Swedish is not that good at the moment. It certainly helps, if you can speak or read the Swedish language, to enjoy this DVD at its fullest. I just continue to watch a new chapter, called “Kattvakten”. Let’s see, which other surprises are there? After fourteen minutes it’s clear, that this is a short movie from the No Remorse Film Grupp 2007. Interesting for people, who speak Swedish, but nothing in this short film is related to music whatsoever. Last but not least, there’s a documentary, called “Dokumentär 2007”. This is a great and very interesting item, including some behind the scene footage, rehearsals and live performances. “Wild Thing”, “T.N.T”, “You Really Got Me”, “Shout At The Devil”, “Lick It Up”, “Rainbow In The Dark”. These are all songs, that are played here. Well, partly then. Very cool footage of some young girls, that really want to rock their audience. This part lasts about ten minutes. A great DVD closer. No Remorse gives film and music talent a chance to show their skills to a bigger audience. A great initiation, which can only come from Sweden, where these kind of activities are subsidised by the government. Nonetheless, this DVD, which comes with a bonus CD of all six songs represented here, gives us a good idea of which talented all-female rock bands are preparing themselves for a major breakthrough. For this years edition, I bet my money on VISION and SCANDALUX. The CD of this CD/DVD package is reviewed in the CD section.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


Autumn/Winter 2007:

THE DONNAS- Desert Moon Official Bootleg (DVD)
2006 (independent)
Rating: 8 points

We didn’t hear that much about THE DONNAS these past few months. They’ve been working very hard on a new CD, which will be released any day now. In the meantime, an official bootleg DVD of their fan club show saw the light, which was recorded on Sept. 17, 2005 in Pioneertown, CA. It’s strickly for fans of THE DONNAS. The four ladies play a very tight set. The show is devided into two parts and we’re treated on twenty-six songs. Before we start this review, we have some bad news for you, too. Unfortunately, the sound quality of the DVD isn’t very good. It’s quite messy and sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish all the instruments. The footage is quite nice though. Perhaps a bit dark at times and most of the time you’ll see the audience before the stage rather than some nice band close-ups, but I still had a good time watching this DVD. The band sounds great, is very enthusiastic and these songs are a good mix of all their albums. Like a ‘best-of’ set, in a way. Frontlady Brett slowly developped into a perfect performer, who interacts with her audience in a great way. She is the one, who oversees everything and makes sure every show runs smoothly. Leaving some time for the jokes of Maya and conducting the audience to sing-along to some of their biggest hits. The bonus material consists of some pictures and rehearsal footage, Alltogether, this fanclub release is a nice document for every fan of this all-female rock band.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


DORO- 20 Years A Warrior Soul (DVD)
2006 (AFM Records)
Rating: 10 points

DORO has unleashed a new DVD upon us. It is titled "20 Years A Warrior Soul" and for her fans this is the best present you could ask for. It is a 2-disc set that has plenty of metal mayhem that only DORO could bring. The first disc features the movie "Warrior Soul - On The Road", which brings fans on tour with DORO, band and crew. It is a ninety minute behind the scenes documentary that follows the band from Hamburg to Madrid to Russia and other places on their European "Warrior Soul" jaunt. Oh yeah, there is also some fierce live footage, which shows the band doing what they doing best: tearing it up on stage. Older classic like "Earthshaker Rock", "True As Steel" and "Fur Immer" are mixed in with newer faves like "Haunted Heart", "Warrior Soul" and "Strangers Yesterday". One funny moment is provided by bass player Nick Douglas as he unveils his new character Metal Man. Also on disc one is a ninety minutes documentary of DORO’s big 20th anniversary show a few years ago. You’ll see what went on behind the scenes of this monumental event. The segment provides interviews and live tracks features the shows many guest stars, people like Lemmy & Mikkey Dee from MOTORHEAD, Jean Beuvoir, Udo Dirkschneider, Blaze Bailey, SAXON and many more. Of course there are also killer live clips from the gig included. Disc 2 presents the whole three hour 20th anniversary show. It shows what an amazing and comprehensive set list that was performed. It covered most of DORO’s career and seeing the many guest stars that wanted to lend their talents is cool as well. It is a testament to the woman when 20+ years of a stellar career you can’t find anyone who will say a bad word about her personally and that is evident by the many stars who wanted to help her celebrate twenty years on stage. And this DVD package is a big "thank you" to her fans. Once again she has given her fans tremendous value with this set. Sit back, watch, enjoy.

Reviewed by: Tony Cannella


LORDI- Market Square Massacre (DVD)
2006 (Sony BMG Music Entertainment/Drakkar)
Rating: 9 points

The new sensation in the shock rock scene is called LORDI. And from the day they won the Eurovision Song Contest for Finland, they are part of the premier league. Can they compete with names like GWAR, KISS or ALICE COOPER?!? I definitely think they can. They are capable of writing catchy metal songs and they provide their fans a great show. How long will the LORDI hype last? As long as they keep on writing great songs, they can last a lifetime. This DVD contains some really nice stuff, not only musically. First, there is a six track live show, recorded on the market sqare on May 26th, 2006 in Helsinki. Their music sounds like a mix between ACCEPT, KISS and ALICE COOPER. The show contains a lot of pyrotechnics and a hysterical mass of fans showing their dedication to the band. A huge crowd welcomes the band as true heroes. In the ballad “It Snows In Hell”, guitarist Amen shows his skills. And female keyboardplayer Awa has decorated her keyboard with candles. While Mr. Lordi walks around the stage with circle saws and skulls, and wears a funny hat every now and then. In “Would You Love A Monsterman”, the crowd is going mad and sings along loudly. The apocalypse is near, when keyboardplayer Awa introduces “Hard Rock Hallelujah”, the LORDI classic we all want to hear! The guitars spit fire, Mr. Lordi spreads his gigantic wings and sways with an axe and in the background we hear and see a guest vocalist. The pyros, the band uses at the end of the show, are enough to burn the whole city of Helsinki down! And this is only the beginning on this DVD. The band also likes to look back at their adventures at the Eurvision Song Contest in Athens. We see some footage of the band winning the semi-finals and the finals in Finland. And we see the band’s victory in Greece. The decadency of the whole Song Contest gets a whole new dimension with LORDI. The next chapter is filled with five videoclips. The clip for “Would You Love A Monsterman” looks very exciting and it’s definitely one of my faves. “The Kin Movie” is another bonus on this DVD. It’s an approx. half an hour horror movie around the band LORDI (featuring former keyboardplayer Enary) starring a leading role. These animals sure know how to mix horror with catchy songs. The fact that the band won the Eurovision Song Contest proves that this formula really works.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MT-TV- Shevolution (DVD)
2006 (Korvid Inc./Blackwing Films)
Rating: 9 points

Remember ROCKBITCH? If you ever wondered what happened to the ladies of this shock porn band, you’ll have to check out this DVD of MT-TV. This is the continuation of what once was ROCKBITCH. A lot has changed since their ‘ fistfuck’ and other adventurous pranks. Actually, the band is still a bit excentric, alternative and extreme, but musically they’ve matured a lot and it’s a real treat hearing the new songs, that sound very fresh indeed. “Lie” sounds like a mix of styles of THE WHO, THE CULT and THE CURE. The videoclip was done very well, and it shows a very tight band. While “Sinners” captures the band in full motion. An excellent song! Vocalist Krow sounds like a heavy version of LENA LOVICH, and especially drummer Jo knows to impress me with her heavy beats. I love the clip, they recorded for “Sucker”. It’s dark, melodramatic and creates a certain gothic vamparistic atmosphere. The dark make-up, that messes up the face of singer Krow, is just that finishing touch in this video. It might be a bit over the top, but it really accentuates the dark atmosphere here. The guitars play a leading role in “Hear Me”. The castle or dungeon, where this video was filmed, radiates a very medieval atmosphere, but the music is definitely of today. MT-TV kick some serious ass in this one! So, there you have it: four great songs by this all-female band, that sure knows to rock hard and shoot a great videoclip. The DVD is completed with a mini documentary, which shows the (she)volution of the band. Their musical changes, the band moving to America and their life on the road. I really hope, this road will be full of success and happiness, because they have a lot of talent, as we can see on this DVD. Yes, these ladies are still very sexy, no doubt about it. But they have discovered a whole new world. A world, where music is much more important than an image or lifestyle. And to be honest with you, I like that approach much more. Go to their offical website at: http://www.mt-tv.com/pages/mt-tvhomepage.html or their My Space page at: http://www.myspace.com/mttvband for more information about these rock bitches, who started a real shevolution and became MT-TV. Ultracool stuff!!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


Spring 2007:

ARCH ENEMY- Live Apocalypse (DVD)
2006 (Century Media)
Rating: 10 points

This two disc DVD set is only meant for die-hard fans and definitely not the faint-hearted. ARCH ENEMY is a brutal well-oiled live machine, that comes close to perfection. Their melodic death metal is not only consisting of bone hard pounding rhythms and loud screams. There’s much more to this band. The guitar sound comes close to the tantem guitarwork of Adrian Smith and Dave Murray (IRON MAIDEN) or KK Downing and Glenn Tipton (JUDAS PRIEST). While the riffing and some of the solo parts matches the flashing axework of Kerry King or Jeff Haneman of SLAYER very well. The first disc shows us a full live concert, recorded at the London Forum on December 17, 2004, while the bonus footage was taken from the Academy 2 show in Manchester, recorded on December 13, 2005. These live shots are such a giant boost of adrenaline, that you’ll have to decide first whether to take the full dose or go through it step by step. Fact is, there is no one who can stop frontwoman Angela Gossow, unless you pull the plug. It’s hard to imagine the amount of power coming from this ‘little’ lady. Disc one gives you a very good idea of what an ARCH ENEMY live show is all about. The second disc is very interesting, too. It’s a massive look behind the scenes of the whole ARCH ENEMY circus. First of all, there are the four official video clips, the band has shot so far. There’s even a section, in which Daniel Erlandsson (drums) and Michael Amott (guitar) show us their gear and explain some technical details. Very interesting for the musicians amongst us. Website: www.archenemy.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


BARRELHOUSE- Live Has Many Faces (DVD)
2006 (Munich Records)
Rating: 10 points

I’ve been waiting a very long time for this release. A live DVD of one of the very best Dutch live bands I’ve ever seen. And although it only lasts for about seventy minutes, I did have the time of my life watching it. The DVD opens with four songs from the ‘Sesjun’ recordings. The band plays live with ALBERT COLLINS, who played for the first time outside the USA. It’s 1978, and the band is still very young, yet they already have got that magic touch. Especially Tineke shows, that she is a natural born talent and the band plays their music straight from the heart. This enthusiasm reflects in a natural way to the audience. Then we make a little jump forward in time and we land in 1981. This one song was recorded live in Hamburg and it’s called “Only A Fool”. When you hear the progression Tineke’s voice has made in such a short time, it is absolutely amazing! The band is joined by Hans Dulfer on the saxophone. Then we move forward to 1998. This song is called “Hard Time Killing Floor” and was recorded for the well-known ‘Twee Meter Sessies’ together with Mongolian String Orchestra ALTAI HANGAI. What a surprisingly combination of two such different bands and two completely different cultures. Prove is given here, that music has no borders, and speaks every language. It’s a totally different thing, than what we’re used to hear from this band. But it’s also a huge compliment, that they dared to take this confrontation, and made it work so well. An unique recording of an even more unique combination. The DVD closes with an unplugged (or acoustic, if you like) session. The band opens at high speed with “The Other Side”. They continue with the gospel-like “Remember Me”, which is absolutely one of my favorites in this set. “Parting Glass” sounds a bit like DEEP PURPLE’s “You Keep On Moving”, only a bit more modest. Jan Willem Sligting switches to the accordion in this one. After that, he switches over to the double bass in “Worrying You Of My Mind”. In “Far East”, an instrumental track, Tineke playes the ukelele. It’s just like one big happy musical family is playing some songs together, and to me it’s always a big joy to see this band play. Even acousticly, they sure know to astonish me. No further comments are appropriate. We’d like to give this the full score, because it is very well deserved. All the live parts have different faces. Experimental, jamming, live and acoustic, it’s all there, and it all sound truly brilliant. Great material! Website: www.barrelhouse.nl

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


SHOW-YA- 20th Anniversary Live (DVD)
2005 (Masterworks Corp./Balancing Rock Japan)
Rating: 10 points

Our interview with SHOW-YA was very well planned. Keiko Terada proudly announced their reunion and upcoming shows. Right now, we have the privelege to present you the DVD of their reunion show of their 20th anniversary, recorded live in Tokyo, Japan on October 23rd, 2005. For seventy minutes, we are treated to twelve songs and a marvellous live show. Maybe one of the best in their whole career. Man, oh man, what a stunning performance! What great musicians and what a great enthusiasm! Keiko Terada is still the perfect frontlady with a beautiful voice. In the ballad (songtitle is in Japanse, which I don’t speak unfortunately), she even gets a little emotional, while tears appear in her eyes. She sings the song while kneeling down in front of the audience. The band sounds very tight and there is even a solo spot for drummer Miki ‘Mittan’ Tsunoda. She sounds like being inspired by Bobby Rondinelli during his ‘Live Between The Eyes’ tour. Guitarist Mik ‘Sun Go’ Igarashi has got the power of ten tons of dynamite. She creates a very thick guitarsound all by herself. While other bands sometimes have two guitarists and still can’t produce a sound like this. The keyboards of Miki Nakamura complete this thick sound, together with the bashing bass sound of Satomi Senba. At the end of the show, the band thank their audience. One question still remains after seeing this beautiful footage. How the hell is it possible that nobody over here in Europe ever tried to get the band over for a couple of shows? This looks like the perfect metal show to me. Played by a group of five perfect musicians. The bonus footage consists of a backstage interview, which is only interesting when you know the Japanese language, by the way. Some rehearsal footage can be seen too. All in all, this reunion DVD has become a must to every SHOW-YA fan and every other heavy metal fan as well. This is a seventy minutes master class in heavy metal, brought to you by the teachers of one of the best all-female bands in the whole freaking galaxy: SHOW-YA. Website: www.show-ya.jp/

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


VARIOUS ARTISTS- Beautiful Voices II (DVD)
2006 (Nuclear Blast)
Rating: 10 points

We already came to the conclusion, that this is a great initative of Nuclear Blast to put all these videoclips on one DVD. Twenty clips in a row with the greatest variety of possible music styles. The DVD kicks off with “Sleeping Sun” by NIGHTWISH, taken from their album “Highest Hopes Of Nightwish”. It’s a clip, which was shot at the fields of war. The only question that remains is, who will win this war. Is it Tarja, who’s pursuing a solo career? Or is it NIGHTWISH with their new singer Anette Olzon? Only time will tell, I guess. L’AME IMMORTELLE follows with “Fallen Angel”. The red-haired vocalist, Sonja Kraushofer, creates a beautiful contrast with the other footage, that is mainly shot in black and white or almost colorless. Their gothic sound matches very well with the clip. Everybody knows that “Nothing Else Matters” was a giant hitsingle for the band METALLICA. BIF NAKED has made her own version and video clip for this song. Musically, she stayed very close to the original though. The clip mainly consists of live footage. Great stuff! ANGELZOOM takes us to “Fairyland”. They tell some fairytales here, which are translated in a more mature way. I don’t know who came up with the idea first, ANGELZOOM or L’AME IMMORTELLE, but the haircolor of their singer was also highlighted against the black and white background in the videoclip. From those fairytales, we go back to the real world and tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth with a song by LACUNA COIL, called “Our Truth”. Turn the ball upside down and you’ll see the band play in a landscape, in which the snow comes falling down. AFTER FOREVER has chosen to shoot their video for “Being Everyone” in Brazil. It’s a mix of live footage and a vision of the different aspects of a big city like Rio de Janeiro. Next is another Dutch band. EPICA sinks down in the deep coal mines in “Quietus (Silent Reverie)”. Sometimes, their sound reminded me of BLACKMORE’S NIGHT, but with a much more heavy guitarsound. German band XANDRIA continues with “Eversleeping”. It’s a very romantic rock song, ready for radio ariplay. Again the red hair of leadvocalist Lisa plays a prominent role in this video. Liv Kristine has blonde hair and she’s the leadsinger of LEAVES EYES in the clip of “Elegy”. The story was based upon the vikings sailing the oceans. You’ll see the name of the band pass by in a wink of an eye, if you look very closely. “Libre” might be the very last video clip of TRISTANIA with Vibeke Stene. It’s a rather creepy video of one of the better songs on the new album. VISIONS OF ATLANTIS is on next with “Lost”. The voice of singer Nicole Bogner (who has been replaced by Melissa Ferlaak in the meantime) shows some similarity to the voice of Tarja Turunen in a way and the guitars sound really excellent. Another band from Italy, next to LACUNA COIL, is MANDRAGORA SCREAM. The clip for “Dark Lantern” is quite spooky and creepy and therefore just perfect for those who are into the horror genre. The band also has a female bassplayer. The guitarist reminds me of Reeves Gabrels (BOWIE/ TIN MACHINE) in a way. I had never heard of QNTAL before and let’s leave it that way . The band comes from Germany and their clip “Flamma” is on next. I still wonder why they’re on this compilation, because this has got absolutely nothing at all to do with rock or metal!!Let’s move fast forward to EXILIA, also from Germany, and their video for “Stop Playing God”. The band looks somewhat like CRISIS , but they sound much different and less raw. Mix the brutalness of KITTIE with the catchiness of GUANO APES and EXILIA is what you will get. The video shows a lot of aggressiveness and power though. LAB was also new to us. “When Heaven Gets Dirty” is their contribution here. Their blonde singer looks like an angel, but behind your back she would destroy your car with a sledgehammer. I bet, she’ll never get to heaven! A good warning comes from LULLACRY. “Don’t Touch The Flames” shows some behind the scenes and live footage of this band from Finland. Blast riffs, riffs at one hundred and twenty miles per hour and the female voice of singer Tanja, who probably drinks half a bottle of hydrochloric acid before going on stage. OK, let’s continue and make room for the highlights on this DVD compilation; ARCH ENEMY and “Nemesis” and the only all-female outfit here, CRUCIFIED BARBARA. Their song is called “Losing The Game”, but in our game, they’re definite winners and that’s a fact!!! Nice color of lipstick, by the way! It has been very quiet around SINERGY these past few years. What’s going on with the band and their new upcoming album, which has been postponed several times. Why are we waiting so long? I don’t know, so I’d better enjoy the “Midnight Madness” of Metal Queen Kimberly Goss here. DORO closes this DVD with “Warrior Soul”. Who said that women don’t rock? Shame on you. Play it again, Sam!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


Summer 2006:

ANOUK- Is Alive (DVD)
2006 (Dino Music)
Rating: 10 points

ANOUK played a few very special shows for her fans in December 2005. And she sold out the Ahoy in Rotterdam several times. The stage was designed in the shape of a triangle, situated in the middle of a giant hall. They call this an ‘in the round’ gig. And this is commonly, only done by the biggest artists around, like DEF LEPPARD or BON JOVI or any other million selling band. In Holland, ANOUK has gained the same status as all these million sellers. The gig of December 17 is now released as a double DVD. ANOUK enters the hall on some kind of a catwalk, while singing “Love”. It will remember you of Rocky entering the club, when he has to go into the ring for another fight. A real winner going to her working place! When ANOUK enters the stage, she explodes and nothing can stop her from putting on a marvellous show. The lady is boiling full with energy, and the band maybe even more. Sometimes they create a long instrumental ending or a jamming like part, to make sure that ANOUK can load up her batteries again for a couple of moments. While at other times, the blonde superstar uses these breaks to change her outfit. On big screens, the audience is able to watch the show and there’s even some footage to be seen, matching the songs they play. In “Sacrifice”, ANOUK plays the role of a victim. She lies on the stage, and there are lines that mark the contour of her body. While lying on stage, she sings the song. This show element was also used in MADONNA’s latest show. These are just minor details, showing you that ANOUK is not delivering any half done work here. Only the very best is good enough for her fans. During “Home Is In My Head”, ANOUK introduces her band to the audience. Then it’s time to raise the roof with her biggest hitsingle ever; “Girl”. After “Lost”, ANOUK leaves the stage, and the band follows her example, right down this catwalk and out through the entrance, the show is all over now. However, the DVD isn’t finished yet. You can have a look at the videoclips for “Girl”, “Lost”, “One Word” and “Jerusalem”. And in the bonus backstage footage, we even get a glimpse behind the scenes and meet the people, who were reponsible for organising this whole festivity. Did you know for example, that famous Dutch tattoo artist Henk Schiffmacher was responsible for the colourful cover art on the CD and DVD box? And that this cover art was also painted on the giant curtain, covering the triangle shaped stage, before the show starts? And that this colourful piece of art is an almost exact copy of the tattoo, that covers ANOUK’s right arm? You didn’t know that, did you? Well, there are more interesting details on this DVD. Better check it out fast, because there simply ain’t nothing better avaiable than this in Holland. ANOUK is alive, and prove is given here on two silver discs. An essential buy, ladies and gentlemen! Website: http://www.anouk.nl.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


BETTY BLOWTORCH- And Her Amazing True Life Adventures (DVD)
2006 (Cinema Libre Distribution)
Rating: 10 points

This DVD tells you the story of BETTY BLOWTORCH the band, and bandleader Bianca Butthole in particular. And if you didn’t know that this whole story actually happened for real, you wouldn’t believe a single second of it. You can’t come up with a story like this, as it really goes beyond ones imagination at some point. It’s as pure as life itself. BETTY BLOWTORCH started out as BUTT TRUMPET, and after some line-up changes, the key members decide to form a new band and they baptise their new outfit BETTY BLOWTORCH. A band, that combines the strongest aspects of bands like NASHVILLE PUSSY, AC/DC, KISS, ROSE TATTOO and punk rock music. But when success slowly announces itself, and the band finally seems to get some result for all the hard work they have been doing over the years, another problem is destroying all their plans. People are leaving the band, friendships come to an end, and anything else, you can possibly think of, happens with these hard working ladies. The filmmaker gives you a perfect overview of all the trouble and dark side of being in a band, and also the bright sunny successful side of an all-female metal rock band is filmed in this documentary. The end of the whole story is the biggest tragedy of all. After a show in New Orleans, Bianca dies in a terrible car accident. A girls dream to become a rock star gets rudely disturbed by one moment of not paying attention. Maybe a fraction of a second was enough to end the life of Bianca. But they continued filming after this whole tragedy happened. And that’s what makes this whole documentary film so special. The bonus footage makes this whole overview complete. See the pictures, watch a big part of the speech of Bianca’s father at the funeral (and actually feel the tears well up in your eyes after hearing all these warm, loving, and sometimes even funny words!), see the videoclips the band made and witness what the ex-members of BUTT TRUMPET and BETTY BLOWTORCH are doing nowadays. Can you put together something more complete than this? I think, the answer is NO. After seeing this all, you will realise, that the world will surely miss one of the most promising rock bands on this whole planet. Anthony Scarpa did a wonderful thing, filming this all. In the bonus features, he also tells you what moved him to create this beautiful masterpiece, about a band that deserved to become huge. But became a band with a life adventure, in which more happened than a filmmaker could ever think of. This is a ‘must have’ for each Metal Maidens reader, and it gets the full score without any doubt. Oh, and of course you can enjoy a lot of great music of BETTY BLOWTORCH and BUTT TRUMPET. We would almost forget, that this band also played some great ass kicking music!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


LANA LANE- 10th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
2005 (Think Tank Media)
Rating: 10 points

Lana and Erik throw in a party in Japan, for their tenth anniversary. And on this party, they surprise their fans with a great set of progressive masterpieces. They even play some songs, which they’ve never played live before, which is a real treat of course. The songs we hear on this DVD range from balladesque love songs to ballsy rockers pushing the pedal to the metal. And they don’t fear to play some real heavy stuff here, I can tell you that much! It’s nice to see this great combination of well-talented musicians working things out together here. It also shows, that they really enjoy playing live on stage. Drummer Ernst van Ee is constantly juggling with his drumsticks. To me, he surely is the Dutch equivalent of COZY POWELL (R.I.P.). While guitarplayer Mark McCrite is an almost invisible force, who cannot be missed in the overall sound of the band though. Same goes for bassplayer Kristopher Gildenlow. He’s another well-talented musician on board of the LANA LANE ship. You can rely on his talents at any time, while attacking his four steel threads with the preciseness of a bookkeeper in a million selling company. Erik Norlander likes to hide himself behind a giant set of keyboards. Like a wise wizard, who locks himself up in a castle tower, to be sure he will not be disturbed when he’s inventing new magic spells. Guitarplayer Peer Verschuren profiles himself as the Dutch version of MICHAEL SCHENKER. He provides Lana’s music with raw edges and many dirty faces.. And to me, he even plays better than the mad axeman himself. No offense to the master of course, but it all sounds a bit meaner and fresher to my ears. And Lana hits her notes just in the right place as always. Notes, that are impossible for others, she hits right on the head pretty easily, so it seems. The band is not showing off in long instrumental parts, and no other gimmicks are needed to make this concert a very special one. On the contrary, Lana and her band let the music do the talking, which turns out fantastic! It’s a great way to celebrate a party like this. The cream on top of this cake, in shape of a DVD, is the video tour diary containing some nice footage of Sweden Rock and even a short glimpse at real “Brabantse kippen”. Thank you for reading this review, but now it’s time to pull the cork of the champagne bottle here too, because we’ve got something to celebrate here, after all. Cheers, here’s to the next ten years, Lana and Erik. Our gift for this great anniversary party is the full score for this great DVD.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MELDRUM- Loaded Live (DVD)
2005 (independent)
Rating: 8 points

This nine track live uncut and unedited DVD was recorded on their eight weeks “Mafia” tour in 2005 supporting Zakk Wylde’s BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. This gig was recorded on May 5th, 2005 in Los Angeles on the last day of the American part of the tour, just before they invaded Europe. I really like the music of MELDRUM and I’ve compared their sound to headliners BLS already quite often, so these two bands match very well together in my opinion. Michelle Meldrum developped to a true guitar hero these past few years, who plays some fabulous guitarsolos. She’s no ego tripper, but always plays her solos in duty of the songs. No long, freaking parts, just cool, flashing solo parts. Her solos are outstanding and that's why she's constantly in the picture. Mia Holmsten is a good frontlady, and the rhythm section consisting of Frida Stahl on bass and Fredrik Haake on drums is as solid as a rock. On the setlist you can enjoy “Kiss Me When I’m Gone”, which is co-written by MOTORHEAD boss Lemmy. “Down Your Throat” is one of the highlights for me, because of the mean guitar licks. And of course set closer “Walk”, which is a respectful tribute to Dimebag Darrell of PANTERA. After forty-five minutes, it’s all over. No bonus footage or whatever. That’s the only disappointment of this nice release, that gives you a good and honest reflection of what MELDRUM is all about! Check it out! You can order a copy for US$14.99 through their website shop at: http://www.meldrum.nu.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


NIGHTWISH- End Of An Era (DVD)
2006 (Nuclear Blast)
Rating: 9 points

It’s strange to have a look at the very last NIGHTWISH show with singer Tarja Turunen. The DVD shows you the gig they played, before Tarja got her letter of resignation, in which she was kindly asked to leave the band. The overall part of this DVD consists of this last concert, which kicks off with “Dark Chest Of Wonders”. You can tell, that this is something special, and not just a regular show. In almost every song, you will see tonz of pyrotechnic explode and after each introduction of a new song, you’ll see the very emotional faces of all the people in the audience. Some of them are even crying. During “”High Hopes” - the PINK FLOYD cover - we hear NIGHTWISH perform with bass player Marco Hietala on vocals. Is this what the band will sound like, when Tarja is gone? Is he taking over her place or will they continue with another female vocalist? Only time will tell... One of the highlights is a stunning version of “The Phantom Of The Opera”, which is a duet between Marco and Tarja. When the GARY MOORE cover “Over The Hills And Far Away” is announced, the end of the show is approaching. If you look very carefully at the faces of the different bandmembers, it’s clear that they realised, that these were the last moments of NIGHTWISH in this line-up. “Wish I Had An Angel” is the very last song before everything is over. When the lights go down and the crowd is gone, Tarja will read that she’s no longer a member of this very successful Finnish band. On this DVD, you will also see a tour report of the last shows in South America and the preparation for that last gig in their homecountry. What striked me enormously was that Tarja travelled separately from the rest of the band. When the band is partying in the backstage area together, Tarja is all alone in her dressing room. The bonus footage lasts about fifty-five minutes, but it doesn’t really add anything to the whole story of the band nor this DVD. The only thing that becomes reality, is that there were two camps in the band, which isn't a very healty situation. The total playing time of the DVD is about two hours and forty minutes. Minor detail of live footage is that the camera seems to switch every three seconds. There is no time for good close-up camerawork and steady shots here. It made me a bit nervous, but all the fans of Tarja and NIGHTWISH will surely love this wonderful last gift, I think. I did enjoy this a lot too, despite the aforementioned remarks. What will happen next is still unclear, but I think we will definately hear more from both camps in the near future. Website: http://www.nightwish.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


ERIK NORLANDER AND FRIENDS- Live In St. Petersburg (DVD)
2006 (Think Tank Media)
Rating: 9 points

The friends of Erik Norlander on this DVD are Kelly Keeling on bass and vocals, Peer Verschuren on guitars, Ernst van Ee on drums and Lana Lane on vocals. Don’t think that this is just another LANA LANE live concert, because you’re terribly wrong here. “Live In St. Petersburg” is more Erik’s thing. It sounds very progressive and at times, you may even call it psychedelic. I hear a mix of EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER, KING CRIMSON and PINK FLOYD and on the other hand a louder mix of bands like DEEP PURPLE, DREAM THEATER and URIAH HEEP. Erik oversees the whole operation from behind his giant set of keyboards. He is the conductor of this evening's show. At the same time, he makes sure that his musical buddies get enough attention, time and space to express themselves. For example, we can enjoy a wonderful version of “Mariner”, followed by the even more exciting PROCOL HARUM classic "A Salty Dog". Both songs are perfectly sung by Kelly Keeling, who is really a marvellous performer. Dutch axeman Peer rushes over his strings and provides the music some raw edges here and there. While Ernst attacks his drumkit like it's his worst enemy. Later on, the band is completed with Lana Lane on vocals. A very special show, as not too many bands have crossed the border of this magnificent country before. The documentary on this DVD tells you the story of the long trip to St. Petersburg. Told by Erik himself, it starts somewhere in 2004, before closing with the actual gig and the trip to Russia. The documentary also contains live footage of the 2004 California Prog Festival, The European tour 2004 and a video of the studio version of the James Bond classic “From Russia With Love”. The complete DVD runs for almost two and a half hour, and you’ll get the audio CD as a bonus with almost eighty minutes of some of the finest prog rock by ERIK NORLANDER AND FRIENDS.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


SHOW-YA- 20th Anniversary - The Best Sound & Vision (DVD)
2005 (Toshiba, JAP)
Rating: 9 points

The DVD part of this set contains ten videoclips, worthy of forty-five minutes of Japanese cult metal classics. The clips go slowly back in time, so they really saved the best for last. And at the end of this DVD, I sat with my fist in the air, mouth wide open, hot, wet and dripping with sweat. SHOW-YA has always been one of the most underrated metal bands from Japan. And even the more melodic songs sounds like pure magic. Some people say, this is just an ordinary collection of videoclips, but they must admit these clips were done in a very professionally way. Add to this, the perfect sound these ladies come up with and you may start wondering why they never reached the status of superstars or a million seller band, outside Japan. This DVD certainly is a great addition to the ‘Best of’ CD, found in the same package. Another aspect is, that you won't find these videoclips on any of the so-called music channels, because the stuff you can see here is too rare and too exotic. There is also a DVD available of their reunion gig, but we haven’t found it yet. We will keep on searching, especially after seeing this great collection of videoclips again. A must have for each SHOW-YA fan out there, or a nice introduction to this great Japanese all-female heavy metal outfit.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


STREAM OF PASSION, FEATURING AYREON- Live In The Real World (DVD)
2006 (Inside Out)
Rating: 10 points

Did you happen to be one of the lucky ones, that showed up at the Lucky venue in Rijssen, NL to see STREAM OF PASSION, featuring AYREON? If you were, you can relive these magical moments again on DVD. If you couldn’t make it for whatever reason, then you can see the band play a fantastic show here. Did you already like what you heard on the double CD? Well, if you see the band play live, things get even better. The band plays a fantastic show and sounds a lot louder than on their debut album. You are able to witness the great enthusiasm the band reflects on stage and passes on to their audience. The gig in Rijssen was somewhere at the end of the whole tour. The band plays like a well-oiled machine, but is still very hungry to deliver a good show. Marcela Bovio is the eye-catcher of the band. She sounds like a mix between Candice Night (BN) and Anneke van Giersbergen (THE GATHERING). Diana, her sister, is vocally almost as good and it’s a shame that she has to perform her lines in the background so much. Lori Linstruth is the new guitar goddess. I hope, that she can make a huge return to the stages after these marvellous gigs. She really pulls the best out of herself and gives even more than the full hundred percent. At the end of the show, we are treated to some AYREON songs as well. And support act DAMIAN WILSON shows up to sing a few songs. “When The Levee Breaks” of LED ZEPPELIN is a nice surprise for everybody and with “Day Eleven: Love” we have come to the end of the show. But hey wait, there’s more. You can see a nice photo gallery, the videoclip of “Out In The Real World” and the making of the clip. The tour diary is very comprehensive and interesting indeed. Last but not least, there’s also a ‘Behind the scenes’ section, in which the band takes you along the whole tour. I really enjoyed the whole DVD, which runs for almost two and a half hours. It would be a damn shame, if this would be a 'once-only' happening. I really hope, that STREAM OF PASSION will continue making CDs and playing live shows, because the world needs more bands that put so much love and passion in their music. With or without 'dancing bananas act', this show is well-worth checking out on DVD. Website: http://www.streamofpassion.com. At this moment, Lori LInstruth seems to work together with Swedish mastermind Janne Stark (OVERDRIVE, LOCOMOTIVE BREATH). Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


WITHIN TEMPTATION- The Silent Force Tour (DVD)
2005 (GUN Records/Sony BMG)
Rating: 10 points

WITHIN TEMPTATION really knows to make a good and interesting DVD. We already witnessed these results on the “Mother Earth Tour” package. “The Silent Force Tour” might be even better. The location of the main concert is Java Island in Amsterdam, where they prepared a very special concert for all their fans. They were supported by DE HEIDEROOSJES and ORPHANAGE, and you can definitely say that they gave their best shot to make this night a very special one. It’s already slowly getting dark, when the band opens their set with “Deceiver Of Fools”. I don’t need to explain, that the fans are singing all the lyrics to the songs, word after word, during the whole show. Sharon has got thousands of people to chose a follow up from, when she wants to have a day off or two. The band gives two hundred percent. And vocalist Sharon adds another two hundred to that. She’s the link between the band and the audience, and I can’t think of a better frontwoman than her. She’s simply one of the guys. And to be quite honest with you: (no offense to the guys in the band) she looks best in the spotlights of all members, don’t you agree? “Caged” is one of the highlights of the whole show. Sharon is literally caged and she is slowly lifted up from under the giant stage. Of course, the show ends with their biggest hitsingles, “Mother Earth” and “Ice Queen”, beautifully decorated with tonz of fireworks. International acts could take this show as an example of how things should be done. Besides the Java Island gig, there is an awful lot of other stuff to enjoy on this DVD as well. The menu is so packed, there's just too much to mention. Name it and it's there. Three years of backstage stuff, sometimes hilarious and ultra funny. Live stuff from loads of different shows from open air forrest theater Kersouwe to Dubaï. Various TV appearances, interviews, photogalleries, videoclips, the making of the album, the making of the videoclip, the making of the making of the videoclip, and the bloopers of the making of the making of the videoclip. And if you still haven’t seen enough WITHIN TEMPTATION after this, you can go to the bands website at http://www.withintemptation.com and play the live CD, while watching the pictures in the photo diary, that comes with this package too. You can also push the ‘repeat’ button and watch all this stuff once again. Or you can dial 911 and ask for help, because if you haven’t seen enough after this, something is terribly wrong with you. This set is a must have for all the fans of the band, who only deliver the very best to everyone who likes their music. And they really did a perfect job! Three thumbs up, if I had them. Total playing time of all the stuff available on this DVD is about six hours. Have fun and enjoy!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


Spring 2006:

ARMOR OF GOD-Live (DVD)
2005 (CD Baby.com)
Rating: 2 points

Dearly beloved, for what you are about to see here, may the Lord be with you. What more can I say about this fifty-five minutes live DVD of the Christian metal band ARMOR OF GOD? I like the music of this band very much. Their rock and metal contains a lot of power. And it’s a good thing to send some positive vibes to this doomed planet once in a while, so I don’t have any trouble at all with the Christian message the band carries out in their songs. Despite these positive remarks, there are also some negative things about this DVD. The footage is quite unclear, and it is shot from the balcony of the hall (or church), where the gig took place. Meaning that you’re watching a show, performed by small puppets on a stage that is far, far away from the camera eye. The camera work is not steady and sometimes it is focussed too much on the praising fans, instead of the band on stage. There is also a slight ‘hallelujah’ vibe going on in the sound of the band, but this is not disturbing, and the band easily convinced me of their strength. With a much clearer sound, ARMOR OF GOD would have done better to release this as a live CD instead. Considering the weak sound, poor camera work and footage filmed from this far distance, it is definitely not the DVD, that I hoped it would be. Eight points for the music, but a very low rating for the DVD footage, without any bonus stuff. Sorry folks, but this band deserves much better! A couple of weeks after I wrote this review, a message from the band reached us saying that they didn’t even know about this DVD or who recorded it, which was shot in Huntsville, Alabama, somewhere in July or August 1998. They were also shocked by the poor quality. All the more reason to give this release a low rating.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


ANA POPOVIC-Ana (DVD)
2005 (Ruf Records)
Rating: 8 points

This is the live DVD of ANA POPOVIC, recorded at the Melkweg, Amsterdam (Netherlands) on January 30th 2005. Ana’s band was recorded in one of the most elemetary settings imaginable, meaning that we only have a drummer, a keyboard player, a bass player and a beautiful looking guitar player on stage. Her influences range from STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN to JIMI HENDRIX, ROBERT CRAY, ROBERT JOHNSON and JOHNNY WINTER. Sometimes her sound is full of soul, sometimes it’s poppy, sometimes it’s bluesy, but it always comes with a lot of class and style. And the audience seems to love it, judging by their reactions.Ana enjoys playing live on stage and she shows this best in some of the highlights on this DVD for me, like “Sitting On Top Of The World” and “Bigtown Playboy”. In both songs she plays a magnificent slide guitar solo, by the way. Another song, that I also would like to mention here would be “Jaco”, which is Ana’s tribute to legendary bass player Jaco Pastorius. The only thing I missed on this DVD maybe was a real slow blues. You know, the kind that contains a twelve minute guitar solo. But this doesn’t change my positive opinion about this DVD though. The bonus features consist of a slide show, two acoustic songs without audience, a fifteen minute interview with Ana, and the best part is called “EJ in Amsterdam”. Ana performing ELMORE JAMES songs on one of the many bridges over the canals in Amsterdam, on her twelve string acoustic guitar. This sounds so pure, it will give you goosebumps all over your body - at least to me it did. Ana is a very good looking lady. She has got the blues, she’s got soul, she’s got good taste in music, to go short: she’s got it all. And prove is given on this DVD.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


November/December 2005:

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT-Castles And Dreams (DVD)
2005 (Steamhammer/SPV)
Rating: 9 points

Let’s quit the whole discussion about what would be best for Ritchie Blackmore. Continuing with BLACKMORE’S NIGHT or stop with this nonsense and start playing with RAINBOW or DEEP PURPLE again. (There were already rumours that DEEP PURPLE Mark III would reunite, and it’s a fact, that Ritchie will work together with Joe Lynn Turner on the new BLACKMORE’S NIGHT CD!!). When I had a serious and good look at this double DVD, it was more than obvious to me. Mr. Blackmore belongs to Candice and to BLACKMORE’S NIGHT. Clearly, he is feeling better than ever by playing his renaissance music. The first DVD in this set of two discs, shows us the live gig they played at Burg Neuhaus (Germany) in 2004. If you ever thought for a minute, that this band plays dull tunes, then this DVD will definitely prove you wrong. Ritchie and Candice are very enthusiastic and they reflect that in their music, on the rest of the band, and also on their audience. Besides the well-known BLACKMORE’S NIGHT classics, like “Queen For A Day”, “Durch Den Wald Zum Bach Haus”, “Ghost Of A Rose”, “Under A Violet Moon” and “Home Again”, we are also treated on stunning versions of older PURPLE songs like “Soldier Of Fortune”, “Child In Time” and a rather heavy version of “Black Night”. There’s plenty of nice bonus material on the second DVD as well. We can enjoy video clips, acoustic sessions, documentaries, a slide show, a discography and two extensive biographies. And of course a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ stuff and interviews with the different band members. All together, it’s a good overview of everything you always wanted to know and see about BLACKMORE’S NIGHT. Highlight for me was the footage, where we see Ritchie on the back of a horse in a merry-go-round. Too hilarious for words. Some people will never grow up! Website: http://www.blackmoresnight.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


CETI-Living Shadow Of The Angel (DVD)
2004 (OSKAR Productions Poland)
Rating: 9 points

CETI is by far one of the most interesting bands from Poland for me. Not the least because of their charismatic frontman Grzegorz Kupczyck, but their music is also of a very high standard. Of course you may hear some influences of bands like HELLOWEEN, EDGUY and IRON MAIDEN. Most of the time though, I hear a band that creates a good melodic metal sound of their own. The older songs are slightly progressive sometimes and the longer instrumental parts are really breathtaking. This DVD is the live registration of the double live CD “Living Angel” from 2004. In about hundred minutes, we see a fascinating live show of a band, that sounds like a well-oiled machine. It was also the very last gig of guitarplayer Przemek “Burza” Burzynski with CETI. The band is completed with Bartek Urbaniak on bass, Mucek on drums and female member Marihuana on keyboards and backing vocals. This lady is a very essential part of the band. Many songs are introduced by her keyboard playing and many times you can see her singing behind her set of boards. The band has a lot of contact with their audience and the whole show is very well filmed. There is an almost touchable good atmosphere, which is shown very well by means of the many shots of the audience. Towards the closing of the show, the crowd looks like one huge family get together. The show was filmed at the Eskulap in Poznan, Poland on February 15, 2004. The bonus features on this great DVD consist of a complete discography, a biography of each band member, some behind the scene footage, the live video clip of “I Know”, an interview with the band, a photo gallery and some bonus concert footage. VADER might be the most successful band from Poland, but CETI rules all the way for me and they prove that on this very nice DVD. Well done!!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


THE GATHERING-A Sound Relief (DVD)
2005 (Psychonaut/The End)
Rating: 6 points

Remember when THE GATHERING were a metal band? It seems like another lifetime ago. With their brand-new DVD "A Sound Relief", the band leaves their metal past even further behind. This is a two DVD set, that features on disc 1 an eighty minute concert filmed at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on the 23rd of May 2005. This gig features a set list of songs taken mostly from their last three albums. The band take to the stage with "The Big Sleep" from "How To Measure A Planet?", And from there perform fourteen songs, such as "Broken Glass" "Rescue Me", "Alone", "Amity" and "Souvenirs". "In Motion II" is the lone representation from the fabulous "Mandylion" opus. "Life Fountains" from "Almost A Dance" is a nice surprise, but it is very disappointing that the band decided to omit some of their classics like "Strange Machines", "Leaves" and Nighttime Birds". The band - which is joined by new bassist Marjolein Kooijman - play great and Anneke’s vocals are as awesome as ever. The band however, show little to no movement on stage and aren’t very exciting to watch these days. Disc 2 features behind the scenes footage of their 2004 world tour and two TV specials: one from Holland and the other from Italy, which prove to be very interesting and fun to watch. Closing out the second disc are animated music clips of six songs. Like it or not, this is where the GATHERING are headed in 2005, 2006 and beyond. If you are a fan of the newer GATHERING material, you’ll love this. If you pine for the ‘old days’, I suggest you check out the "In Motion" DVD.

Reviewed by: Tony Cannella


GIRLSCHOOL-Live From London (DVD)
2005 (Iguana)
Rating: 7 points

A lot of old video stuff has been released on DVD these days. Next in line are the ‘Live in London” series, including shows of CHERRY BOMBZ, DI’ANNO, IQ, PALLAS, MAGNUM, TWELFTH NIGHT, WRATHCHILD, VENOM, TOKYO BLADE and GIRLSCHOOL, to name the most important ones. The GIRLSCHOOL DVD contains a gig by this all-female NWOBHM band, recorded at the Camden Palace Theatre in London on December 7th, 1984 (a.k.a. as the “Play Dirty Live” video from 1984). Let me be quite honest with you here. This was certainly not the best GIRLSCHOOL line-up ever, indicating the halfheartedly response by the audience, who are only going wild at the end of the show (“Emergency 999”). At the time this show was filmed and recorded, their album “Running Wild” was about to being released and the band consisted of Denise Dufort (drums), Kim McAuliffe (guitar/vocals), Gil Westin (bass), Cris Bonacci (lead guitar) and Jackie Bodimead (vocals/keyboards). It’s their most melodic and balladesque era. And after seeing GIRLSCHOOL a few times last summer, twenty years later, you’ll realize how different (read: much better!) the band sounds today. As a bonus, you’ll find some pictures of this live concert. However, they made one mistake: if you look very carefully at this fast moving slideshow, you will recognize Dee O’Malley (bassplayer of ROCK GODDESS) on one of the pictures, instead of Gil Weston. Not very smart, but I guess nobody would notice anyway. Money talks and I don’t believe that the people who released this DVD are really huge GIRLSCHOOL fans. True GIRLSCHOOL fans will have the footage already, but this is still a very fine release though.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


BETH HART-Live At Paradiso (DVD)
2005 (Universal)
Rating: 10 points

BETH HART’s show at the Amsterdam’ Paradiso was filmed and released on CD and DVD. On CD, she sounds pretty powerful already. But if you watch the live footage on this DVD, you realize that this must have been one hell of a performance! You can almost feel the excitement, when Beth gives all she has got. The spirit of JANIS JOPLIN wandering around all the time. Beth’s voice, her moves, the way she rocks and plays the piano, it’s all influences by the grandmother of rock and roll. See Beth start her show with only her piano in front of her. Later on, she will be accompanied by her band, that slowly turn up the volume for her. Beth gives the audience more than a hundred percent and doesn’t seem to have any boundaries. She lies on the floor in ecstasy, while singing her songs. And when she decides to hold a sit-in in front of the stage, the whole audience follows her example. She slowly becomes one with the audience and can’t do anything wrong. She’s a sexy show animal, who makes music which comes straight from her heart. And she likes her rock loud, as we can see in covers like “Whole Lotta Love” (LED ZEPPELIN) and “I Don’t Need No Doctor” (WASP, HUMBLE PIE). On the bonus footage, we see the video clip for “World Without You” containing lots of footage from this show, “I Don’t Need No Doctor” from the same show and a thirty-five minute ‘peak behind the scene’ documentary, where we see Beth play the piano and watch her and the band backstage. Of course there are some interviews and a photo gallery as well. All in all, this DVD contains more than two hours of the purest rock available, captured by one of the hottest female musicians of today. Warning: when you push the ‘play’ button, better beware to keep a dry shirt within reach, because this DVD drips with sweat and pure rock!!!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


YEAH YEAH YEAHS-Tell Me What Rockers To Swallow (DVD)
2004 (Polydor/Universal Music)
Rating: 9 points

The YEAH YEAH YEAH’s are slowly gaining a cult status. Their music is heavy, excentric and can hardly be compared to any other name in this scene. They are much more heavy than THE WHITE STRIPES and more experimental than BABES IN TOYLAND or KATASTROPHY WIFE, for that matter. The drummer and guitarist make sure that the music keeps floating along during the live footage, that we can see on this DVD, which was shot at the Fillmore East in San Francisco, CA, USA. However, the main show elements come from frontlady Karen O. She steals the show with her wild moves and screaming vocals and other vocal outings. She pleases her fans without getting in contact with them. And inbetween her singing, she covers the stage with grapes, crips and spitting. While everybody watches her uncontrolled moves, the band keeps torturing their instruments. Witness the pureness and intensity the band plays their power punk anthems. Can someone tame Karen O.? When THE WHITE STRIPES are too modest for you, then I’d suggest to watch this DVD. You’ll love it! The bonus footage on this disc is great, too. Have a look behind the scenes during their visit to Japan. See the videos for “Maps”, “Date With The Night”, “Y-Control” and “Pin”, and watch the band perform at the MTV Movie awards. Last but not least, you can also see some interviews with the band. Check it out!!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


VARIOUS ARTISTS-Beautfil Voices (DVD)
2005 (Nuclear Blast)
Rating: 8 points

The positive thing about compilation discs is, that you finally get to see all the stuff, that isn't viewed on music channels, like The Box, TMF, MTV or VH-1. The DVD part of this set contains twenty-one video clips and has a running time of about two and a half hours. This release is called “Beautiful Voices” and all of these bands have one thing in common: they have a female frontlady handling the vocals. And so this package becomes a real must for all the readers of Metal Maidens out there. NIGHTWISH and GUANO APES start off with a rather heavy sound. Although sometimes, you must be very open-minded to like all the bands, that we see on this DVD. ANGELZOOM for example, sounds like a mix between classical music, techno, gothic rock and pop music. They sing in the German language, and if you put these facts together, you can only conclude, that they sound a bit different from the rest. But this may probably broaden the musical views of our readers. DIE HAPPY sound as heavy as chartbusters KELLY CLARKSON, AVRIL LAVIGNE or PINK. And also L’ ÂME IMMORTELLE does not sound ultraheavy, and is comparable to for example NINA HAGEN and LACRIMOSA. Their beautiful video clip is well worth checking out though. EXILIA is much heavier, and sounds a bit like SKUNK ANANSIE. In their videoclip, they tell the story of a female guitarplayer. LACUNA COIL is not new in the gothic scene of course, and their rendition of “Swamped”may not be missed on this compilation. I’ve always liked the sound of TRISTANIA, but without the input of Morten Veland, it seems to be extremely difficult for this band to maintain their popularity. This despite the beautiful voice of Vibeke Stene. XANDRIA sounds very much like a mix between WITHIN TEMPTATION, AFTER FOREVER and EPICA, but they are certainly less bombastic than their Dutch collegues. The mysterious clip looks great though. It was rather surprising seeing NINA HAGEN on this DVD. She’s doing the guest vocals on “Seeman” of APOCALYPTICA. The punkrock diva with the hoarse voice sounds a lot like Marlène Dietrich on this song. A nice guest role maybe, but it’s deriving too much from what heavy metal is all about in my dictionairy. LIV KRISTINE looks absolutely fabulous in the videoclip for “Into Your Light” of her band LEAVES EYES. She has got a great voice too, but sometimes it’s a bit too sweet maybe, to be called real heavy metal. Although you may call this ‘on the edge’ for some reasons, the clip is still highly enjoyable. When BLUTENGEL would have appeared on MTV in the early eighties, I would have switched to another channel right away. Gothic rock with beautiful voices (like the DVD suggests) which sounds a bit like LACRIMOSA. I warned you to be very open-minded, before you watch the whole DVD! EPICA makes great music, but it’s a bit of a shame maybe, that they used a ballad like “Solitary Ground” for this compilation. AFTER FOREVER will keep you awake, because they add some extra decibels to their sound in “Digital Deceit”. However, IMPERIA’s input is acoustic again. Next, LIV KRISTINE appears again, now with her former band THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. “Image” is a techno-pop song, and the video clip is filmed in black and white to create the right atmosphere, I guess. ELIS brings a mix of loud guitars and keyboards, with female vocals on top of this. The butterfly, that we can see on the front cover of their album “Dark Clouds In Perfect Sky” also appears in this clip, together with a lot of brothers and sisters. MORTAL LOVE adds a clip with an happy ending. Their music is quite nice and very suitable for radio airplay. And again I must think about names like AVRIL LAVIGNE and KELLY CLARKSON here. DORO is next with “Let Love Rain On me”, a beautiful clip, filmed in an old castle. The loudest bands are saved for last. First we have Kimberly Goss with SINERGY, performing “Suicide By My Side”. What a marvellous band! I can’t wait to check out their new album. The DVD ends with “We Will Rise” by ARCH ENEMY. Talk about a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice here! Definitely the loudest track here. And while the last notes of the Amott brothers slowly fade away, I also rise……to push the ‘repeat’ button.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MM#40/Summer 2005:

THE GREAT KAT – Extreme Guitar Shred (DVD)
2005 (TPR Music)
Rating: 10 points

Okay, one more time, so no one will forget it. If you ever doubted about the talents of THE GREAT KAT, then let this DVD take away all your doubts for always and forever. She’s simply the meanest, fastest, coolest and sexiest violin and guitar shredder in the entire galaxy. And not only her music is ultrafast and ultraloud. But her videos beat them all. It’s cult, it’s freaking insane, it’s ART! The six violent video clips show us your most extreme and wildest fantasies in full colour on your TV screen. “Zapateado” is mean, ultrafast and KAT even offered one of her violins in this clip. “Torture Chamber” is the favorite room in the house for KAT. Here she can abuse and torture the people, who don’t believe in her qualities. In “Castration”, THE GREAT KAT shows you how to cut off a man’s penis. You won’t see this in any Walt Disney Production, I think! “Live In Chicago” is just what the title suggests it is. It’s live footage of a KAT live show, where KAT is worshipped by her fans, who lick her feet, while she’s playing her guitar at breakneck speed. “Dominatrix” demonstrates you how you can show KAT your appreciation. Bow for her, lick her feet, while she can beat the shit out of you. You simply can’t escape her claws, the only thing that you can do to save your life is kneel down for her and be humble and quiet. (And scream for joy maybe!) “War” proves us that you’d better not cross the path of KAT as a warrior. She’ll kill you, torture you and make you scream for mercy, and then tear you apart like you were a small puppet. She’s afraid of no one, and the authentical footage of the holocaust proves us that KAT is at full war strengh all the time. Don’t make her angry! Add to this whole KAT’s great music, based upon original classical anthems of composers like Vivaldi, Liszt, Sarasate and Wagner, and you have the wildest DVD of twelve minutes in the whole history of music DVDs. And you can eat poison on this statement! http://www.greatkat.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MOONSTONE – Par Les Fans, Pour Les Fans (DVD)
2005 (Brennus Records)
Rating: 8 points

That MOONSTONE is a fantastic French power metal band, they already proved on their great studio albums “Moonstone” and “The Second Rune”. How the band really sounds when doing a live show, can be seen on this live DVD, that plays for about a full hour. In nine songs, you can see a hard working band, that also knows to play a convinvcing and solid metal show on stage. The guitar sound is sometimes similar to early IRON MAIDEN stuff in the faster parts, while at other times the band shows their progressive side, too. One of the highlights of their live performance here for me is the fast “Sword In The Stone”. The DVD closes with the official video clip for the song “Moonstone”, whereas the band also had a female bass player in their ranks. The bonus material consists of a short personal introduction to each band member individually, and a short look in the recording studio. All together, this is a good DVD, showing you what MOONSTONE is all about. And that is playing powerful songs and their great musiciansship. A good introduction to a very promising band, without being pretentious. Like the band clearly states on the cover, this DVD is about their fans and for their fans! Website: http://www.moonstone.fr.st or Brennus Music: http://www.brennus-music.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MOTHER’S FINEST – Mother’s Finest At Rockpalast (DVD)
2004 (Studio Hamburg Fernseh Allianz)
Rating: 10 points

Who said, that black people can’t play heavy metal? You ought to be ashamed of yourself for thinking that. Not only you still believe in fairy-tales, but you should know better. MOTHER’S FINEST are the darkest, meanest, loudest and heaviest motherf*ckers on this whole damn planet. Okay, there may have been some influences of disco and funk in their music as well, but they also play with so much power that we want to forgive them these little mistakes. I’ve always seen this band as one big happy family, who are playing music for fun. And they are responsible for some nice classic songs as well, like “Mickey’s Monkey”, “Give You All The Love”, “Baby Love”, “Hard Rock Lover” and “Piece Of The Rock”. The band is fronted by Joyce ‘Baby Jane’ Kennedy, a woman who is blessed with a very powerful and soulful voice and who can sing, scream and entertain people like a good frontlady should. For the heavier parts, she sends her husband Glen Murdock to the microphone to do his thing. This way you get a good balance of (funk) metal and pure hard rock, as shown in these two live concerts. The Rockpalast gigs, recorded at the Grugahalle, Essen and at Burg Satzvey in Germany, took place in 1978 and 2003. Twenty-five years of MOTHER’S FINEST is captured in two and a half hours of high quality metal. Joyce can be seen as one of the best singers in the world, still after all these years and if you’re not convinced by this review, better see it yourself on this great DVD. Who said, that black people can’t play heavy metal? Give me your opinion again after seeing this DVD, and better think twice before you start talking.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MM#39/March 2005:

BABES IN TOYLAND & Kat Bjelland – The Best Of (DVD)
2004 (Southern Records)
Rating: 9 points

The DVD part of the BABES IN TOYLAND “Best Of” contains a lot of nice material. Not only from ‘the Babes’ themselves, but you can also watch seven live tracks and an interview by one of Kat’s first bands, THE VENARAYS. And there’s some footage available of KATASTROPHY WIFE, the band in which Kat is now playing. Besides the usual video clips of both BABES IN TOYLAND and KATASTROPHY WIFE, you can also see a lot of live footage taken from concerts in Utrecht, Hamburg (Germany) and the Roskilde Festival in Denmark. Maybe the nicest part are the short films by BABES IN TOYLAND and KATASTROPHY WIFE. They’ve even added a photo gallery with some nice pics, which are also to be seen in the CD booklet. All in all, the DVD is a very interesting item, if you are a fan of BABES IN TOYLAND and Kat Bjelland in particular. The footage is worthy of two hours of very good quality material from two very underrated bands, and of course it’s also very nice to see Kat at a very young age playing in a rock band. Her hair has got a different colour, but the guitar playing and the typical moves remained the same. And over the years she has become a lot wilder. Kat is a very nice, almost shy lady off stage, but when she’s got the spotlights on her, she turns from a shy Kat into a ‘wild Cat’! Prove is given on this very nice document.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


BOOBIE TRAP – Promotional DVD
2004 (independent)
Rating: 8 points

Two songs are on this DVD. One is called “Darkness Falling”. It's longer than the album version. There's a bass bridge and another verse. The other is “One Night Stand”. It's from the point of view of a woman, who doesn't care if she has a long-term relationship. The DVD opens with the camera joining BOBBIE TRAP on stage. Most of it is shot from the audience. The pictures are from two performances edited together jumping back and forth from one performance to the other. It moves at a faster than usual speed. Maybe it's all too fast. One show is in black and white, while the other in sepia tone. The camera spends a lot of time on Kelly Hill. She struts around stage shouting out the words to the songs. The rest of the band appear once in a while. Those of you, who like tattoos will be able to see a couple of large works of art. With DVD's, you get to see what a band looks like, as you hear them. BOOBIE TRAP have the punk look down. There's enough rock and punk here for anyone. Website: http://www.boobietrap oc.com. Contact address: BOOBIE TRAP, 2269 Papaya Dr., Lahabra Hts, CA 90631, USA.

Reviewed by: Jack Little


DORO – Classic Diamonds (DVD)
2004 (AFM)
Rating: 8 points

Another DVD from Germany’s reigning metal queen and another rousing success. Say what you want about DORO, but one thing is perfectly clear: She sure knows how to take care of her fans. As with her previous DVD "Für Immer", with "Classic Diamonds - The DVD" you get some great value. The packaging looks great! It comes with a glossy booklet, that features lyrics and many cool photos. And of course there are the gigs. In 2004 Doro performed, toured and recorded with the Metal Classic Night Orchestra. This DVD is a documentation of those shows. The DVD begins with the Wacken Open Air performance. DORO is obviously having a great time at this gig and it shows. Guest appearances by SAVATAGE guitarist Chris Caffery and BLAZE BAYLEY add a great touch to the proceedings. Next we have a fifteen minute ‘behind the scenes’ look at the tour. It features backstage footage, interviews and live excerpts. After that there’s another gig. Recorded in Hamburg, Germany at the Docks - DORO, the band and orchestra once again tear up the stage with a passionate set of classics - old and new. This gig is about twenty minutes longer than the Wacken show and once again features a guest appearance by BLAZE BAYLEY on the IRON MAIDEN cover "Fear Of The Dark" (an interesting choice since Blaze did not originally sing this song for MAIDEN). After that there is a host of extras: The making of the video clip for "Let Love Rain On Me", the video for the song, which is a great looking video. Next, is live footage from the TV show Rockpalast and a tour documentary. All in all, this a great collection of material, that will be a joy for any DORO fan to witness. For over twenty years DORO has been a true metal warrior, she has a love for her music and her fans. This DVD puts that on display for all to see.

Reviewed by: Tony Cannella


MELISSA ETHERIDGE – Lucky Live (DVD)
2004 (Island Records)
Rating: 9 points

The live CD of “Lucky” contains a bonus DVD. On the DVD you can see the full concert for the live CD on your TV screen. And I must say, that you can almost feel the happiness, Melissa plays these songs here. From opener “Lucky” to the fantastic set closer “Giant”, she breathes excitement on stage. The songs sound so fresh and energetic, that you don’t even miss the many hitsingles, that she always plays. Some of these songs, that were played here will probably become a classic of their own, in the future. The bonus features on this DVD are commentaries, an interview and ‘a day in the life’ documentary. “Lucky-Live” is a very nice release from a lady, who proves her status as a superstar once again. But she also knows that she is a superstar because of all her devoted fans, which a lot of other musicians tend to forget sometimes. Website: http://www.melissaetheridge.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


VANILLA NINJA – Traces Of Sadness (DVD)
2004 (Sony Music)
Rating: 9 points

This band has a very well thought of planned career. Four great looking, young ladies, catchy songs, a few singles and accompanying video clips and then a debut album. And a quite successful album, because the next step for these ladies was to release a live DVD from a big show, they gave in their homecountry Estonia. The DVD contains fifteen live songs, including a drumsolo, and five video clips. The live footage was recorded in front of a young, but very enthusiastic public. The band VANILLA NINJA is backed up by a live band, who plays the main, musical parts here. The ladies themselves play some additional keyboard, rhythm guitar and bass guitar. But if their instruments are really plugged in, is not really clear to me. The bonus material consists of an interview, a photo gallery, a biography and a discography. During the drumsolo (done by a drummer, who already was with the band in their first video clip) the bald drummer uses his head to hit the cymbals, while great balls of fire, shoot up in the air. He also uses his hands in the solo, which reminds me of Tommy Aldridge of course. The solo spot is a moment for the girls to change clothes, and it all looks quite spectacular indeed. The back up band beefs up the sound by adding some fast and heavy guitarwork to the poppy rock songs of these four well-talented ladies. According to the reaction of the crowd, the world must get ready for a worldwide launch of this band. And if I am honest, these ladies really deserve a fair chance. Their catchy songs, good looks and the strategy, that they persue, are a good example of how you can become a good pop / rock star in no time. And their Dutch equals BAD CANDY could use this band as a good example, if you’d ask my opinion. The live show runs for a full hour and you can get more information about these four ninjas at: http://www.vanillaninja.de.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MM#38/December 2004:

BLACKMORE'S NIGHT – Beyond The Sunset (DVD)
2004 (SPV/Steamhammer)
Rating: 8 points

This bonus DVD of “Beyond The Sunset” was recorded in a cosy medieval ambiance, where Mr. Blackmore is feeling at his very best nowadays. Gone are the big concert halls and it’s back to the smaller venues. The rural medieval castle, that was used as a beautiful background, fits perfectly with the music of ‘the man in black’. I still have got my doubts with the music of BLACKMORE’S NIGHT, and you know why that is. Seeing the band perform these songs live, made me change my mind a bit. The atmosphere, in combination with the songs, is just perfect. And the joy, all musicians play the songs, really add a very positive vibe to this great, but far too short, DVD disc. However, I heard a full-length DVD is in the making right now, so we just have to wait a little longer to enjoy some more live footage by this band. The well-known guitar hero slowly turned himself into the medieval minstrell, that he perhaps always wanted to be… Who knows? Candice Night is a very beautiful looking lady. She shows so much joy in her singing, and she has got a great voice too, which make these songs highly enjoyable to watch. Still…..aaah!! I think you’ll catch my drift here. I cannot say anything about the quality of the music and the live footage, which is just great! But sometimes I really miss the little more power from the man, who used to destroy his white fake Fenders on stage, and constantly changed the line-up of his wonderful solo outfit RAINBOW. Those were the days!! Well, enjoy this DVD, because the stuff is great, but I’ve made my point now once and for all!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


EDENBRIDGE – A Lifetime In Eden (DVD)
2004 (Massacre Records)
Rating: 8 points

The bonus DVD of the live CD of EDENBRIDGE contains eleven songs, recorded in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The main program of the DVD consists of six tracks, that are recorded in a very professional way and very close up. We can see, that Lanvall is a very talented guitar player indeed. Sometimes he sounds a bit like YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, but this Austrian hero has got a much smaller ego than the Swedish viking. Sabines vocals are great too. Crystal clear, and perfectly matching with the entire sound of the band. The five other songs were recorded on tour in South Korea, Germany and Switzerland. The sound is not as good as on the previous six songs of the main menu. And the footage was shot a little bit further away. Nonetheless, it’s still very enjoyable to all the fans of this band. A band, that is working very hard to gain some recognition. And with the talent they have, they will surely come a long way, I guess. This disc is a nice overview of what this Austrian version of NIGHTWISH is all about on stage.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


EDGEPLAY – A Film About THE RUNAWAYS (DVD)
2005 (Sacred Dogs Entertainment)
Rating: 10 points

The much anticipated documentary on THE RUNAWAYS, produced and directed by ex-Runaway Victory Tischler Blue herself, is about to be finally unleashed on DVD in January 2005 after a run of several film festival showings in the USA and the UK (London). After much drama and threatened legal suits, it is a credit to Victory, that she persisted to get this film out. It's a raw and brutally honest depiction of life in a teenage all-girl rock band in the seventies and will have you laughing one minute then crying the next. Interviews with Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Sandy West, Jackie Fox, Victory Tischler Blue, Kari Krome, Kim Fowley and various moms, cover the highlights and pitfalls of the bands all-too-brief existance including the inception of the band in their own words, 1977 Japan tour, Jackie's attempted suicide bid, departure of ‘Cherie Bomb’, the eventual demise of the band and the rammifications on some of the girls lives after the band. There are two live songs from the Japan tour showing the girls in full flight onstage, rehearsal and soundcheck footage never before seen along with the indepth exclusive interviews. Joan Jett (although she didn't co-operate with the making of the movie) does speak in various RUNAWAYS interviews from TV. It is a pity, she feels the need to hide from her RUNAWAYS days but the movie carries itself without her contribution while praising her throughout the film. It makes one wonder why she had such a problem with it. Maybe if you’re a JETT fan, who misses the point of her RUNAWAYS career (yes, such people exist) you will be disappointed, otherwise this incisive portrayal of how a group of talented young girls, trying to make their way in the male dominated world of rock and roll is a must for any fan of the band or female rockers.

Reviewed by: Debbie Jordan


EPICA – We Will Take You With Us (DVD)
2004 (Transmission Records)
Rating: 8 points

Surprisingly enough, the band EPICA was invited to play at the “2 Meter Sessions” of Jan Douwe Kroeske after releasing just one album! Usually, this honour is stricktly reserved to the well-established artists in the music industry. The “2 Meter Sessions” comes as a separate DVD version as well as a CD package. Also, you can buy the DVD and CD in a limited deluxe ecobook package, which contains a forty pages book. The DVD includes six electric songs and an acoustic set of three songs. Nothing was too much trouble and they even hired a complete orchestra and a choir to make it sound more special. Singer Simone Simons looks a bit nervous at the beginning of the set, but the band is in perfect shape. Furthermore, the DVD contains “The Making Of….”, interviews with all band members and footage about the rehearsals. While the “Extra” features contain music videos of “The Phantom Agony” and “Feint” plus the “Making Of….” from both videos. Also, you can view a short documentary about “The Phantom Agony” choir and footage about the rehearsal. The DVD closes with a slide show, a band discography and a link to their website [http://www.epica.nl]. It gives a good impression of the band EPICA and their progression since the release of their debut album. Nice job!!!

Reviewed by: Marcel van Santen


FLEETWOOD MAC – Live In Boston (DVD)
2004 (Reprise Records)
Rating: 10 points

This double live DVD shows us how successful the reunion of FLEETWOOD MAC actually is. It’s amazing and it’s like they’ve never been away. Their whole tour was constantly sold out, although they forgot to visit the Netherlands. Yes, the voice and keyboard playing of the second female member in the band, Christine McVie, is sadly missed. But besides that, nothing has changed. Every song on this two DVD set is a hit. And the new songs sound like they can become a hit every moment. I hear no big differences between the old songs and the new stuff, which proves that all the new songs have got that same ‘highest quality only’ label printed on them. John McVie on bass, is the invisible man in FLEETWOOD MAC. He’s there, and you can’t miss the rhythm parts he’s playing, but you will seldom find him up front the stage. Lyndsay Buckingham is a real animal on guitar. And if you don’t believe me, just check out this DVDand you’ll be astonished by his superb guitar playing. The solos go on forever, and his more sensitive side is shown in the acoustic parts. Mick Fleetwood is the clown behind the drums. He’s also an invisible man, but during his solo spot which is one of the many highlights during these footage, he shows us that he’s a showman pur sang. He is a great comedian and musical talent, and the music even comes out of his jacket, hilarious! He is definitely one of the most underrated musical talents on this earth! But the most recognisable sound comes from the absolutely beautiful voice of the blonde diva in FLEETWOOD MAC: Stevie Nicks. She is one of the best singers in the world for me. Her voice, her looks, her clothes, it all matches perfectly with each other, and gives me a warm feeling all over. There are no words to discribe so much perfection, so you can forget about what I’ve written in this review so far. I also can not describe the perfect sound of her voice. It’s inexpressible what it does to you, when you hear the sentiment, the feeling, the emotion, the passion, the warmth, the sexiness and the sensitivity, she sings in all these classic tunes. Stevie Nicks is the female equivalent of an angel to me or at least some higher spirit. I hope you catch my drift here, and you can realise how much this band meant to the rock music of the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties and also in the new millennium. A good overview of the different styles and hit singles is captured on two DVD’s here. Although I must admit that I missed some of the Christine McVie and Peter Green classics maybe. But oh well, you will enjoy these two DVD’s without them too I guess, if it was only for watching and hearing the great voice of the ‘Gold Dust Woman’.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


OTEP – Abominations (DVD)
2004 (Capitol Records)
Rating: 10 points

This is a very limited disc of the female fronted nu-metal legends OTEP. A lady, who can draw pictures, write poems and lyrics, sing, scream, shock, look sexy and who is not afraid to give you a look inside her deepest thoughts as well. She is also the one and only female screamer in the male dominated world of nu-metal bands, which is a huge achievement as well in my vision. The DVD shows you the enormous power of her live band, and the diversity of her talents. The stage in “Battle Ready” is decorated with the chopped of head of a hog. Shocking! Inbetween the different video clips and live footage of the band, we can see short interviews with the individual band members. See the band live on stage during one of the Ozzfest gigs, watch the sweat in front of their audiences. Is OTEP, the lady, insane? Or is she besides a great singer, also a very talented actress, and is this whole thing just her image? I would go for the third option imaginable. She is a f*cking genius. I really have no affection at all with the whole nu-metal scene, but she is simply the only exception to this golden rule. This is marvellous stuff. I don't know if this DVD will get an official release in the future. But if this is not the case, then I’d definitely suggest to search for a copy on the internet (try Ebay for example) or on one of the many record fairs, because OTEP is two hundred percent HOT! Website: http://www.otep.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


SUZI QUATRO – Leather Forever (DVD)
2004 (Sacred Dogs Entertainment)
Rating: 10 points

SUZI QUATRO needs no introduction to the readers of MM as she is an icon worldwide and the original girl rocker, who inspired many male and females to pick up an instrument and sweat the small stuff onstage. Finally, an official live DVD showing Suzi playing her hits compiled from two shows from 2003 in Stuttgart and Australian tour. Classics like “Rock Hard”, “Can The Can”, “Devil Gate Drive” and “Stumblin' In” are all here with highlights in my opinion “48 Crash” and “Can't Give Me Love”. Produced by Victory Tischler Blue, the live vision of Suzi rockin' and smilin' away is mingled with welcome old video clip footage. A bonus video of “Why Do Rainbows Die’, a track released on the rare "Then And Now" double CD from a few years back and the last song Mickie Most produced for Suzi before he recently passed away, follows a touching dedication by Suzi to her former mentor. For many Suzi fans, who aren't fortunate enough to have Suzi tour their way, its a glimpse of what they are missing at her live shows. She is a true professional, who obviously still loves her music and performing. Otherwise if you are lucky enough to have Suzi play in your neck of the woods annually it will be a keepsake of memories of these nights when you see the queen of rock onstage playing the music of hers we love. Looking forward to the upcoming “Naked Under Leather” documentary - produced and directed by Victory Tischler-Blue (Sacred Dogs Entertainment) to be released in 2005 on Suzi Quatro's life story.

Reviewed by: Debbie Jordan


VARIOUS – Armageddon Over Wacken (DVD)
2004 (Armageddon Music)
Rating: 9 points

It’s a shame, that we’re not able to go to the Wacken Open Air festival anymore. The good thing is that they released a great DVD set of the 2003 edition of this cult festival. This two DVD package for example runs for over three hours and shows you a lot of the highlights of the 2003 edition of the largest heavy metal festival of the universe. It was the last edition, we attended, by the way, which included great female input by SUBWAY TO SALLY, HOLY MOSES (two songs) and LORDI this time. Besides the aforementioned bands and other highlights such as TESTAMENT, TWISTED SISTER, SAXON, VICTORY and DIAMOND HEAD, we get to see many impressions of the people in the audience, the whole organisation of the festival and some nice backstage footage as well. So we can talk of a great overview of this three days event in the northern part of Germany. The only missing name here are SLAYER. What the hell happened to this footage? Well, they did a rather disappointing show anyway… SUBWAY TO SALLY played very late in the evening. They’ve got a huge following, and their music is quite popular in Germany. Their mix of folk, rock and metal stands out well in “Falscher Heiland”, which is sung in their native tongue, making the folky side of their music sound even more authentic. HOLY MOSES on the other hand, had to get up very early in the morning, I recall. They were one of the openers on Sunday, and replaced SINISTER on the bill, who were not able to play that day. And even the guest appearance of singer Rachel was blown off in the very last minute. But Sabina and her HOLY MOSES don’t need them, as you can see in the footage on both DVD’s, like “World Chaos” on DVD I and “Nothing For My Mum” on DVD II of this package. HOLY MOSES is nothing for my mum either, but if you see the power and the enthusiasm this band profiled themselves, while many of the fans were still asleep in their tent, it shows that this band can go on for ages and ages. The LORDI footage shows us a band, that creates a nice mix of catchy heavy metal music, and a good horror show. The short photo shoot, they did with the other monsters of TWISTED ‘F*cking’ SISTER is short, but very nice to see. They show the well- known song “Would You Love A Monsterman?” by this band from Finland. And I think that we will see a lot more from this band in the near future, at least I hope so. This DVD package is an essential buy for those who were at the festival and also a must for those of you who were not there. Just to see what you’ve been missing. It’s the festival where metal dreams come true, trust me! For all the current info about next year’s edition (2005), go to: http://www.wacken.com. Next year you will able to enjoy the DVD from the 2004 edition, I guess. A good initiative of a festival that has grown to such immense proportions in the past few years. But that’s not really strange when you look at the great promotion, the great line up of the festival each year and the wonderful organisation of this whole event every year. It simply must be good, just like the DVD’s that they release!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MM#37/October 2004:

AYREON – The Human Equation (DVD)
2004 (Inside Out/SPV)
Rating: 9 points

The DVD, that comes with the CD runs for about an hour and gives you all the inside information about the concept, the recordings and the musicians on the new AYREON album. It also contains the video clip of “Day Eleven-Love”. The “Inside” story however, is by far the best part of the DVD, and the most lengthy. See how all the singers do their part on the CD, and you’ll get the idea that this whole album was set up in such a professional way, the last words on the DVD slowly become reality, because of this nice inside information. (You may find out for yourself what these last words are!) Besides the hard working, that is caught on film really well, there is also some space for humour of course. Play the “Concept” part on the DVD, and let it run after the three minutes that officialy stands for it, and you’ll hear some funny vocal bloopers (audio only) for a couple of minutes. Most hilarious moment however, is the impersonation of a famous ‘silly walk’ by Devon Graves (PSYCHOTIK WALTZ/ DEAD SOUL TRIBE). Great DVD to watch, by one of the most talented and friendly musicians in Holland.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


BIF NAKED – Essentially Naked (DVD)
2003 (Her Royal Majesty’s Records)
Rating: 8 points

When watching this DVD, proof is given that BIF NAKED really knows what she’s doing. She plays catchy punky pop rock, has good looks, and her music is very suitable for the (inter)national charts. And besides that, she recorded a videoclip of almost every single, she has released so far. If the song makes it to the charts, the clip can be showed directly on the music channels. And if she’s not successful with this particular song, and you are as consistent as Bif is, you can release all these videoclips on a compilation DVD for your fans. The DVD that comes with the CD “Essentially BIF NAKED”, contains thirteen videoclips and I just love it. Bif is hot, she knows how to make a good video clip, and she actually never gets dull or boring. She looks much wilder on the video screen, as she sounds on some of the tracks on her CD. And it’s always nice to see a band, crank out a wild version of TWISTED SISTERS “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, which is on the DVD as well. Enjoy the fifty minutes of wild punk rock music, hilarious videoclips and don’t forget to turn it up real loud.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


EARTH & FIRE – Greatest Hits (DVD)
2004 (BRMusic)
Rating: 9 points

Almost everybody seems to hate Jerney Kaagman back in her home country The Netherlands. She’s a member of the jury of “Idols”, and she is very good in telling people that they don’t have a future in the music business, if that is what she thinks. I love this lady, mainly because of what she achieved with her band EARTH AND FIRE in the early seventies. Already in the very early seventies, she was the singer of this great progressive rock band. Later on, they evenly changed their style to more pop rock and the ordinairy and average pop music. The early work of EARTH AND FIRE is really killer stuff, and Jerney can be seen as a real sex symbol back in those years. And besides that, she was also blessed with a good voice, which matched perfectly with the innovative music of the band. This DVD captures twenty video clips and TV appearances. If you want to hear progressive music, how it should sound (according to me, that is), then I’d like to recommend you to listen to songs like “Seasons”, “Ruby Is The One”, “Wild And Exciting”, “Invitation”, “Memories”, “Maybe Tomorrow Maybe Tonight”, “Love Of Life” and my all time favorite “Storm And Thunder” from the wonderful album “Songs Of The Marching Children”. Of course we also get to see their biggest hit single “Weekend”, when the band already got more poppy. It’s nice to see the evolution of a band, completely with the way they dressed and wore their hairdo, which was also very specific for this certain time span. The extras on this beautiful document consist of a recent interview with Jerney, in which she comments on almost all of the songs on this DVD and a documentary, which was recorded in Germany in 1972 containing live versions of “Songs Of The Marching Children” and “Storm And Thunder”. We also see a live version of “Maybe Tomorrow Maybe Tonight” at Musikladen in Germany. This DVD may not be missed by every prog rock freak out there. And whatever people may say, Jerney will always be my ‘idol’!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


HAGGARD – Epter Si Muove (DVD)
2004 (Drakkar/BMG)
Rating: 8 points

This DVD, that runs for about forty minutes, captures only a part of HAGGARD’s live show at Wacken Open Air in 1998. Five songs were filmed in the dead of the night, while some of the visitors of the festival were already asleep, and only the die hard fans were still to be found in front of the stage. However, their star was already rising very fast at that time, and they’d already build up a good live reputation. The atmosphere is great: it’s a dark night, candlelights on stage, an medieval mood and whoeaaaarrrrggghhhh, there’s the sound of heavy riffs, people banging their heads and double bass drums. It sounds like magic, and it looks great too. Enjoy the beautiful female vocals, next to the horror like growls. If you like bands such as SUBWAY TO SALLY, IN EXTREMO and SCHANDMAUL, then I’d suggest to buy this package right away. The bonus DVD is limited. At the end of the DVD, you can watch the video clip for “In A Pale Moon Shadow”, which was also recorded live. A great flashback in time, for those who were there at the event itself. And an even better alternative for those of you, who missed it.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


THE GREAT KAT – Guitar Shredder From Hell comp. (video)
2004 (independent)
Rating: 10 points

If you missed the previous videos of THE GREAT KAT, and you have finally come to your senses, that she’s indeed the fastest, wildest, loudest, sexiest guitar and violin player in the universe, then I’ve got some good news for you! Especially when you’re still interested in the videotapes, because this wild guitar shredder has decided to put the five clips, she once recorded, on one compilation video. For eleven minutes you’ll be able to watch the sickest, bloodiest, most brutal, most excentric, most violent explosion of moving images on your TV screen. First THE GREAT KAT takes you to her torture chamber, where she beats the shit out of you. The only thing that you are allowed to do is to worship her, while she worships her most violent weapon, the guitar. Next, you will witness a real live castration. Make sure you haven’t eaten yet, or don’t watch this piece of video when you have a weak stomach, because this is absolutely over the top. The first thing I did after watching the video, was to check if ‘IT’ was still there. And thank God it was! Oh, and there is music on this tape as well. THE GREAT KAT ‘Live In Chicago’. I hope that she will come over to Holland as well in the near future, for a live gig. I really want to see this with my own eyes. It’s insane, it’s pure, it’s fast, it’s wild, it’s sexy, it’s THE GREAT KAT at her f*cking best!! In “Dominatrix”, it’s time to bow for this lady. You can lick her feet for a couple of seconds (that is, if you’re lucky to be the chosen one!). And you’d better do what this lady tells you, otherwise she’ll poke you in the eye with a hot rod. After you’ve survived this all, it’s time to go to “War”. Black and white footage of the holocaust are to be seen in the back, while THE GREAT KAT is dressed up in her best army suit, ready for some action. The only message she seems to have is ‘Don’t mess with me, or you’ll be a dead man’. So you better be warned. This video is not for the faint hearted. But if you like the ultracool, super fast speed guitar attacks of this lady, like me, then this may definitely not to be missed. CULT!!!!!! http://www.greatkat.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


THE GREAT KAT – Zapateado (video)
2004 (independent)
Rating: 10 points

Huge fans of THE GREAT KAT are always thrilled, when this lady comes up with something new. This time she surprises her fans with a new two minute video, called “Zapateado”. Again this is a very fast video, in which a lot of things are happening and before you’ll realize it, it’s over! So you’d better look at it five times or more, to be able to comprehend everything you saw. I don’t mind though, because I could watch her videos for hours. At the end of this two minute guitar and violin terror attack, she destroys her violin. It’s over, and the fans know, that they’ll have to wait some time, until this female guitar shredder will unleash her sick thoughts to her humble servants again. I can only highly recommend to buy this short piece of art. And while you’re on her website, better buy the video compilation “Guitar Shredder From Hell” too, ‘cause you don’t want to miss out on this either. Hail to the fastest, guitar shredder in the universe. A virtuoso on violin and guitar, and a real master in making cool videoclips. A deep bow for THE GREAT KAT, who came up with this new clip, that gets the ‘cult’ status from me - a title you have to earn and she easily did! http://www.greatkat.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


LANA LANE – Storybook, Tales From Europe And Japan (DVD)
2004 (Think Tank Media)
Rating: 9 points

Finally, the missing link is there. A marvellous live DVD, which captures LANA LANE’s music on stage. Twenty songs, played by different line ups in different time frames ranging from 1997 to 2003, making this an excellent overview of their live shows over the years. In between the songs, you hear comments by the band members, who give you lots of ‘inside information’ of the songs, you are about to witness. Which surely makes you look different at them. Lana’s music is timeless, and all the people you can see on this DVD are high skilled musicians. ERIK NORLANDER’s keyboard tricks show some resemblance with the great ones on earth, like Keith Emerson (EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER), Jon Lord (DEEP PURPLE, WHITESNAKE) and Ken Hensley (URIAH HEEP, BLACKFOOT). My biggest compliments however go out to Peer Verschuren this time, who I see as one of the most underrated guitar players of the world. I remember, that we used to call him the Dutch Michael Schenker, when he was still in RANCID. Besides the live footage, there’s also some ‘candid camera’ footage from behind the scenes, which is rather funny sometimes. It shows us the friendship between the several band members, which gives you the feeling that they’re more like a real family than a band. It makes the playing time of this DVD to a little over three hours. So grab a bottle of coke, and a family bag of crisps, and enjoy this cool DVD. Hope to see you on tour in a couple of weeks Lana and Erik, and I also hope that you’ll be recording some new footage for the successor of this great DVD.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


NIGHTWISH – Starfacts (video CD + magazine)
2004 (Starfacts)
Rating: 8 points (music); 2 points (inerview)

The VCD that comes with this magazine contains three live songs, filmed at the M’ Era Luna Festival in Germany on August 9, 2003. Good quality live footage of a band, that became very successful in a very short period of time. Great stuff for all the NIGHTWISH fans out there. But after the live footage, it goes immensly wrong. The DVD closes with an utterly boring and very dull interview. The quality of the filming is also pretty bad, too. The interviewer constantly has to look on a piece of paper for the right information. And the interviewer is also constant talking, he even interrupts Tuomas a few times. It looks like he was told to interview Tuomas, only just a couple of seconds before the interview took place. This goes on for over seventeen minutes!!!! Sleep tight!!!! My suggestion is to stop the DVD right after the three live songs (“The Kinslayer”, “Dead To The World” and “She Is My Sin”), and read the whole story in the magazine, instead of falling asleep during the rest of the footage. What did the makers want to prove with this piece of unprofessionality? They could better have added three or five more live songs instead of this piece of boredom.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


NIGHTWISH – Nemo (DVD single)
2004 (Nuclear Blast)
Rating: 7 points

This is a DVD EP of NIGHTWISH, containing the video clip for “Nemo”. Just in case, you’ll possibly never see this clip on MTV or any other music channel, it’s a nice opportunity to check it out. You also get to hear the album version of “Nemo” and “Planet Hell”. The most interesting part on this DVD EP however is ‘The making of the video clip’ of “Nemo”, which gives you a nice look in the kitchen of the film industry. They show you what needs to be done to shoot this video, and that’s more than you expected. Oh, and the music on this DVD EP? Well, if you already liked the NIGHTWISH sound, you’ll definitely dig this too. Not too much has changed actually... It’s still high quality, bombastic gothic power metal, from the land of the thousand lakes. http://www.nightwish.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


VARIOUS – Missbehaviour (DVD)
2004 (Century Media)
Rating: 8 points

On the audio CD you could already enjoy seventeen songs of female fronted bands. On the bonus DVD, that comes with the CD, you can see eleven video clips with a running time of almost a full hour. Besides that, there’s a discography and a photogallery on this silver disc. The eleven songs are different than the songs on the audio CD. Good thinking! LACUNA COIL presents us their clip of “Heaven’s A Lie” and LULLACRY shows a live clip of “Don’t Touch The Flame”, which is mixed with some behind the scene footage. ARCH ENEMY is as brutal as ever during “We Will Rise”. Twin axe attacks accompany the mighty growls of Angela. This is great stuff!! MY RUIN sounds more like BLACK SABBATH or CATHEDRAL than ever, in “Made To Measure”. Tairrie B is a little bit overdressed for such a sludgy song, but her voice is in great shape. THE LOWEMOTOR CORPORATION shows us the rather kinky clip of “Soul Of Pagan”, which is partly recorded at some nightclub. Their music may not be ultra heavy, but it certainly has a nice groove. “Queen” of RAM ZET is pretty experimental, and so is the video clip. It’s a great clip for people that consider themselves a psycho already. “The Carpenter” of NIGHTWISH is a bit more down to earth. It’s taken from their debut album “Angels Fall First”. What a difference, if you compare this to their more recent albums. What a progression, they’ve made over the years!! THE GATHERING are on this DVD with the video of “Liberty Bell”. It’s also a golden oldie, so to speak. Anneke is in command in this clip, which was shot at some kind of space shuttle. Then we see LULLACRY again with “Damn You”. This time however, we can enjoy their first singer, who sounded much heavier (and less commercial) than nowadays. The ending of this video clip is very funny indeed, by the way. The DVD closes with a live clip of MADDER MORTEM, called “Rust Cleansing”, recorded in Essen, Germany in 2003. This DVD is a great initiation of Century Media, because if you don’t have this DVD you will possibly never be able to see these video clips. No thanks go out to MTV, TMF, VH-1 and THE BOX.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MM#36/June 2004:

NASHVILLE PUSSY – Keep On Fuckin’ In Paris (DVD)
2003 (Revenge/FGL Productions)
Rating: 7 points

I have mixed feelings about this DVD. The packaging is more than perfect, and so is the music and the live show that you are about to see on this DVD. But the DVD only lasts for about an hour, and the extras don’t really add anything to what you’ve seen already. The slide show for example shows us live shots, you’ve just witnessed in the live concert. And the backstage footage, that last for about seven minutes, only show us the band members drinking beer and chatting with some fans that managed to get backstage. They’d better have added some of the videos they’d shot, that you will never get to see here on TV in Europe. But like I said already, the live show is just great, and that’s the main part of this DVD of course. Their music is a mix of TED NUGENT, MOTÖRHEAD, ROSE TATTOO, AC/DC, PAT TRAVERS, old MOLLY HATCHET and THE RAMONES. And guitar player Ruyter Suys captures the best of all the guitar players of these bands. She even looks better than Angus Young or Ted Nugent, believe me. The concert only lasts for sixty-five minutes, but it contains a hundred per cent of sex, drugs and rock and roll. You’ll almost start to sweat yourself, when you see so much energy on stage. Ruyter constantly moves on stage. She is the female version of Angus Young. While Blaine Cartwright sets out the direction. For he’s the captain of the ship, who takes control of everything happening on stage. The always smoking drummer Jeremy Thompson and bass player Katielynn Campbell keep the rhythm tight. The end rating, that I give to this product is a mean value of the nine points they get for the music and the six points for the value for money equation, which I think is a fair deal.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


W.O.A. ROADSHOW 2003 (DVD)
2004 (Armageddon/Rock Inc./Bertus)
Rating: 8 points

The input of LORDI made us decide to review this DVD for Metal Maidens. The four bands together formed a tour package that played all over Germany, before the annual Wacken Open Air festival took place. Besides the great live footage, we also see some funny backstage scenes, and some wonderful extras like a Wacken Roadshow screensaver, several trailers, Horny Henry performing AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” and a METALIUM promo clip. Together good for about two hours of metal fun. The LORDI footage is spectacular, and their show is a great tribute to legendary horror metal bands as RIPPER, ALICE COOPER and DEATH SS. It’s a shame that they only perform two songs here, namely “Monster, Monster” and “Dynamite Tonight”. It’s really worth checking out this DVD, if it was only for the hilarious scenes during the ONKEL TOM shows. What a great party! Other than that, it’s also a great DVD to watch, while waiting for the “Armageddon Over Wacken” DVD, which will come out this summer as well. http://www.wacken.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


ANOUK – Close Up (DVD)
2003 (Dino Music)
Rating: 9 points

ANOUK’s live shows have always been a lot more energetic than her CDs. Most of the live footage was recorded at the Rock Werchter festival in Belgium last year and we can enjoy some very powerful versions of “Everything” and “Too Long” at the beginning of this DVD. While other songs were taken from shows at the Gurtenfest in Switzerland (“Don’t”, “Sacrifice” and “Who Cares”) and Pinkpop in Holland (“R U Kiddin’ Me”). “Nobody’s Wife” is finally restored, after fooling around with the song in the ‘unplugged’ version, the chill mix, the trance dub mix, the reggae hip hop mix and the fruit and salad version. I don’t need that crap. The song was made to rock, like it does on this DVD version. So the first part of the DVD is quite OK. The bonus material consists of the ‘2 Meter Sessies’ (“Nobody’s Wife” and “I Alone”, which is a duet song with Sarah Bettens of K’s CHOICE!), the video clips of “I Live For You”, “Hail” and “Everything”), a documentary and a picture gallery. The second disc in this package contains seven acoustic versions of ANOUK originals, a nice ‘extra’ for all the die hard fans of this Dutch rock animal. “Close Up” is a good update DVD, and if she keeps releasing stuff like this, I think she will be one of the hottest rock singers in the international scene for a long, long time to come… ANOUK herself didn’t really like “Close Up”, but I had a great time watching and listening to it. The DVD and CD are both copy controlled, by the way!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MM#35/March 2004:

NIGHTWISH – End Of Innocence (DVD)
2003 (Drakkar/Spinefarm Records)
Rating: 8 points

Here is the new DVD from Finland’s NIGHTWISH. It is titled “The End Of Innocence”. The band enjoyed some well deserved success with their previous DVD “From Wishes To Eternity”, which was a live concert. Rather than go to the same way again, the band decided to do something a little different. “The End Of Innocence” is a two disc package. Disc one features an in depth, forthright and honest conversation with keyboardist/main songwriter Tuomas, as he explains what makes him and NIGHTWISH tick. It gives the viewer a unique insight into the goings on of Finland’s most famous metal export. Interspersed with the interview footage you can find some cool live clips of the band (although no song is shown in it’s entirety). The band has really become a potent live machine and these clips confirm this. Disc two features two mini-concerts of the band. Oslo, Norway July 2003 and the Summer Breeze festival in Germany from 2003 show the band tearing it up on stage. Some of the DVD extras includes an interview on Brazilian TV and the video clips for their cover of the GARY MOORE tune “Over The Hills And Far Away” and “Bless The Child”. Icing of the cake. A well worthwhile offering from a band that keeps getting better.

Reviewed by: Tony Cannella


SHANIA TWAIN – Up! Live In Chicago (DVD)
2003 (Universal)
Rating: 9 points

Shania is one of my favourite singers and with the release of her last album “Up!”, she managed to release an album that has it all. I was so excited about the album, and I was hoping for a new DVD release, and here it is, folks! “Up! Live In Chicago” features Shania’s first live gig in over two and a half years in front of a crowd of 25,000 people. The concert begins with “Man, I Feel Like A Woman!”. As always, you can immediately feel that this was a special evening. Shania is in wonderful shape, and her band is in great form too. Shania has a wonderful band. Absolutely fantastic musicians with charisma on stage. One of the better live bands in my book. Of course there’s a lot of new songs featured on this DVD, like the great “I’m Gonna Get You Good!” (after singing it with three little girls), “Ka-Ching” and the beautiful ballads “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing” and “When You Kiss Me”. Every single song sounds great and you can clearly see that everyone is enjoying themselves. The music has a lot of variety in it, because when was the last time you’ve heard a Latin song like “Juanita”, being followed by a real honky tonk song like “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”. In my opinion, this is great. But don’t think that there isn’t any space for rock, ‘cause Shania rocks with the best of them. Songs like “(If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Out Of Here”, and show stopper “Rock This Country” are pretty heavy songs, and they show you the other side of SHANIA TWAIN. Shania doesn’t neglect her country past either here, ‘cause with some old songs as “No One Needs To Know” (what a great song!), and her number one hit “You’re Still The One”, we hear some great old country music. Highlight for me is the song “Forever And For Always”. This is actually one of my favorite songs of all time. It has a unique feeling to it, that grabs me by the throat every time I hear it. I LOVE IT !!!! The only reason why I don’t give this product the full score is that there could have been some extras on this silver disc. Only a discography is included, but some videos or backstage footage would have been nice. This is a somewhat missed opportunity, but I can recommend this DVD to everyone. The sound is great, the song selection is fantastic and finally a crazy, wonderful band and singer on stage, doing what they do best. Luckily, I managed to score tickets for Shania’s show in Holland on March 4th, so you’ll read a review from that in the next issue of your favorite magazine. Don’t miss it, and don’t miss this DVD.

Reviewed by: Richard van Oudheusden


DORO – Fuer Immer (DVD)
2003 (SPV/Steamhammer)
Rating: 10 points

Wow! Every fan must admit that this truly is the ultimate overview of DORO’s impressive career so far, pressed on two silver discs. Four hours and forty-five minutes of the purest metal are on this great compilation. On DVD one, we can see DORO live in action during a hundred minute live show in Balve, Germany. The twenty-two songs will give you a good overview of the career of this blonde metal goddess, ranging from the beginning of her career with WARLOCK to songs from her latest album “Fight”. That’s the first part of the show. But the most impressive part of this set for me was the second DVD, which is just too good to be true. It contains a lot of very rare never before seen footage ranging from her tour through Australia, her visit to the home of one of her biggest German fans, fifty-three minutes of bootleg footage from 1985 to 2002, all the video clips that DORO once made, photo sessions, a discography, a photo gallery and a nice documentary of the career of DORO PESCH. It’s all there and more. Seeing DORO on and off stage made me realise how much this lady means for the metal ladies out there. She has been there from the start, and she’s still the one lady that is involved in the scene next to all the other big names like OZZY, MOTÖRHEAD, SAXON and IRON MAIDEN. She never gave up, and she showed us that ladies can play metal. This is a great way to pay tribute to this metal lady, who did everything that many bands can only dream of. And I think that she can be damn proud of that! I guess, this is mainly because she believes in what she is doing, on and off stage. During the footage that was shot off stage, I could only see DORO walk around in a MOTÖRHEAD t-shirt. This metal diva is not just an image, this lady is celebrating her twentieth birthday in the metal scene already with a document that shows this beautiful German metal lady in all the facets imaginable. A worthy document for a lady, who earned it! Why? Prove is given on these two DVD’s, a must have for every devoted metal fan, whether you like ladies stuff or not!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS – Real Wild Child (DVD)
2003 (Blackheart Records)
Rating: 9 points

The 2-DVD set “Real Wild Child: Video Anthology” is finally a fact for JETT heads like myself and many others. This 144 minute video compilation celebrates JOAN JETT’s incredible musical talents and contains most of her hitsingles (including the ’82 color version of “I Love Rock N’ Roll”, which nobody ever saw before!!), like “Bad Reputation”, “Crimson And Clover”, “Do You Wanna Touch Me”, “Fake Friends”, “I Hate Myself For Lovin’ You”, “Everyday People”, “Good Music”, “Little Liar”, “I Need Someone”, “Dirty Deeds”, “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, “Backlash”, “Love Hurts”, (I could go on here…) plus some television/concert versions, a remix of “Don’t Surrender”, but also a (very poor filmed) live version of “Cherry Bomb”, featuring former RUNAWAY Cherie Currie. Yeah people, it’s all there and in good quality, too!!! In between the songs, Joan but especially long-time manager (now suddenly band mate) Kenny Laguna give their comments to the songs in question (marked on the DVD box as an interview), but they didn’t have to do that, as far as I’m concerned. I’d rather go for a real interview. Disc two features bonus stuff, like a real sky dive of Joan and Kenny (ofcourse), her comprehensive discography, some ads/commercials, a weblink to the offical site and more. For more info about ordering this DVD, visit her website at: www.joanjett.com

Reviewed by: Rita van Poorten


MM#34/Dec. 2003:

KREZIP – That'll Be Unplugged (and More) (DVD)
2003 (Warner Music)
Rating: 9 points

The Box is a new music station on the Dutch television. Just like MTV has their MTV unplugged sessions, The Box presents the artists in an unplugged program, called Pure. KREZIP’s sessions were used for this DVD. Thirteen songs of the band were rearranged, until they were suitable to be played unplugged. In between the songs, we see short interviews with the band members. The songs are stripped down to the bone, except emotion wise, because that’s the only thing what’s left when we hear the ‘pure’ versions of songs like “Won’t Cry”, “Promsie”, “You Can Say”, “Mine” and “All Unsaid”. We also hear the band play “Beautiful” of Linda Perry. KREZIP already made beautiful music, and it gets even better when they play this unplugged. Believe me, I won’t say this about every band, but the songs are just perfect for an ‘unplugged session’ treatment. As the title of this DVD suggests, there’s a lot more to enjoy on this disc. The bonus footage consists of all the video clips KREZIP has recorded so far (including the German release of “Won’t Cry”), a television special of BNN, behind the scenes and live footage of the band on their “Days Like This” tour through the Benelux and Germany. Plus you can see their biggest hitsingle “I Would Stay”, recorded together with the Euregio Orchestra. As grand finale you’ll receive a free bonus audio CD containing over one hour of live material, so you can enjoy their wonderful music again without watching the DVD. Normally, I’m not all that impressed about unplugged stuff, but in this case KREZIP has done a terrific job and they definitely have changed my mind here!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


STAR ONE – Live On Earth (DVD)
2003 (Inside Out Music)
Rating: 10 points

This twenty song plus bonus footage DVD is not sold seperately. It’s part of a live 2 CD set, which is reviewed in our CD section (see page 22). On this DVD, we are able to watch the full show of STAR ONE, recorded on Oct. 5th, 2002 at Lucky in Rijssen, which is a real must for all the fans of Arjen Anthony Lucassen (AYREON/VENGEANCE/BODINE). With the help of great musicians like Peter Vink (Q65/VERALIN/RENEGADES), Ed Warby (GOREFEST), Joost van den Broek, Robert Soeterbroek (HIGHWAY CHILE/BODINE/VULTURE), Sir Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X), Damian Wilson (THRESHOLD), Irene (KARMA) and Floor Jansen (AFTER FOREVER) and Edward Reekers (who sings on one of the bonus songs), Arjen performs a show, that is really unique. He proves that he’s not of this earth, and it’s a damn shame that these shows were just a one-off thing. The audience loved it, and so did the band, as you can see on this wonderful DVD. The interaction between the band members is great and so is their contact with the audience. Highlights are the response and the singing of the crowd, when Arjen plays some riffs from the VENGEANCE classic “Arabia”, the keyboard/solo guitar fight between Joost and Arjen and the funny bass solo of Peter Vink. But above all, the biggest highlight is certainly the music of STAR ONE. If you were not there, you will now be able to see (and experience) the magic of a STAR ONE show. And if you were there, you’ll be able to relive these magical moments over and over again. The DEEP PURPLE classic “Space Truckin’ “ is one of the bonus footage on this excellent DVD. I really hope that Arjen will perform live on stage more often in the near future, because that’s where he belongs! This DVD is the definate prove of that. I would advise other bands not to try this at home without any intensively rehearsals, like this band did here, because otherwise they’ll look like fools! STAR ONE didn’t, simply because they’re professionals. Way to go Arjen, you did it again!!!

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MM#33/Oct. 2003:

MARI HAMADA – Live History 1985-1992 (DVD)
2002 (Victor Entertainment)
Rating: 10 points

MARI HAMADA shows us, she’s extremely talented on this ‘best of’ DVD, which captures footage from the many videos and DVDs she has released over the years. It’s a wonderful peak into her flashing career, where we see her develop from a metal queen to a real star, that is so immense popular in her own country, she can easily fill up big venues like the ultrafamous Budokan Hall, where many bands have recorded their live video or live CD in the past. Not only did I like the oldies like “Tokyo Making Love”, “Don’t Change Your Mind” or the great ballad “Runaway From Yesterday” here. Even a pop song like “Easy Going” or “Tomorrow” are a spectacular view on your TV screen. During “All Night Party”, we can see Mari behind a percussion set. And during “My Tears”, she performs with a big choir. The light show is perfect, sometimes with laserlights and the musicians in the band hit every note right. Just listen to the crazee guitarsolos that pop up in almost every song of this DVD, which runs for almost two hours. But above all, you will enjoy the great voice of this Japanese lady. She doesn’t only sing very well, she’s also a great performer and a very talented fashion model. Look at her stage outfits, which she changes over and over again. She always looks supersexy and because of that, her shows will probably never look or sound dull. Why this lady never got any success over here, is a complete mystery to me. I was always convinced that, if people are as talented as this lady is, the music business would recognise this and would use it to make it become a coomercial success worldwide as well. They never did actually, shame on them. I can only recommend this to the people, who really have eyes for the great talents of this beautiful Japanese performer, whose live history is presented on this great DVD. There‘s no bonus on this disc, besides a booklet with all the lyrics and some information about her CDs and DVDs. But who cares for a bonus, after you’ve seen the twenty-three songs of this lovely lady?

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


CHEAP CHICK – Live At The Paladino's, Los Angeles, CA (DVD)
2003 (independent)
Rating: 7 points

Most of the new bands present themselves by means of a CD or demo. CHEAP CHICK, an all-female, CHEAP TRICK tribute band from the US, present themselves through a six track DVD. The four ladies dress themselves up like CHEAP TRICK, and from a distance you couldn’t tell the difference between these ladies and the real ones. The six songs that they laid down on this silver disc all come from the 1970’s era of CHEAP TRICK, and five out of six tunes can be found on the million seller “Live At Budokan”. The ladies really pay a good tribute to one of the finest pop rock bands in the world, and I remember that some moves and details are done exactly the same way as the original show, which was broadcasted on TV here long ago. Especially the comparison of the female Rick Nielsen is striking. Her outfit, combined with her moves and the enormous row of guitar picks on the microphone standard, gives you the idea the real Rick Nielsen is playing his black and white squared guitar. Opening with “Any Time At All”, “Look Out” and “Come On, Come On”, they slowly prepare the audience at The Paladino’s in Los Angeles for the three big hit singles from that era; “Clock Strikes Ten”, “ I Want You To Want Me” and “Surrender”. If you want to know more about the world’s only all-female tribute band to CHEAP TRICK, then you can check out their website at: http:// www.cheapchick.com and while you’re there, you can also buy their DVD.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


HEART – Alive In Seattle (DVD)
2002 (BMG/Image Entertainment)
Rating: 9 points

The Wilson sisters are back on the road again, and they celebrate this with a release of a new DVD, recorded live at their hometown Seattle in Washington. I’ve always loved the powerful voice of Ann, and the great guitar playing of her sister Nancy. They recorded some melodic rock classics over the years, from which we get to hear a good mix on this hundred minute+ live DVD. A lot of the songs are from the early days of this band, with songs like “Crazy On You”, “Straight On”, “Dog And Butterfly”, “Magic Man”, “Barracuda” and “Dreamboat Annie”. But they also pull out some new songs, that will appear on their upcoming new album (release date is unknown yet) like “Two Faces Of Eve”, “The Witch” and “Break The Rock”. The band opens with “Crazy On You”, and after a few songs, they slowly slide into an acoustic part that begins with “These Dreams”. Here we see the two Wilson sisters with their acoustic guitars playing songs like “Mistral Wind”, “Alone”, “Dog And Butterfly”, the ELTON JOHN cover “Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters” and the LED ZEPPELIN cover “The Battle Of Evermore” completed with beautiful Nancy on the mandolines. During “Love Alive “ and “Dreamboat Annie” (which is one of the encores here), we also see Ann play the flute. The band, consisting of Tom Kellock on keyboards, Scott Olson on guitar, Ben Smith on drums and Mike Inez (yes, the same who played in OZZY OSBOURNE’s band, and in ALICE IN CHAINS!) on bass, can’t live up to the magic feeling I got when I saw them in the early eighties with Howard Leese, Steve Fossen en Denny Carmassi. The two biggest eye-catchers are the two sisters. The Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of this great band, that have always been very underrated in my opinion. They are not ashamed to show the audience their adoration for their biggest examples in music; LED ZEPPELIN, so in the encores they even play a second LED ZEPPELIN cover. This time it’s a rocking version of “Black Dog”. Nancy moves like good ol’ Page, while she riffs her way through this rock anthem. And Ann’s voice still reminds me of someone like Robert Plant or David Coverdale, powerful in the heavy rock songs and sugar sweet in the ballads. It’s a good thing, that Nancy is a bit more upfront in the band now. Her role was always a bit more in the back. Now she’s equal to, or maybe even bigger than Ann. I’d love to see the band come over here again, especially after seeing these live footage of a band that sounds as fresh as they sounded in the beginning of their almost thirty years of existense. The bonus material on this DVD only consist of a photo gallery and some liner notes, but I’m sure this won’t be the last DVD of these uncrowned queens of the melodic rock scene.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MM#32/June 2003:

PAT BENATAR-NEIL GIRALDO – Summer Vacation Tour (DVD)
2001 (White Castle Way, Inc./Gold Circle)
Rating: 8 points

PAT BENATAR is one of the very few female superstars in the world. She had a few hitsingles, and even now she’s still a hot rocking lady. In 2001 she toured in America, together with her partner (in crime) Neil Giraldo. Pat’s songs range from pop music to heavy rock, so a lot of people will enjoy her music. On this DVD, we get to see PAT BENATAR live in concert for one and a half hour. The stunning performance includes hitsingles like “We Belong” (acoustic version), “I Need A Lover”, “Love Is A Battlefield” (acoustic version), “Heartbreaker” and the magnificent “Hell Is For Children”. We also hear four new songs. Neil is the rocker in the band, completed with constant sparkling and glittering guitars. While Pat is still the sexy rock and roll animal, who was almost forgotten over here in Europe. The DVD contains a few extras, like an interview with Pat and Neil, but the live footage is already cool enough to buy yourself a copy. Oh, also interesting to mention here is, that there’s a second lady on this DVD: the female keyboard player of the band; Cindy O’Connor. A real must for everybody who loves a good, solid rock show.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MARI HAMADA – Live 2002 Marigold (DVD)
2002 (Meldac)
Rating: 9 points

MARI HAMADA was one of my favorite female metal singers from Japan in the eighties. Together with CARMEN MAKI and HONJOH MISAKO, she made some brilliant albums. I even had some posters (read: album inserts) of her and Honjoh hanging on my bedroom wall. Right now, she has become a real superstar in Japan. And although she doesn’t sing any real heavy metal songs anymore, she’s still a great rock singer. Her band plays some good solid rock music, while Mari is the beautiful Japanese frontlady. The DVD opens with a ten minute view behind the scenes. Black and white footage of things that happen between the arrival of the band at the concert hall, and the time the curtain falls down and the gig starts. The live gig is fantastic and quite powerful. Mari has a fantastic voice. And although she doesn’t play a beautiful ballad like “Runaway From Yesterday” anymore (real timeless music!), she can still make my flesh crawl. The concert was filmed in Tokyo in 2002. Nice detail is, that Eri Hamada (which I believe is Mari’s sister) is singing the background vocals. This “Marigold” DVD is a real treat, even for the older fans of MARI HAMADA, although it doesn’t contains any extras. It still lasts for almost two hours. The only question, that remained after seeing this great footage: Whatever happened to HONJOH MISAKO??

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MELISSA ETHERIDGE – Live...And Alone (DVD)
2002 (Island)
Rating: 10 points

Here’s another female musician, who reached the superstar status all over the world. Melissa did her last tour all by herself, and this two DVD set gives a good overview of how this experience went. One woman, a set of guitars and a wild audience. Nothing more, nothing less. What you see is what you get here. Lyrics, that come straight from the heart, and sometimes are a shot full of pure emotion. On the first DVD we see a two hour live show, recorded at the Kodak Theater, Los Angeles USA, on December 8, 2001. Experience and watch the pureness of Melissa’s songs. Her voice is a magic cross between TINA TURNER, BONNIE TYLER and even JANIS JOPLIN sometimes. While her performance comes close to people like TINA TURNER, ROD STEWART, BOB DYLAN and especially BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. She easily knows to entertain her audience with steaming versions of classics like “I Want To Come Over”, “You Can Sleep While I Drive”, “Chrome Plated Heart” (awesome!), “Your Little Secret”, “Bring Me Some Water” and “Like The Way I Do”. I think you’ve definately reached the highest level, when you can entertain your audience for two hours, all by yourself. And she does this not only in her homecountry America, but also over here in Europe. You can witness that for yourself on the second DVD of this set. Here you can see a tour diary, in which Melissa visits eleven locations in America and Europe. There’s also an interview, two bonus tracks, which were not played during the show on the first DVD, a discography, some songs which she plays with her band and two new, yet unreleased tracks (“Alive” and “The Weakness In Me”). Melissa is really a cool lady, who entertains her public with a good sense of humour and a lot of respect. And I have a lot of respect for that. Besides, she’s a great artist as well, and this two DVD set proves it in the best way possible. By the way, it surprised me that about 95% of the audience is female. A missed chance for all the gentlemen. Don’t be shy, she’s a great artist, guys!! I can only give the maximum score for this product, because that’s what the lady deserves. Website: http://www.melissaetheridge.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


MM#31/March 2003:

THE GATHERING – In Motion (DVD)
2002 (Century Media)
Rating: 7 points

When THE GATHERING left Century Media and started their own label, called Psychonaut records. Century Media must have thought: "Hey, let's make an extra buck of these guys". That's what this DVD release is about really. THE GATHERING is not happy with this DVD and they don't see “In Motion” as an official release. “In Motion” is a nice look at what THE GATHERING stood for some six years ago. The DVD contains concert footage from THE GATHERING's first gig at the Dynamo festival. Personally for me this is nice to see, because I attended this concert. But I can imagine why THE GATHERING is not happy with this footage. The camera work is ok and the sound is acceptable, but sometimes it's a bit amateuristic. Don't get me wrong. Songs like “Eleanor”, “Leaves” and “Strange Machines” sound great, although I've seen Anneke in better shape. That Anneke is a fantastic singer is obvious and she shows that once again in the second part of this DVD. This concert was recorded in Katowice, Poland and sounds and looks a lot better. Songs like “Confusion” and “The May Song” sound terrific and you can clearly see that THE GATHERING is enjoying themselves. The extras consist of a discography and two video clips of “Leaves” and “Liberty Bell”. All together it's just short of ninety minutes and of course that's just not enough. There's not much more that I can tell about this release really. It's nice and fans should buy it of course, but it's just not what I thought it would or should be. I've followed this band from the beginning and personally I dig this DVD, but I hope THE GATHERING will eventually make one themselves the way it's meant to be.

Reviewed by: Richard van Oudheusden


THE GO-GO’S – Live In Central Park (DVD)
2001 (Beyond Music)
Rating: 8 points

The GO-GO’s made their comeback in 2001 with the album "God Bless The GOGO's". Of the following tour, they made recordings of the gig in Central Park New York. The accent of the concert is of course the comeback CD. But also oldies such as "Vacation", "Our Lips Are Sealed" and "We Got The Beat" are not forgotten. Despite of the fact it is an outdoor concert, the sound is okay. It must be said that the years have paid their toll with regard to the voice of Belinda Carlisle. Here and there she sings out of tune in the higher area. That was not noticeable on the album at all. The enthusiasm and happiness of the band glows during the concert. Once in a while there even is time for a little joke. You won’t tell this band has not performed with each other for twenty years. As a bonus there are several ‘Behind the scenes’ parts on this DVD. The ladies were filmed during the make-up and hairdressing. Also the ride to Central Park has been shot. We can hear the ladies talk during this drive. The women were filmed from the dressing room until they set feet on the stage as well. And backstage there were shootings when they are talking to the fans. A ‘History part’, where we can see interviews with the band members and old videos from the GO-GO’s records where they were talking to the fans. For those who hold the GO-GO’s in high esteem, this DVD is a commitment to buy, but also for those who do not know the band this DVD is worth it.

Reviewed by: Marcel van Santen


THE GREAT KAT – War (video clip)
2002 (independent)
Rating: 10 points

“War”, or ‘How to put as much violence as possible in one and a half minute’, is the starting point of the new video clip by THE GREAT KAT. She makes the impossible possible in this video. In a short space of time, we see ‘General’ KAT prepare for a war against the enemy. In the meantime, we get to see some macabre archive material in black and white about the Holocaust, World War II, and General Eisenhouwer inspecting the troops. Of course the main reason, why THE GREAT KAT recorded this video are the brutal attacks against America and in particular the fall of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11th, 2001. THE GREAT KAT tuned her guitar, prepared her two band members for a counter-offensive, and turned the volume knob to a maximum level. No one can stop this wild lady, who’s wearing a helmet and a bullet belt. There’s war on two fronts at the same time. The musical front, where THE GREAT KAT proves us again that she’s the fastest guitar warrior in this whole damn world. And also on the emotional front, because she shows the enemy her teeth. Don’t f*ck around with this lady, because this is only a one and a half minute warning. The next time she will visit your hometown, and show you a magic flashback from her previous video, which was called “Castration”. Remember??? I do remember it quite well. What did you say, doctor? You want to remove the bandage right now? Oops! Am I glad, that “War” was just a warning. But still one, that everybody needs to take seriously. Supercult!! www.greatkat.com.

Reviewed by: Toine van Poorten


WITHIN TEMPTATION – Mother Earth Tour (DVD)
2002 (BMG)
Rating: 10 points

Wow! This is the mother of all DVDs! WITHIN TEMPTATION has made it big time and we all agree that this is well deserved. After the DVD single release, I was hoping for a full DVD release but I wasn't ready for this. I am the proud owner of some great DVDs, but this is absolutely one of the best releases till now. First of all, it is a double DVD with a total running time of more than three hours and as bonus you get the CD with the complete Lowlands gig (talking about getting your money's worth). DVD one is filled with seventy minutes of live footage from Rock Werchter, Pukkelpop and Lowlands 5.1 Dolby digital, so you can imagine what it sounds like. Songs like “Deceiver Of Fools”, “Mother Earth” and “Caged” sound fantastic! The camera work is really good. Especially Lowlands looks great!! Lead singer Sharon den Adel sings fantastic on every single song and besides being a wonderful singer, she also has a lot of charisma. Next to the live footage, we can also see WITHIN TEMPTATION’s three videos “The Dance”, “Mother Earth” and of course the smash hit, “Ice Queen”. Especially “Mother Earth” is a superb video. DVD two contains a lot of exclusive images of the band on the road. What I really like about this footage is that it was not done by professionals, but by the roadies or the band members themselves. It's great to see the band backstage at Ozzfest or Pinkpop. WITHIN TEMPTATION did a lot of festivals last year, so we get to see a lot from that. The backstage footage from Mexico is great. I think it's fantastic that WT has gained so many fans all over the world. You can see that they are so surprised that they even get to play in Mexico and that the hall is sold out (they can't be nothing other than proud of themselves). We also can see the making of the “Mother Earth” album and cover and the video from this song. There are also some thirty-five minutes of impressions of the TMF awards, radio shows, and an acoustic version of “Ice Queen” (I'm less fond of that). Several interviews and finally a look at the gig at the Broerenkerk in Zwolle, where WT is accompanied by a complete choir wich makes a song like “Deceiver Of Fools” sound even better. A nice foto gallery and a multiple angle version of “Ice Queen” completes this DVD in a great way. I really admire the way that this DVD was made. Everything has been worked out perfectly. The live tracks show that WITHIN TEMPTATION is the absolute ruler of the gothic metal scene (if you can call it that). The other footage shows a wonderful band with really nice people who are so humble and thankful for the success that they have. You absolutely get your money's worth with two DVDs and a great sounding CD with the complete Lowlands gig, where you can hear why WITHIN TEMPTATION deserves to be on top of the world. I said it once and I'll say it again: this is one of the best DVDs out there and every self respecting person who has a heart for this kind of music, should buy and treasure “Mother Earth Tour” for what it is. Simply fantastic!

Reviewed by: Richard van Oudheusden


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