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Review: Tenebrae - Live At Smash Studios
Live At Smash Studios

Label: Independent
Year released: 2005
Duration: 38:40

Review online: August 4, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Live At Smash Studios


Here's a bizarre release alright. Tenebrae are reportedly working on a studio album, and in the meantime they sent me this DVD as well as a live CD. The DVD was filmed at Smash Studios in New York City. This, incidentally, is an amateur DVD - the band is filmed performing in the studio to what seems to be an audience of their friends/fans (we rarely ever see them, save for a couple who forgot to duck before walking in front of the camera. :))

The filming is done by a handheld camera (grainy image included) and I must say things get pretty shaky and/or bumpy at times - avoid if you're subject to motion sickness! :) Unfortunately, that's also how the sound is recorded (or so I assume) and therefore the sound quality is quite uneven. Sometimes I could almost hear only the bass, sometimes the keyboards, sometimes the guitar - always the drums though. As such, I'll reserve my comments on the music itself for when I hear the live CD or the studio album. There are some interesting moments though, especially some cool guitar leads. The lead vocalist (female) shares the vocal duties with the guitarist. She mostly uses somewhat operatic vocals, but sometimes break into death growls - I'm not sure I really liked that, but again, with half the instruments barely audible most of the time, I'd rather wait until I hear a properly produced version before passing judgment.

The band seems to have fun and so does their audience. The DVD lasts almost 39 minutes and there's six songs on there with barely any time wasted between songs, so Tenebrae aren't into radio-friendly song lengths, that's for sure! It'll be interesting to hear the studio versions. The menu has the option of playing all, or to select a specific song (interestingly, the default selection is the second song.) I'm not sure what the band was aiming at doing with this DVD - probably some promotion and a gift for die hard fans. This is not something they have much chance of selling in my opinion, but it's a cool thing for their fans to own.

Other related information on the site
Review: Live At The Funky Munky (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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