|Review: Helloween - High Live|
Label: Sanctuary Records Group
Year released: 2002
Duration: 90 min.
Review online: December 28, 2002
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
This live Helloween show was filmed in Italy and Spain in 1996. I must say outright that this DVD is kind of a deception. There's a pause (black screen, 2-3 seconds long) between pretty much every song, which for me break the whole "live" experience that should be present on a live DVD (as it is, it sometimes feel like a bunch of videos shot live...) I don't know what they were thinking when they assembled this video. The song selection is so-so, I would of course have hoped for a couple more songs from Walls Of Jericho and the two Keeper albums, but hey, isn't that a common criticism of live albums/videos? :) Impossible to please everyone on this one.
The performance itself is very good, these guys sure know how to move on stage and get their crowd to react. Speaking of crowd, it's a pretty nice-sized one. No wonder Helloween have never set foot in North America, they'd never get that kind of crowd here. There's a couple of solo performances on the DVD... A bit tedious, I rarely like those myself. As for the filming, it's good overall, the cameras move around quite a bit but not too much either, so it doesn't get too annoying. I don't think the slow-motion footage of the crowd in the middle of the show is warranted however - keep the slow-mo stuff for the intro.
Not surprising from Sanctuary, the DVD is short on extras - the only thing worth of mention is the audio review by rock journalist Malcolm Dome, who gives a shortened history of the band (it mostly focuses on the post-Hansen days.) Die-hard fans probably won't learn anything from it, but those who don't know the band much may learn a thing or two. The only criticism I have about this one is that it sometimes sound like a sales pitch - hey, if I'm watching the DVD, that's because I've already purchased it. ;)
Overall, not a bad DVD, but not a must-have either. I got it because I wanted to see Helloween live, and that's what I got, not much more (although, as mentionned earlier, the pauses between songs kind of screw up the live experience...) Get it if you already have all the better DVDs out there.
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