Rating:
9.0
Iced Earth - Alive In Athens [DVD]
30 October 2006


01. Intro
02. Burning Times
03. Vengeance Is Mine
04. Dark Saga
05. Last Laugh
06. Cast In Stone
07. Last December
08. Pure Evil
09. Desert Rain
10. Dante's Inferno
11. The Hunter
12. Melancholy (Holy Martyr)
13. Angels Holocaust
14. Stormrider
15. The Path I Choose
16. Watching Over Me
17. Diary
18. Blessed Are You
19. When The Night Falls
20. My Own Savior
21. Travel In Stygian
22. Violate
23. Stand Alone
24. Brainwashed
25. Disciples Of The Lie
26. I Died For You
27. Prophecy
28. Birth Of The Wicked
29. The Coming Curse
30. Epilogue

+ Iced Earth backstage
+ Jon Schaffer in Athens


When Century Media announced that they were putting out Iced Earth's "Alive in Athens" DVD, I was both excited and intrigued. Why wait 7 years to release the best live Metal concert ever recorded? Anyway, Jon Schaffer stated that this was purely the label decision; the band had nothing to do with it.

However, his talk about this DVD not being "up to the standards of the band" is a joke. The truth is that since Iced Earth is now signed with SPV Records, Century Media can do whatever they want with Iced Earth past discography; and they did. A compilation has been released recently, and now this DVD. Well, in 1999, the band had its best lineup with Matt Barlow [vocals], Brent Smedley [drums], Larry Tarnowski [lead guitar] and James McDonough [bass] alongside John Schaffer [rhythm guitar].

First, the live album "Alive in Athens" was indeed recorded from those shows, most tracks are there, note for note. Even if the camera work is not high-tech, it is good enough to enjoy this DVD. You can see the band clearly on stage, hear Matt talking to the crowd, the response of the fans and more importantly the sound is amazing. The concert is straightforward and simply fantastic. The pace is restless from 'Burning Times' to 'The Coming Curse'. Iced Earth plays one hit after another for over two hours.

The fact that the DVD has little bonus features is a non-issue. I bought the DVD for the concert, not to see some idiotic left-over footage that some bands like to add as a bonus feature. You still get a quick tour of Athens with Jon Schaffer, who also introduces his family in an awkward segment. The backstage footage gives you nothing, the sound is non-existent and it is basically twelve conversations going on at the same time.

Apart from the fact that two tracks from the live album are missing ('A Question of Heaven' and 'Iced Earth'), this DVD is a must-have, not for its bonus features or other gadgets but for the best Metal concert you'll ever hear. As for the question of why is this released 7 years after the concert, only John Schaffer really knows.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Iced Earth
Album: Alive In Athens


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 20.12.2006



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ylside - 21.12.2006 at 00:24  
I'm really looking forward this one, as I agree Alive in Athens is the best live album I've heard...
Valentin B - 22.12.2006 at 13:57  
alive in athens the cd was a tiny little disapointment for me, but their self-titled track was really a killer, can't figure out why they left it out... :-/
Eternal Flames - 22.12.2006 at 14:16  
Nice review there. I'm hoping to get the dvd after the christmas period ends and when I finally have money to spend on myself hehe. I've heard mixed reviews of the dvd, mostly good reviews though. Can't wait to see it for myself.
Bitch Boy - 23.12.2006 at 03:33  
Its unfair what Century Media is doing with the material of a band that is no longer signed to them.

BTW, I think it's time for me to get the DVD
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.12.2006 at 03:42  
Written by Bitch Boy on 23.12.2006 at 03:33

Its unfair what Century Media is doing with the material of a band that is no longer signed to them.



Not really since Century Media has the rights to Live in Anthems audio, and also paid for the filming of the concert at the time. So all the rights are with Century Media.

Btw, good dvd, I think it a strong point that only four cameras were used, now the editing isn't like a MTV videoclip where you get shots of 5 seonds at most. This is nice and soothing, you get see everything well as all the time is taken.
And of course this is way better than anything Iced Earth does now with Ripper Owens, who is totally not suitable for Iced Earth's music.
Bitch Boy - 23.12.2006 at 03:52  
@ Marcel Ozman: I know CM has the rights, but it's still unfair, and also because the band had nothing to do with it.
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.12.2006 at 03:57  
Written by Bitch Boy on 23.12.2006 at 03:52

@ Marcel Ozman: I know CM has the rights, but it's still unfair, and also because the band had nothing to do with it.


IMO the fans should be lucky that IE had nothing to do with it or else we'd get even more boring bonus stuff such as more stupid backstage scenes and more interviews, probably with john Schaffer who IMO always goes on about how patriotic he is, who the hell cares. Now what we get is what we want, a great concert.
Bitch Boy - 23.12.2006 at 04:11  
@ Marcel Ozman: well, in that case you're right.
dancingdecember - 25.12.2006 at 21:26  
i've bought the 3cd version long ago.its very good
DIE_by_my_HAND - 26.12.2006 at 06:14  
I think the reason the DVD was released so much later is because live DVD's were not nearly as popular as they are now and because if they released it at the same time as the CD it would have sold half as much, because most people would not have bought both at the same time...
iaberis - 27.03.2007 at 22:42  
Great DVD! The best live stuff I've seen! I'm gonna buy it for sure!
Ereinion' - 18.04.2007 at 17:39  
the reson that this dvd did not came earlyer is that Jon wanted to use the material in a special IE history dvd...
ylside - 12.06.2007 at 22:45  
Saw it, Best Live Ever.
BrightNight - 14.06.2007 at 20:02  
This DVD should be rated 10
OneWithMisery - 02.07.2007 at 23:55  
Best live dvd ever..even though Sentenced made a great one of their "goodbye or funeral concert.." And I was just surprised that Barlow's voice sounds better live, than on cd. Wow.
RavenLord - 03.07.2007 at 00:38  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.12.2006 at 03:42

Not really since Century Media has the rights to Live in Anthems audio, and also paid for the filming of the concert at the time. So all the rights are with Century Media.


It also doesn't help that Schaffer really had ideas above his station at the filming of this gig. He probably expected a production something along the lines of 'Live After Death' or 'Live Shit'

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.12.2006 at 03:42
Btw, good dvd, I think it a strong point that only four cameras were used, now the editing isn't like a MTV videoclip where you get shots of 5 seonds at most. This is nice and soothing, you get see everything well as all the time is taken.
And of course this is way better than anything Iced Earth does now with Ripper Owens, who is totally not suitable for Iced Earth's music.


Agree, agree. I haven't seen it all, but I think the way it was recorded helps both the CDs and the DVD. The small venue lends itself towards an intimate atmosphere, and fewer cameras means fewer schizophrenic cuts (like on the two latest Maiden concert DVDs).

I would prefer more special features, though, although I think that special features need to be well done. If you're not going to throw in the kitchen sink in terms of bonus features, or have an actually informative and interesting interview, then don't bother. The concert rests well by itself.

One thing that concerns me though; it has been said that the 1st and 2nd discs of the audio were 1 concert, with the 3rd disc being sections of the second night. The tracklisting of the DVD throws this askew, editing all over the show. Does anyone have a bootleg or other tracklisting of the show (I think it was a special set), that can say what the true running order was?
Infurnace - 23.08.2007 at 01:26  
One of the best DVD's ever, and it is from one of my favorite bands as well, so. The performance is absolutely perfect, and Barlow is doing great live!
Joey Jo Jo - 31.08.2007 at 18:33  
That opening where the camera goes in through the door to reveal a small venue is hilarious. Not because it's small, but on the back on the Alive in Athens CD, there's a picture of an open air venue.

I guess that's what's not up to Iced Earth standards. It's a good performance and what not, but I don't see why this had to be on DVD.... there's really nothing to actually see. All those slow motion shots of Barlow whipping back his hair like if it was a Shampoo commercial was totally worth watching it for that though.
Collin - 01.09.2007 at 00:39  
Written by Joey Jo Jo on 31.08.2007 at 18:33

That opening where the camera goes in through the door to reveal a small venue is hilarious. Not because it's small, but on the back on the Alive in Athens CD, there's a picture of an open air venue.



Haha that's the first thing that came to my mind when I watched the DVD, "ok, they've been shitting us for all these years..." lol. I always imagined this open air space with thousands of fans and you get these few hundreds hairy guys

Anyway, this DVD is not bad, though I have two complaints: I don't really like the camera work, somehow it never seems to show what's important or interesting at the moment of the filming. I found that a bit frustrating.
Second, why the fuck did they have to remove A Question Of Heaven, which certainly was the most intense and emotional song on the live album (aside from being my IE favourite song)?
Valentin B - 10.09.2007 at 23:30  
Written by Collin on 01.09.2007 at 00:39
.
Second, why the fuck did they have to remove A Question Of Heaven, which certainly was the most intense and emotional song on the live album (aside from being my IE favourite song)?

i have no fucking idea why they cut out "a question of heaven" and "iced earth".. fuck man, 2 of the best moments in the live CD..

"iced earth! iced earth! iced earth!" "you guys are requesting it, so here it is...it's the namesake of this band, this is called iced fucking earthhhh!!!"

can't beat that.
BrightNight - 28.09.2007 at 20:49  
Written by Valentin B on 10.09.2007 at 23:30

Written by Collin on 01.09.2007 at 00:39
.
Second, why the fuck did they have to remove A Question Of Heaven, which certainly was the most intense and emotional song on the live album (aside from being my IE favourite song)?

i have no fucking idea why they cut out "a question of heaven" and "iced earth".. fuck man, 2 of the best moments in the live CD..

"iced earth! iced earth! iced earth!" "you guys are requesting it, so here it is...it's the namesake of this band, this is called iced fucking earthhhh!!!"

can't beat that.



They did not do that on purpose. Those songs were not recorded because the camera had to change tapes while those songs were playing. I know its a shame...nothing to do about that.
Collin - 29.09.2007 at 16:17  
Oh, that's the reason then? Fair enough, I guess. Just too bad it happened during those songs and not on, say, Cast In Stone or Diary.
Icedburden - 27.07.2009 at 10:50  
Written by Collin on 01.09.2007 at 00:39

Written by Joey Jo Jo on 31.08.2007 at 18:33

That opening where the camera goes in through the door to reveal a small venue is hilarious. Not because it's small, but on the back on the Alive in Athens CD, there's a picture of an open air venue.



Haha that's the first thing that came to my mind when I watched the DVD, "ok, they've been shitting us for all these years..." lol. I always imagined this open air space with thousands of fans and you get these few hundreds hairy guys

Anyway, this DVD is not bad, though I have two complaints: I don't really like the camera work, somehow it never seems to show what's important or interesting at the moment of the filming. I found that a bit frustrating.
Second, why the fuck did they have to remove A Question Of Heaven, which certainly was the most intense and emotional song on the live album (aside from being my IE favourite song)?


I agree with you on all counts, I thought it was thousands of people and it's... a medium sized room lol. I did not like the DVD at all. The sound is muffled and video quality is garbage. Jon's version needs to come out with redone audio and video. Blu-Ray anyone?
thewall30 - 24.01.2010 at 06:48  
I love this DVD, the footage is pretty mind blowing, would've been nice to have a drummer cam or some other type of mechanism like that... but no complaints, I highly recommend this DVD...
Valentin B - 14.12.2010 at 23:47  
Written by Joey Jo Jo on 31.08.2007 at 18:33

That opening where the camera goes in through the door to reveal a small venue is hilarious. Not because it's small, but on the back on the Alive in Athens CD, there's a picture of an open air venue.

yeah, gotta love a good sausage party.. also, "hello Cleveland!"

you simply can't beat Spinal Tap references. also i kinda changed my mind about this, these are indeed great performances including the one on Dante's Inferno, which from what i can see on the web they never, ever played live again.
Angelic Storm - 15.12.2010 at 00:51  
It is a shame that "A Question Of Heaven" and especially "Iced Earth" isn't on the DVD. (Also "Colors", one of my fave IE songs, which was played at these shows but was omitted from the original cd release and the DVD) But aside from that, there's nothing to complain about with this. Definitely one of the best live videos ever, capturing Iced Earth at their peak. Im actually glad Jon Shaffer had no say in the release of this DVD as it would never have been released at all if it were up to him. Its a really great video companion to one of the greatest live albums of all time. xD

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