Where to film your concert experience so that the fans around the world can get a mere glimpse into the ferocious show that bands call home most nights certainly has its challenges. Do you show off your grandest show of the tour in front of 80,000 people or do you film in a sweating, pulsating club where the crowd are quite literally bouncing off the walls?
On `As The Stages Burn`, Arch Enemy have chosen a bit of both. Firstly, a grandiose demonstration at one of the world’s most elaborate Metal Festivals, Wacken Open Air and the 2nd albeit shorter in length was the Tokyo certainly a place where Arch Enemy are very well received.
Let’s begin with special features and as the Japanese show is technically not the main portion of this DVD let’s start with that. The songs you may notice are none of the ones they delivered at Wacken so for the hardcore fans you’re getting a few older tracks that they may not be able to play at every venue with tracks such as `Silverwing’ and `Bury Me An Angel` going down a treat.
Certainly watching the crowd on this one there’s a lot of energy, sweaty bodies pilling into each other and the crowd intensely singing guitar parts back to Michael and Jeff who are just mindboggling to behold.
There’s also a very small behind the scenes footage at Wacken, which really is a little inconsequential and just feels a bit of an afterthought just to fill up space. Also in case you want to watch some of the band’s music videos they are here too.
From Tokyo to Northern Germany and Wacken is definitely on most bands if not all bands within the metal world to conquer, Arch Enemy on this night bring their absolute A game, playing all their greatest hits shall we call them, no they won’t ever be on Radio 1 but they are the hits to us.
It’s really in the way the band have set up tonight that’s key, although watching it through there’s a bit of a disconnect between the band and the fans that’s really predominately not helped by the gaping pit, which is certainly rectified on the Tokyo show.
Back to Wacken and you can definitely see where Arch Enemy could be head heading in the next few years, Alissa’s ability to run around the stage gives the band added energy and her movements display all the hallmarks of theatricality that’s equally impressive with her stage clothes and swishing peacock colouration in her hair. She is equally as talented as visually striking, the complete package for Arch Enemy front woman following on from Angela. Could we see a cleaner vocals on the next Arch Enemy album to elevate their headlining ability?
The band appear to be going to the theatrical arena ala Iron Maiden, Scorpions etc with huge backdrops, pyrotechnics and light shows that gives fireworks night a run for its cash, perhaps on this showing and Alissa’s already versatile range of vocals perhaps we could see Arch Enemy trying something different on their next album to really push their headline status.
The guitar work of Michael and Jeff Loomis is just mind boggling, their dual guitar work is blistering. As Jeff hasn’t been in the band for recording purposes as of yet, his abilities speak for themselves as a solo artist and with Nevermore his skills are incredible. With the inclusion of Jeff, the next Arch Enemy album will herald some truly exceptional guitar work.
The DVD as a whole is excellent, it gives the Arch Enemy newbie or fanatic a great look into Alissa and Jeff as newer members of the band and how certainly the band has grown and will definitely grow. The Tokyo section is for the fans who love hearing the old stuff, the rare stuff and certainly Arch Enemy do well in a club environment. As for the Wacken section, this where the band I feel are slightly let down by their environment and that’s no fault of their own but it’s a signpost of where they wish to take the band, huge production, huge vocals and huge guitar sound. The extreme Iron Maiden.
9/10- A foot in the past, one foot in the future. The future is bright for the Swedish Metallers.
Stand out tracks:
`My Apocalypse’, `No Gods No Monsters’ and `Nemesis’
1. Khaos Overture
2. Yesterday Is Dead And Gone
3. War Eternal
5. Stolen Life
6. My Apocalypse
7. You Will Know My Name
8. Bloodstained Cross
9. Under Black Flags
10. As The Pages Burn
11. Dead Eyes See No Future
13. No Gods No Monsters
14. We Will Rise
16. Fields Of Desolation
Arch Enemy on the net: