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Metal/Prog Metal DVD/Video Reviews

Various Artists

Bang Your Head 2007 DVD

Review by Gary Hill

I have to admit that sometimes I get put off by a lot of modern metal festivals. I’m not a big fan of growling death vocals (there are some I can deal with, but few) or other forms of extreme voice tactics. So, a lot of these festivals leave me hoping for a quick end (of the show or myself – either one achieves the same purpose). Well, this DVD captures last year’s Bang Your Head Festival and frankly I enjoyed the majority of it. With performances by a myriad of metal acts (both vintage and newer) there is plenty here to like. Even if you don’t get into every single performance, it’s a safe bet that you’ll like a lot of them.

Highlights for me included Girlschool. They give us three tracks and I saw this group way back when. I have to say, they still sound great. In fact, they might sound even better today than they did in the 1980’s.

Another standout is Praying Mantis. I’d never really heard this legendary NWOBHM group before, but I certainly heard of them. Well, they really share a lot of common ground musically with Iron Maiden and they put in a blistering performance here – although they only get two songs.

The first disc is closed off with another highlight, but it apparently is not actually from this show. Heaven and Hell did headline the festival and Dio and company are shown here rocking through “Mob Rules,” but it’s not filmed at this Festival. That aside, though, this song stomps and they just plain tear up the stage, much as they did when I saw them recently. Heaven and Hell or Black Sabbath – whatever you call them, these guys are the real deal. It’s a shame we don’t get more from them here, but I’ll take what I can get.

My highlight of the second DVD isn’t actually a metal band – at least as far as I’m concerned. I know it seems like Europeans have a different view of what heavy metal is than those of us on the other side of the pond. Hard rockers Nazareth get in three tracks on the second DVD and I’ve always loved this band. This performance is a scorcher with some classics getting played. “This Flight Tonight” alone is worth the price of admission.

Other groups  on this set are: Adramelch, Wolf, Lethal, Vicious Rumors, Evergrey, Dark Tranquillity,  Thunder, Amon Amarth, Age Of Evil, Archer, Mystic Prophecy, Powermad,  Mercenary, Brainstorm and Edguy. Some of these showings are quite good, others simply adequate. We also get some bonuses, the major one being some club show footage of some of the groups. All in all this is a cool set that should please metal fans no matter what genre is their favorite.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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