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Metal/Prog Metal DVD/Video Reviews


The Art of Live DVD

Review by Gary Hill

With their newest live video, the Ryche have set loose a mixed bag on the fans. While the sound is very good on the recording, and much of this is newer material not yet to be recorded live, I have a big problem with sepiatone, washed out old movie look to the video. While I can certainly appreciate it from an artistic point of view, it raises several questions to this reviewer. First, why not, through the wonders of DVD technology, place two versions on the disc - one the old film style version and the other color concert film. It seems that this compromise would have solved the dilemma between pleasing those like myself who prefer a real concert feel to the video and the band's desire to express themselves visually.

The second problem presented by this graphic presentation is a bit more crucial, though. The packaging shows no indication of the nature of the video. All the photos on the cover are from the still gallery (full color) presented on the DVD. Nowhere is there even any printing to indicate that those pictures do not represent the video put forth on the disc. I have to wonder how many fans bought this expecting it to look like the cover and were sorely disappointed.

All right, jumping off the soapbox, all the performances of the Ryche are quite solid and the song choices make for an entertaining product. The inclusion of the two covers in tandem with Dream Theater are definitely a treat (Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" and The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again"). I have to admit, though, James LaBrie really comes across as a bit weak and whiney on these two. He used to have a strong voice, but perhaps he's pulling himself a bit thin with too many projects. Still, when the two singers combine their voices, the result is stunning.

The interview segments are good, but there isn't enough material included. Also in this segment are many clips of the band performing acoustically on various TV and radio shows. Unfortunately, every clip shows the same song "Losing Myself". I don't know if this is meant to show how monotonous these things get for the band or if this is the only song they performed in that arena, but either way it got pretty tedious for this reviewer.

So, there you have it. This DVD is a good, but definitely not great release. The biggest disappointment is knowing that with a little more thought and effort in the studio it could have been great.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 2 at
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