Phobia [DVD] review by Breaking Benjamin

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  • Released: Apr 17, 2007
  • Sound: 9
  • Content: 8
  • Production Quality: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (60 votes)
Breaking Benjamin: Phobia [DVD]
4

Sound — 9
For your latest DVD fix of Breaking Benjamin, you'll have to look to the release of the band's CD Phobia. Along with the regular CD track list found on the original release back from August 2006, fans are now treated to a limited edition DVD. While the bonus DVD is pretty much your basic live performance, the songs sound impeccable -- at times better than the recorded versions. The Phobia DVD features 15 tracks in the live show, which was shot at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The band sounds just as strong on stage as they do in the studio, a credit to their ability to translate their work from a recording to the stage. The songs featured in the DVD span the length of the band's existence, so even those who didn't find Phobia as interesting as earlier works are likely to find a few jewels in the bonus DVD. One of the standout tracks is Topless, which showcases some fantastic guitar grooves and vocalist Ben Burnley's versatility. It stands out a bit more because of it's energy and faster tempo, but even a lower-key song like The Diary Of Jane has an impact. One of Breaking Benjamin's greatest strengths is creating a mood with each song, and they do it rather effortlessly. It's actually in the darker, somewhat slower tracks that the band is able to relay the most emotion. When you look at the audience members singing along passionately to songs like The Diary Of Jane, it's evident that the band is making a connection. Mixing-wise, the DVD manages to elude some of the problems that other bands run into when putting together a live video. It's rare that you're able to hear a good balance of all the instruments on a DVD, but Breaking Benjamin have pulled it off with this one. That's probably one of the best aspects about the DVD, and the sound systems never distract away from the performance. The clarity is exceptional in So Cold, and you can actually hear layers that were somewhat covered up in the studio recording.

Content — 8
Because this DVD is somewhat of a bonus in itself (an extra to the CD), it's probably not right to get too picky if it doesn't have as many extras as you might be used to. It may not live up to a lot of other DVDs out there in terms of behind-the-scenes material, but fans should still enjoy the 15-song live show. With a songlist that includes Breakdown, Until The End, So Cold, and Evil Angel, it's a well-rounded overview of the Breaking Benjamin's material. The band may not be the most charismatic onstage, but the music stays strong for the entire performance.

Production Quality — 8
Rather than using fancy video equipment or artsy camera shots, the band has chosen a pretty straightforward way to shoot the DVD. That actually works to the band's advantage, allowing viewers to get clean shots of the guitar playing and general facial expressions. The vast majority of shots are of Burnley singing, but again, that helps express a bit more of the emotions behind the songs. Most importantly, the audio is flawless on the DVD and that's half of the battle in live performances.

Overall Impression — 8
As DVDs go, the Phobia limited edition bonus material might not blow everyone out of the water. It really does have more of a CD listening feel about it at times, and that's a compliment to the band's consistent quality onstage. It doesn't necessarily make for the most interesting video footage when compared with a lot of bands out there, but there is a strong setlist to make up for any shortcomings in the video portion. The DVD is really meant as a gift of sorts to the dedicated fans out there, and the band's devotees will undoubtedly be satisfied.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ShallowBay
    Very nice, BB is a freaking great band, nobody is even close to there stageperformance and will just keep geting better as time goes on. Can wait for there next record. And really hope they come to tour Europe Breaking Benjamin the best band in the world !
    no mercy
    I love the new cd, but I saw these guys open up for staind two years back. nothin special live.
    eNJYneer311
    As ShallowBay was saying, they do keep their families close...I think it was Ben's dad that did sort of a documentary about life on the road with BB. And as for what I posted above, i think it was my TV's sound situation that was cutting out Ben's guitar...I played it on the surround system option on the DVD through my x-box and it was fine.
    ShallowBay
    To fill out what [NIN]_ROCK! wrote, Ben is afraid of flying, water and to drive among other things. But thats not the main problem with them touring outside of the America, the whole band whats to be near there familys, they have said in many interviews that they hold there familys very close even when thay are touring in the US... But you can always hope that they will do a world tour..
    Shor-T Zero
    I'm wanting to get this, so I'm pretty sure I'll be getting it once I have the cash. Ben's guitar when I saw them wasn't covered up, but then again, I was just too busy rocking out. I saw them last year at Fall Fest '06 in San Antonio, and Ben never missed a note...I assume that the videos the others have seen aren't the best. Ben never missed a note, and even the people that were upset when Avenged Sevenfold stormed off stage like pansies (I'm sorry, but it was uncalled for...if you don't know what I'm talking about, youtube it, its pitiful that they gave up and threw all their equipment everywhere, then blamed the sound guys for not letting them back on after they cussed everyone out...oh well) liked BB. They took full advantage of the stage prescence they had, and while they weren't the hardest rockers there, they did a bad ass job and played many of their songs, old and new. Great show, I give it a 10/10, and this DVD will probably support my answer. Can't wait to attempt to get it!
    eNJYneer311
    When watching/listening to this, I noticed that I could not hear Ben's guitar as well as I should have...he was often overpowered by Aaron's lead guitar parts. I was wondering if this was maybe a problem with my DVD player/TV or DVD since this review really emphasized the great sound quality. It seemed to me like his guitar just wasn't loud enough. Let me know your thoughts, thanks.
    __Ronnie__
    I love this DVD. Simple as that. Theyre not the best live band in the history of music, but they are one of the best love modern rock bands. Sure Ben has bad shows sometime but Im sure a lot of singers do.
    FBA Ac1d
    Breaking Benjamin is freakin awesome! "Evil Angel" is my fav of the new album but Im bummed cause they didnt play it when I saw them in Louisville. But now I get to see it..YES!! Breaking Benjamin will grow to be a fantastic band in the future.
    jdF250
    yeah they are good, but they are nothing we have not heard yet. But heres to them!
    plectrum911
    Im not that big of a BB fan but i can say that when i saw them this past oct. with shinedown(who filled for threedays grace) and staind. They were by far the best of the three. They have a huge amount of stage presence and their sound was awesome. I dont understand why anyone would say they suck live.
    jaymrock741
    I love the fact that breaking benjamin can bring a great performance vocally and instrumentally. But the biggest thing that bugged me was the way they interacted with the crowd they didn't really move to much like they would a there usual concerts that, and they didnt have there full set list like normal if you have been to one of there concerts you can tell the difference
    electric7
    great review! Breaking Benjamin is my favorite band. i still have to pick this up, i have a coupon for it! GO BREAKING BENJAMIN!
    ohmerrymayhem
    Haven't seen a live show yet (sucks), but the album is amazing - best one yet - and I'm a huge fan. Didn't even know there was a dvd, though. I'm pickin it up tonight.
    bortbort
    BB is awesome live, I got to alot of shows by the way probably about 6 a month. Cant wait till June to see BB again!!! 3days grace Puddle of mud and Red to boot as well. My old band 8th even got to open for them At the Crock Rock in Allentown PA there all good guys.
    MetalMilitia212
    Nick1814 wrote: No other bands come close??? You guys need to go to more shows.
    When your talking aobut a live show, I've gotta agree. I saw them in '01 I think, before they made it big, they've got an amazing sound live. Only band I've seen that compares was Pantera at Ozzfest that same year.
    U B the band
    It's an awesome CD/DVD, I've waited it seems forever for Breaking Benjamin to come out with a DVD. Breaking Benjamin Rocks!
    Covin
    Nick1814 wrote: No other bands come close??? You guys need to go to more shows.
    I concur. Every live clip I've seen of them has the singer's vocals EVERYWHERE but on pitch, and people I know that have gone have said he's terrible live. I don't know how they pulled it off for this concert, but it's definitely something out of the norm for them.
    Jondy
    that can't be the release date, i've had that cd for ages!
    yutyoy
    i recently purchased this. the DVD is awesome! ive seen them in concert and this DVD captures their live show as good as you possibly can. if you like BB, buy this, you wont be let down
    redhawk1029
    Yeah, Ben has a fear of flying.. He said he'd be glad to go to Europe by boat though.. if you pay for his boat ticket im sure he'd go play some personal shows for you.. after you cough up some seriously money of course lol
    [NIN]_ROCK!
    ShallowBay wrote: Very nice, BB is a freaking great band, nobody is even close to there stageperformance and will just keep geting better as time goes on. Can wait for there next record. And really hope they come to tour Europe Breaking Benjamin the best band in the world !
    man,I'm a fan of them too,and I also live in Europe.There's a little problem with BB coming to our continent...Ben is afraid of flights(no joke),so they never visited any country outside the US.
    +120+
    Breaking Benjamin rule, they are one of my favorite bands ever, they are just so damn good!