In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall [DVD] review by Opeth

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Sep 21, 2010
  • Sound: 7
  • Content: 8
  • Production Quality: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 9.7 (77 votes)
Opeth: In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall [DVD]
1

Sound — 7
Choosing the god-damn-Royal-Albert-Hall to film a DVD in is a wise move. The sound will be excellent and the fanboys will reflect on how Opeth's music totally deserves to be aired in the same auditorium as that of the loftiest classical works. Besides, it might just be illegal for an Opeth DVD to be filmed outside of Greater London. The Royal Albert Hall is a stunning room, deceptively large, and truly the only detail detracting from its beauty that night was...the stage. Not to worry, the focal point of the film is the music and if some of the venue's grandeur is lost in translation then so be it.

The most attractive things about this DVD are, of course, the setlists: one satisfyingly balanced retrospective, and one full album performance, both to mark the band's 20th anniversary. There are cases to be made for Still Life' and My Arms, Your Hearse', but it was only ever going to be Blackwater Park' that they'd play in full, and it happens to come together very nicely in a live setting. There are very few disruptions; among them are an obtrusive ride cymbal on Patterns In The Ivy', some patchy screams and numerous exclamations from the crowd. (Over the years, many a punter has yelled a song name or hilarious remark at Opeth, and it seems each and every one of them decided to descend upon the Hall for this. Unconvinced by airings of ever-requested songs, their incessant bellows disrupted the sanctity of the room far more than any amount of death metal could)

Content — 8
It's quite a package, this. Along with the almost three-hour concert, there's an almost three-hour audio version, helpful for people who want to listen to the music without having to look at Per Wiberg's moustache a tour documentary and an interview with Mikael kerfeldt. The documentary is barely worth watching but the interview is insightful, entertaining and very well made.

As performance goes, this isn't the most exhilarating stuff we've had from Opeth, so it's not the oft-heard songs (The Drapery Falls', The Lotus Eater') that stand out but the more elusive pieces from their back catalogue. As was the case with the last film, The Roundhouse Tapes', it's the Orchid' and Morningrise' material that's given the best treatment. Forest Of October' and Advent' have been squeezed through fifteen years of technological evolution and several lineup changes, but the dreamy mystique remains not necessarily intact, but as effective as ever.

The issue with the Blackwater Park' set is that a good two thirds of the album has been seen on DVD before, so some of the better tracks do not have quite the same impact. On the plus side, this puts a spotlight on the crushing Dirge For November' and a very 70s rendition of Harvest', complete with organ and chorus-drenched psychedelia.

Production Quality — 8
Filmed by thirteen HD cameras from the ever-reliable Dash Productions, the presentation is classy as you'd expect after major label backing. Technical hitches (guitars cutting out) during the second set were admirably displayed on the DVD but the Lotus Eater incident' was abridged on the CD to avoid further awkwardness.

Overall Impression — 7
In Live Concert...' is a fairly expensive box, adorned with...lovely typography and packed with good tunes. Is it perfect? Well, no the magic is sometimes missing, as is the guitar signal but it's worth the price, particularly if you were lucky enough to attend one of the Evolution XX' shows. It seems like Opeth might be filming a DVD for each new record now, but it seems unlikely that they'll ever make one with as grand a scenario, setlist or setting as this.

31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    EpiExplorer
    bamboy1104 wrote: Is Opeth even good? Ive never listened to them but im open to any music really
    Its all down to taste.. 90% of people who listen to them love them. If it could be put bluntly, it would be Progressive death metal-ish with jazz-blues-soft rock and amazing musicianship.
    1nSingularity
    Lion_Slicer wrote: bamboy1104 wrote: Is Opeth even good? Ive never listened to them but im open to any music really I believe they'll go down as one of the greatest metal bands ever. In my view, easily up there with Iron Maiden and Metallica (but very different obviously). Blackwater Park deserves its absolutely legendary reputation, and I don't think they have a "bad" album out of the nine they've put out.
    Up there with Metallica and Iron Maiden? Are you serious? They've long since surpassed both those bands
    Koshman32
    1nSingularity wrote: Lion_Slicer wrote: bamboy1104 wrote: Is Opeth even good? Ive never listened to them but im open to any music really I believe they'll go down as one of the greatest metal bands ever. In my view, easily up there with Iron Maiden and Metallica (but very different obviously). Blackwater Park deserves its absolutely legendary reputation, and I don't think they have a "bad" album out of the nine they've put out.Up there with Metallica and Iron Maiden? Are you serious? They've long since surpassed both those bands
    Agreed. Opeth puts out cd's that you can listen to over and over again from start to finish. All the songs flow nicely from one to the next, and no two songs are the same. Being able to go from nice cleans with amazing clean vocals, to some heavy ****ing metal, with some of the best death growls I've heard, sets this band past the top of the list.
    drawnacrol
    The technical fault was the funniest things of the night, Mickael's expression was priceless and it almost looked scripted it was so funny
    Opethfan1
    Hells.Mascot wrote: There are always the BIGGEST ASSHOLES at their live shows.
    i think thats just humanity in general....no one gets along with everyone...ignore em and listen to the greatness that is opeth !!!
    qrEE
    bamboy1104 wrote: Is Opeth even good? Ive never listened to them but im open to any music really
    Let me put it in my perspective: You'll either think that it's on par with Beethoven and Mozart in terms of songwriting quality, or you'll hate it because there is two styles of vocals (some people hate the clean, some people hate the growls).
    cortes239
    bamboy1104 wrote: Is Opeth even good? Ive never listened to them but im open to any music really
    They are one of the few bands that actually make stuff that sounds original these days. Their styles are so diverse. It is like classical music in metal form in a way.
    duncang
    BlackSymphony6 wrote: however, I'm not convinced they should have left out the technical fault during the lotus eater, after all, whats the point of a live album if it's to polished?
    Well, if you weren't at the show and had no idea there was a fault, you'd be a bit confused by such a long pause. It wasn't left out anyway, just shortened and as far as I can tell, it's unedited on the DVD. Obviously felt a lot longer at the time though!
    ProgJazzMath
    I love this band so much. This performance goes to show how amazing they are even in a live setting.
    BlackSymphony6
    drawnacrol wrote: I was this gig, it was incredible, I nearly wet myself when they started playing "The Moor"
    this however, I'm not convinced they should have left out the technical fault during the lotus eater, after all, whats the point of a live album if it's to polished?
    Opethfan1
    i have this cd/dvd set and its amazing, if your an Opeth fan this is a must have for your collection...the guys really are amazing live and if you have never had the pleasure of seeing them in concert then this is the next best thing. well worth the $$ deff..a 10!!!!
    Amuro Jay
    Senor Kristian wrote: Can't believe they went with that cover... Thought it was a joke!
    You mean it isn't? xD Checked
    Met_Ali_15
    You can see and hear that Mikael snapped strings twice, and when Fredrik stopped playing it was because some cameraman cut the power to the rig. Nothing whatsoever to do with build quality of PRS guitars.
    drawnacrol
    I was this gig, it was incredible, I nearly wet myself when they started playing "The Moor", can't wait to pick this dvd up
    cam6389
    I got this in Australia actually about a day or 2 before the advertised release date I saw on the Opeth website. it is, incredible collection of songs.. although to be a bit of a pain. I perfer the Roundhouse Tapes version of Blackwater Park apart from that. Priceless
    Lion_Slicer
    bamboy1104 wrote: Is Opeth even good? Ive never listened to them but im open to any music really
    I believe they'll go down as one of the greatest metal bands ever. In my view, easily up there with Iron Maiden and Metallica (but very different obviously). Blackwater Park deserves its absolutely legendary reputation, and I don't think they have a "bad" album out of the nine they've put out.
    Linkerman
    bamboy1104 wrote: Is Opeth even good? Ive never listened to them but im open to any music really
    You should definitely give them a listen. The first Opeth album i ever heard was "Damnation", and i fell in love with it. Then, i heard "Ghost Reveries". Then, "Blackwater Park". Then, "My Arms Your Hearse". By that time, they were already my favourite band (alongside of Pearl Jam).
    EpiExplorer wrote: Its all down to taste.. 90% of people who listen to them love them. If it could be put bluntly, it would be Progressive death metal-ish with jazz-blues-soft rock and amazing musicianship.
    I completely agree with this description. Opeth's music is absolutely epic, in my personal opinion.
    bamboy1104
    Is Opeth even good? Ive never listened to them but im open to any music really
    EpiExplorer
    Hessian_Peel wrote: I believe he changed guitar before the sound started working again, thinking it was the guitar that had messed up...but it wasn't. Was a stupid camerman lol.
    Aw man.. I dont remember that in the interview e.e Ah well.. IT WAS EPIC ANYWAY.
    Hessian_Peel
    I believe he changed guitar before the sound started working again, thinking it was the guitar that had messed up...but it wasn't. Was a stupid camerman lol.
    EpiExplorer
    Hessian_Peel wrote: Linkerman wrote: mishax92 wrote: "which now has made me reconsider buying PRS." What? Why? How do you know that has anything to do with PRS build quality at all? Exactly. Pretty good review, but that PRS remark doesn't belong there, in my opinion. I also bought the 2DVD/3CD set, and the only thing that disappointed me was the lack of a booklet, or at least some merch of some sort... I would like to get something like a ticket stub, or a sticker, or even postcards (like in "The Roundhouse Tapes" limited edition DVD). For the 42 i paid for it, i think it would be nice to get that extra stuff. Now, i'm only missing the "Ghost Reveries" limited edition CD+DVD album to have the full Opeth discography all in limited, special or extended editions! Well, that's the difference between a completely money-focused major lable like Roadrunner releasing a DVD in comparison to the more fan-satisfaction based package you get from a smaller lable like Peaceville.....I mean, if I'm completely honest, I was kinda hoping this would be released in a similar bluray format as Porcupine Tree's 'Anesthetize'. Still, I was there, and it was ****ing quality. Also, the guitar cutting out had nothing to do with the PRS at all, it was a camera man standing on one of the leads and pulling it out....it's all in the interview.
    Is it? o.0 Then why did he change guitar..
    Hessian_Peel
    Linkerman wrote: mishax92 wrote: "which now has made me reconsider buying PRS." What? Why? How do you know that has anything to do with PRS build quality at all? Exactly. Pretty good review, but that PRS remark doesn't belong there, in my opinion. I also bought the 2DVD/3CD set, and the only thing that disappointed me was the lack of a booklet, or at least some merch of some sort... I would like to get something like a ticket stub, or a sticker, or even postcards (like in "The Roundhouse Tapes" limited edition DVD). For the 42 i paid for it, i think it would be nice to get that extra stuff. Now, i'm only missing the "Ghost Reveries" limited edition CD+DVD album to have the full Opeth discography all in limited, special or extended editions!
    Well, that's the difference between a completely money-focused major lable like Roadrunner releasing a DVD in comparison to the more fan-satisfaction based package you get from a smaller lable like Peaceville.....I mean, if I'm completely honest, I was kinda hoping this would be released in a similar bluray format as Porcupine Tree's 'Anesthetize'. Still, I was there, and it was ****ing quality. Also, the guitar cutting out had nothing to do with the PRS at all, it was a camera man standing on one of the leads and pulling it out....it's all in the interview.
    Linkerman
    mishax92 wrote: "which now has made me reconsider buying PRS." What? Why? How do you know that has anything to do with PRS build quality at all?
    Exactly. Pretty good review, but that PRS remark doesn't belong there, in my opinion. I also bought the 2DVD/3CD set, and the only thing that disappointed me was the lack of a booklet, or at least some merch of some sort... I would like to get something like a ticket stub, or a sticker, or even postcards (like in "The Roundhouse Tapes" limited edition DVD). For the 42 i paid for it, i think it would be nice to get that extra stuff. Now, i'm only missing the "Ghost Reveries" limited edition CD+DVD album to have the full Opeth discography all in limited, special or extended editions!
    moretimetokill3
    just bought it last Saturday and I play it like 5 times, except the documentary and the interview only twice...