Sound — 8
Those who produced this event were dispatched with a tall order! It's an arduous task to have dozens of musicians performing a range of songs by artists signed to the Roadrunner label throughout the company's 25-year, impressive headbanging history and make the whole thing sound cohesive! To Roadrunner's, the sound board operator's and the videographer's credit, Roadrunner United The Concert will transport those who were at the event to that chilly December night! For those who weren't lucky enough to attend the concert, this transforms the event from a "you had to be there" concert that was never going to be released in DVD format to "you're going to curse yourself for not figuring out a way to have been there!" once you cycle through and watch all the performances and guest stars! Throughout the night, former Fear Factor guitarist Dino Cazares, Machine Head bassist Adam Duce, Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser, Soulfly/Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga, and Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison performed in some incarnation as the core, house band, serving a variety of singers and players who came out to perform on Roadrunner classics. It's a complicated concept, but for any self-respecting metalhead, it was a night where labels, associations and feuds were stripped away in favor of celebrating songs that are an indelible part of the heavy metal canon.
Content — 9
Gosh, where to begin? There were more than a few "once in a lifetime" moments at this event, such as Slipknot/Stone Sour vocalist Corey Taylor performing the contemplative, acoustic hit "Bother" from Stone Sour's 2002 self-titled debut with Life of Agony singer Keith Caputo, as well as original Killswitch Engage singer Jesse Leach performing "My Last Serenade" in a duet with current KsE singer Howard Jones. These are just a few moments that top the DVD's list of "wow" moments. Live renditions of songs, like "The Dagger" from the Roadrunner United The All Star Sessions album, were also a treat to witness in the live setting, since many of the songs were recorded in a piecemeal fashion, without the players ever being the same room together! Watching Deicide's formidable frontman Glenn Benton bark himself hoarse while cloaked in S&M-style costuming was hilarious and frightening in a single breath! It was funny to see the normally stoic death metal legend get silly.
Production Quality — 9
Lots of frenetic camera angles, plenty of high octane action, lots of cameos from non-Roadrunner artists, like Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta (who actually signed to Roadrunner after the event) and H.I.M.'s Ville Valo are unexpected treats sprinkled throughout and at first, it may be disconcerting to see Machine Head's Robb Flynn perform a Slipknot song, but you realize it's not about anything other than the music. The production quality is not super sterile and it's a wee bit imperfect, which only serves to make the night all the more real, even if it's only happening on a screen in your living room.
Overall Impression — 9
Again, it was a massive feat and quite an undertaking for Roadrunner to assemble artists from the course of its history to perform each other's songs. It's such a pleasure to see everyone bury any hatchets and just immerse themselves in the history of a label that wrote many chapters in the heavy metal history book. But at the end of the day, it was a concert about what was happening on stage and in the moment, with musicians exhibiting chemistry and the ability to adapt to one another's sonic repertoires.