Sound — 9
The guys all sounded absolutely fantastic. They all played great, and Tony's voice was in top form. By far the best performance was by Henrik, because some of the stuff he was pulling off during the show was unbelievable. The sound tech for this concert obviously did an amazing job. There was not one volume issue throughout the entire show, and every instrument could be clearly heard at all times. I'm sure the recording crew had a pretty big part in this as well. I should also mention the lighting of the concert. It was excellent, with big colourful strobes and flashes, but also during the faster parts of songs, big blinding white flashes, going on and off really quickly. I think it really added something great to the concert. My only problem in terms of sound was that at times, the crowd was singing along, and when everyone in the arena was singing out of key and off pitch, it made some of the songs sound really weird, and ruined some parts of the DVD for me. However this only occurs rarely, on just a few songs.
Content — 7
This DVD is of a live concert in Tokyo, filmed in 2005. The band performed many of their greatest hits, so the show was not dedicated to one particular album. Some of the most notable songs. "Full Moon," absolutely spectacular. Performed flawlessly, and included an excerpt from "White Pearl, Black Oceans..." The solos weren't exactly how they are on the record, but the original feel was kept and it sounded great. "Victoria's Secret," very well performed, the guitar/keytar harmony section was kept, however the main solos were changed a fair bit. In my opinion the solos were changed too much, and the feel of the originals was last somewhat. Despite this, it's definitely one of my favourite songs on the DVD. "My Land," very good performance. Henrik really took off at the beginning of the song, changing the melody slightly with just a few subtle pitch bends, but it really added something to the song. Very interesting decision to change the whole timing and tempo of the song near the end (something not done on the record), but it sounded great. The DVD also has a documentary included, which just shows the band and crew in the last few days leading up to the concert. Nothing great, really it was just 55 minutes of Henrik and Jani getting drunk and rampaging around Tokyo. It also includes the stock standard DVD stuff. Short bio's of band members, discography, all that sort of thing. I got the limited edition version, so my DVD also came with a CD, which had a selection of live song recordings, taken from the concert of course. Very happy with this, it's just as fun listening to the band as it is watching them. I really would have liked to have seen a few more songs on there. They really did leave out some songs I consider to be Sonata Arctica classics, such as "Wind Beneath My Wings", "Last Drop Falls" and "My Selene". Also I would have liked it if the documentary was a little more in depth, and dealt with more than just the drinking parties that went on in the hotel rooms, and pointless footage of the band eating in a restaurant.
Production Quality — 10
The video and sound quality of this DVD is, for lack of a better word, mind blowing. I was blown away with how great it looked and sounded, it really felt like I was there at the gig. Everything sounds great, all instruments including vocals could be heard very clearly, and personally I could see absolutely no problems with the sound or video quality. Perfect 10 for this section.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I think this is an absolutely amazing DVD. The band was in top form, the crew was doing great, and the overall quality of the recording was just top notch in every way. The most impressive thing on the DVD would definitely be how well it was recorded and mastered. The sound and video quality was incredible, and it really made me feel like I was there and part of the concert. There is really nothing I disliked about this DVD enough to put in here. Any problems I mentioned earlier are very small issues and really won't get in the way of you enjoying the DVD. If this was stolen, I would definately purchase another one, as I feel it is a great DVD for any Sonata Arctica fans, and any power metal fans in general.