Live From Sofia, Bulgaria [DVD] review by The Big 4

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  • Released: Oct 29, 2010
  • Sound: 10
  • Content: 10
  • Production Quality: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (12 votes)
The Big 4: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria [DVD]
3

Sound — 10
I think anyone who knows metal knows the story surrounding these four bands; Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica have pioneered the development of metal music from the end of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement until today, so it was about time that they all got on stage together, and it was only fitting that they shared this conccert with the rest of the world. It doesn't dissappoint. The music itself is very well played; you can see why these bands have been going for almost thirty years. The recording is very good as well; the atmosphere of the crowd is fairly well captured, but what is most important (the music) is captured very clearly. Even Dave Mustaine's voice (which I often find unbearable) sounds pretty good, although it does get a bit whiney on "Hook In Mouth." All in all, a very well recorded metal concert.

Content — 10
For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the DVD features one hour sets of Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer, Metallica's two hour set, and a documentary lasting about 45 minutes showing what the various band members were doing leading up to the gig. The songs the were played were: Anthrax: 01. Caught in a Mosh 02. Got the Time 03. Madhouse 04. Indians 05. Be All, End All 06. Medusa 07. Antisocial 08. Only 09. Metal Thrashing Mad 10. I Am The Law Megadeth: 01. Holy Wars... The Punishment Due 02. Hangar 18 03. Wake Up Dead 04. Headcrusher 05. In My Darkest Hour 06. Skin O' My Teeth 07. A Tout Le Monde 08. Hook In Mouth 09. Trust 10. Sweating Bullets 11. Symphony Of Destruction 12. Peace Sells/Holy Wars Reprise Slayer: 01. World Painted Blood 02. Jihad 03. War Ensemble 04. Hate Worldwide 05. Beauty Through Order 06. Disciple 07. Seasons in the Abyss 08. Hell Awaits 09. Mandatory Suicide 10. Chemical Warfare 11. Raining Blood 12. Aggressive Perfector 13. South of Heaven 14. Silent Scream 15. Angel of Death Metallica: 01. Creeping Death 02. For Whom The Bell Tolls 03. Disposable Heroes 04. Harvester Of Sorrow 05. Fade To Black 06. That Was Just Your Life 07. Cyanide 08. Sad But True 09. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) 10. My Apocalypse 11. One 12. Master Of Puppets 13. Battery 14. Nothing Else Matters 15. Enter Sandman 16. Am I Evil (with Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer minus Kelly King) 17. Motorbreath 18. Seek and Destroy If you ask me, that's about as good a set list as you'll get at any concert. I might add a few notable performances: Got The Time (I'm not much of an Anthrax fan, but I thought their first few songs were pretty good.) Holy Wars, Hangar 18, and A Tout Le Monde are all played very well by Megadeth, and Raining Blood, as usual, is Slayer showing how good they are at thrashing. As far as Metallica goes, they were their usual mind-blowing self, but what stood out for me was Fade To Black. It was the best I've seen it played, and James taking his acoustic out to play it added another dimension to the music. Obviously the jam all the bands had together playing Am I Evil deserves a mention, even if Lars Ulrich was the only drummer with a proper kit. The documentary was also an interesting addittion; observing the lives of the rich and famous in their natural environment is always worth a watch, and the band members play along cooperatively, especially David Ellefson, who has cameras following him for most of the day. All in all, more than five hours of metal music with a nice little documentary, which combine to make a very good DVD.

Production Quality — 8
As you'd expect with these four bands, the production is as good as possible. The crowd is captured nicely, but the music is what you hear. It's a pretty no-frills production aside from the sound; the cameras just take the standard shots of the crowd, the long-shot of the stage, close-ups of the musicians at the appropriate times (which, in the case of Megadeth, is slightly ruined by the large amount of rainfall that occurred during their set, although it did enhance the effect of the stage lights). The production is solid, and it captures what is most important (the music) without trying to be too fancy with the camera-work.

Overall Impression — 9
I don't really know what to compare it to, seeing as there aren't many similar DVDs out there, and I certainly don't own any. Essentially, it's just a very good DVD of four very good metal bands. It's hard to single out one impressive feature. Seeing such a big, energetic crowd is always something I admire, and seeing these guys "do their thing" is always amazing. If this was stolen/lost/scratched/all of the above, I'd certainly do my best to get another copy; I have watched it more than once, listened to it more than I can count, and will continue to enjoy it. If you like thrash metal, I'd recommend this; it's certainly one of my favourite DVD/concerts.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    LB swe
    Just got the blu-ray and I gotta say, it's as good as it gets. Never were much of a Anthrax fan but they totally blew me away, espacially "Got The Time" Megadeth did a really good set, unfortuneally the rain came and destroyed some camera angels. Slayer is just mind-blowing, especially "Angel of Death" and "Raining Blood" What can you say about the Metallica boys? Everything is just so great! "Fade To Black", "That Was Just Your Life", and "Master" are awesome, and so is the rest. Highly recommended to buy this. 
    TST2469
    ReynboLightning wrote: Megadeth ****in nailed it in this! One of their best live performances to date imo, unless that overdubbing part is true;overdubbing isn't cool. Slayer were....slayer thats all I'm gonna say. And metallica were great but james voice is not the same He butchers alot of their older songs imo. It's like he doesn't even feel the need to try anymore. ADD SOME RASP!! I heard you do it in parts james!
    Fair enough to say that but its alot harder to copy the vocals to a song the same on a record... Great example is number of the beast - iron maiden... it took them 4 hours re-recording over and over again the 1st four lines of the song.... Just to get the right feel the right tone and you cant really do that live.....
    TST2469
    iamjinkazama wrote: i just don't like how metallica make up for most of the cover. it's like "METALLICA!!!! and slayer, megadeth and anthrax". doesn't feel right.
    thats only because metallica are the headline band....
    TST2469
    Ive got it and loved every single second of it! It's the best live DVD ive ever seen (except iron maiden live ) deffinently get this dvd and make sure to watch the doco on disc 2 in special features its awesomely inspiring and funny and F**k LoL soo a review from me ITS AWESOME GET IS ASAP!!
    iamjinkazama
    i just don't like how metallica make up for most of the cover. it's like "METALLICA!!!! and slayer, megadeth and anthrax". doesn't feel right.
    strikexero
    yea the megadeth overdubbing is true, me and my brother saw the cinema showing. At the time i thought dave's voice sounded like pure shit(maybe he was sick, who knows). Also I thought them playing in the rain during holy wars and hanger 18 looked epic. One more thing, I dont if the people who saw it in the cinema remember but there was a scene when the camera is moving across the crowd and everyone is facing the stage, but theres this one guy facing the other way looking at the camera. He was smoking a cig and had the most stupid smile on his face. Everyone in the theater was laughing their asses off when he came on.
    ReynboLightning
    Megadeth ****in nailed it in this! One of their best live performances to date imo, unless that overdubbing part is true;overdubbing isn't cool. Slayer were....slayer thats all I'm gonna say. And metallica were great but james voice is not the same He butchers alot of their older songs imo. It's like he doesn't even feel the need to try anymore. ADD SOME RASP!! I heard you do it in parts james!
    krvolok
    Kerry King not Kelly.I'm saving up to order this,it wont be any time soon.
    bklinger83
    I just ordered the Blu-ray of this and it should be here Friday. I hope they end up doing more than just the one US date they said they're doing. I would really love to see them do this live, but there's no way I can get to California at the end of next month for it.
    Fazemelta666
    i hav this dvd, the tracklisting is wrong, it should be; Anthrax: make be all end all track 4 and antisocial track 5 Megadeth's fine i can't remeber slayer exact ordering, but they never played hell awaits, aggressive perfector, or silent scream, but everything else was played and with 'tallica, make the following replacements: Disposable Heroes > Fuel My Apocalypse > All Nightmare Long Battery > Blackened Motorbreath > Hit the Lights that's the proper tracklisting
    jesse1994
    Grevling123 wrote: btw.. it was only Dave Lombardo who participated in "am i evil" from Slayer. Hanneman and Araya weren't there either, not just "Kelly" King.
    Even when all the big four had the photo shoot at the end of the song kerry was the only one who didnt do it.
    jesse1994
    dave mustaine's voice was shit at the concert cause he had a cold or something. but they overdubbed (i think is the proper term) his voice so it sounds more awesome
    Grevling123
    btw.. it was only Dave Lombardo who participated in "am i evil" from Slayer. Hanneman and Araya weren't there either, not just "Kelly" King.
    Grevling123
    I've bought the DVD, and saw the live-streaming in a the Cinema. I found the sound much better on the DVD than the live thing, but both was worth the watching, and hearing for that matter..
    maximumrocker
    Wow, i didnt expect this to reviewed so late since alot of people on this site are fans of one of these four bands anyways got the DVD its awesome!