Sound — 8
Outside of a few exceptions (Pantera, we love you!), it used to be that a heavy metal home video/DVD was usually no more than a hastily taped concert and some weak interview footage tacked on for justification sake. Recent DVDs from Cannibal Corpse, Black Label Society, and Lacuna Coil have proven that the genre's respect for the medium has come a long way. The Black Dahlia Murder's new Majesty' double DVD set is proof that bands now know that they have to step their game up to sell these babies! If there was ever a band perfectly tailored for this kind of package, it's these Michigan troublemakers.
Content — 7
From the start of the first disc included here, BDM's down-to-earth attitude becomes obviously apparent. The members give their various outlooks on the touring lifestyle, the band's hectic history, and their dedication to extreme metal lifestyle. All of the hallmarks you would expect are here. You get drunken antics, tour footage, naked groupiesOK maybe not the latter but you get the picture. The live content is top-notch. Instead of focusing on one concert or even one venue per song, each track is a compilation of various performances. Think of it like one of those live videos you see for a single but with actual live audio behind it. The ending result is something as frenzied and kinetic as BDM's live shows truly are.
Production Quality — 8
Directed by Robbie Tassaro with gorgeous artwork from Joe Petagno (Motorhead), Metal Blade Records have not spared any expense with Majesty.' The footage, while collected from various performances, is sharp and the band's technical death metal pyrotechnics come jabbing out of the speakers with blistering yet crystal clear quality. The guitars sound especially great with every intricate flourish cutting through the final mix. Anyone already familiar with the band knows how fast they play so getting such a masterful audio blend is worth the praise.
Overall Impression — 8
Unlike the recent As I Lay Dying DVD, Majesty' doesn't do an exhaustive job of laying out the blueprint of BDM's career but this is a different type of band. Their music and lyrics are brutal, fiercely intense, and unflinchingly violent but their personalities are anything but. Actually, the documentary side of this double disc set finds a band who doesn't take themselves all that seriously and that's refreshing. The death metal world is serious enough as it is without a bunch of heavy-handed posturing. Watching 5 dudes having the time of their lives playing music is inspiring. Musically speaking, the live footage shows us the band definitely have the world-class chops to justify their growing audience. Songs like Funeral Thirst and Deathmask Divine channel the best attributes of tech-thrash and Scandinavian melodic death metal and vocalist Trevor Strnad leads the charge with a devilish growl. He's one of the best in his genre as you'll see throughout Majesty.' With all of these underground groups releasing such tremendous DVDs, we're all in for countless hours on our couches.