Sound — 9
Unearth may have formed close to 10 years ago, but the Massachusetts band has somehow still maintained somewhat of a low profile in comparison to similar bands like Lamb of God. If you haven't had an opportunity to check them out, Unearth can be seen in prime form on the new live DVD Alive From The Apocalypse. The 2-disk DVD captures all that is best about Unearth -- from the over-the-top onstage antics to the amazing dual guitar work of Buz McGrath and Ken Susi. The first disk is devoted to an amazing live show that Unearth recorded in Pomona, California, back in October 2007. Unlike many other concert DVDs out on the market, Alive From The Apocalypse features a flawless mixing job. So good, in fact, it could easily pass for work recorded in an actual studio environment. McGrath and Susi's guitars are the highlight of the entire performance, and each melodic or shredding riff is heard with absolute clarity. Even frontman Trevor Phipps' delivery is consistently strong, which is impressive considering other bands' vocals can often seem pretty haggard or barely audible by the end of the show. Although you can't go wrong with most of the 11 songs performed on the 1st disk, the peak comes with Zombie Autopilot. With a hint of an Iron Maiden touch in the intro and multiple dual-harmony guitar parts throughout the track, Zombie Autopilot shows the band at its musical best. If the music isn't enough to keep you entertained, you also get Ken Susi taking a quick break to do push-ups in the middle of the song. The ability to keep a sense of humor and play incredible music at the same time is one of the most refreshing aspects about Unearth, and it's apparent in every song. And if you stay tuned, you'll even see a little nose picking as well, courtesy of who else, but the crazy man Susi. Disk 2 would almost feel like a promotional commercial for the band if you didn't have so many respectable, highly-regarded musicians testifying to Unearth's talent. Members from Shadows Fall, All That Remains, and Killswitch Engage all sing the praises of Unearth, be it for the band's Romper Room-esque stage show or their dedication during their first years of performing. Appropriately enough, disk 2 also dedicates a lengthy portion to explaining what makes Susi do the oddly intriguing things that he does (that includes the nose picking).
Content — 9
While the 45-minute concert might be a little shorter than some live DVDs out there, it never feels lacking in quality and features the tracks Endless, The Great Dividers, and One Step Away. The documentary is just as interesting as the live show, and it almost feels like the main attraction at times. The producers gathered up some incredible interviews from the biggest names in metal, and at one point the topic actually changes to the band's experience with Dimebag Darrell. Disk 1 could stand on it's own, but disk 2's documentary really sets the bar high for other bands in terms of it's content. On top of it all, you get a few more live performances from Germany and Japan, as well as 8 bonus music videos.
Production Quality — 10
Both the live show and documentary feature high quality camera work. The most impressive aspect comes within the editing of the documentary portion, which includes clips from numerous interviews and vintage footage. Editor Robbie Tassaro likely devoted hours upon hours compiling everything, and he deserves credit for the seamless way everything came together in the documentary.
Overall Impression — 9
It's obvious from the comments made by other bands that Unearth has left its mark upon it's peers. But you don't even need the documentary portion for Unearth's incredible stage presence and strong songwriting ability to come through in the DVD. The vocals might be a little gruff and incomprehensible for some, but the instrumentation is just as strong as Maiden and Unearth deserves to get a little more attention in their next decade together.