Review Summary: A fun concert and one of the more entertaining documentaries you'll see on a music DVD
In 2005, Roadrunner Records celebrated their 25th anniversary by taking artists who were or had been on their label and creating an album’s worth of new music. The resulting album was a hit-or-miss affair but shortly after its release, Roadrunner held a concert whee they got these artists together for a very interesting concert where some of the labels biggest songs were played by other artists.
This is a two DVD set, one is for the concert and the other is the obligatory making-of documentary, or so it seems, this isn’t you ordinary run-of-the-mill documentary disc. Originally, it didn’t seem like this DVD would come out, it took almost three years after the album for this to be released and while the date of the documentary disc is uncertain, it would be safe to say that it was shot about two years after
the concert. The documentary features artists who participated in this concert and were interviewed while watching
the footage of said event. Some of the reactions are truly entertaining, most of these people had a very vague recollection of that night since it had taken place several months or even a couple of years ago and of course most of them had been drinking heavily that night most notably Brian Fair of Shadows Fall, who tries to explain his failed stage dive as he watches himself tumble off the stage head first. Deicide’s Glenn Benton although no longer on Roadrunner, talks about his relationship with the label and seems to get very emotional, almost to the point of tears but it’s hard to tell because he’s wearing sunglasses. Who knew that behind the inverted cross that he branded onto his forehead there was such a sensitive man? Or such a funny guy according to the guys from Killswitch Engage who say he’s a bonafide comedian.
The new music created by these artists wasn’t quite what you might expect judging by the assembly of talent but thankfully the concert isn’t packed with songs from that album. Only four tracks off the Roadrunner United album are performed at the concert, the best being ‘The End’, led by Trivium’s Matt Heafy. The concert goes heavy on some of the labels most successful artists like Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, Sepultura and Slipknot. It also includes artists with no discernible ties to the label but who turned in great performances such as Scott Ian from Anthrax, Ville Valo from HIM and Tim “Ripper” Owens from Iced Earth.
The sound from the concert is sub par to say the least, the instruments don’t come through very clearly and there is absolutely no sound from the crowd while the band is playing, they can only be heard in between songs. Some performances are very impressive such as “Ripper” Owens filling in for King Diamond, “Ripper” may be one of the people on the planet who can approach the King’s high notes. You can tell that the guys had fun doing this and as Slipknot’s Paul Gray(RIP) put it: “Everyone knows we can play our own songs, lets play someone else’s now”, Gray plays a Machine Head song while Adam Duce does a Slipknot track. It’s interesting to see who plays who’s songs as we have Glenn Benton doing Obituary, Robert Flynn doing Slipknot and Sepultura, and Matt Heafy doing Fear Factory and Machine Head.
A very entertaining concert that closes with ‘Roots Bloody Roots’, a performance that Corey Taylor accurately described as “complete an utter buffoonery” with two drummers, two bassists, three guitarists and five(!) vocalists. The setlist may not have been perfect but there was a good mix of old and new, giving a good retrospective of the label’s 25 years, and the documentary is every bit as entertaining as the concert, you can’t say that about many music DVDs.
Mercyful Fate’s ‘Curse of the Pharaohs’ with “Ripper” Owens on vox
Type O Negative’s ‘Black No. 1’ with Ville Valo on vox and Nadja Peulen on bass
Stone Sour’s ‘Bother’ with Keith Caputo on vox and Corey Taylor with additional vocals and acoustic guitar