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Arch Enemy: Tyrants of the Rising Sun (DVD)

Ahhh...the Japanese heavy metal fans. It's long been understood that they happen to be some of the most loyal and educated fans in the world, and it's pretty evident that this is the case after you watch Tyrants of the Rising Son, the latest live DVD from Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy, who are true rock stars in the 'Land of the Rising Sun'. Filmed in High Definition at the Studio Coast in Tokyo in March of 2008 in front of a huge audience, Tyrants of the Rising Sun is a great companion to 2006's Live Apocalypse DVD. The band is completely on top of their game here, fueled no doubt by the returning Christopher Amott, who came back to the band for the Rise of the Tyrant album. No offense to the talented Fredrik Åkesson (now with Opeth), but Christopher is the only other guitar player who should be in Arch Enemy playing alongside his brother Michael. These two together are a sizzling duo, Michael's more melodic phrasings perfectly working with Christopher's explosive attack. In fact, Michael looks like a red haired version of Michael Schenker circa 1978, his flying V guitar resting on his knee, churning out plenty of melodic leads and harmonies that sound very similar to the German guitar god.

The set list is quite strong here, with many of the Arch Enemy classics played alongside some newer songs, and it's so wild to hear the Japanese fans singing along to the guitar harmonies on songs like "Nemesis", "We Will Rise", and "Blood On Your Hands". These fans obviously know these songs well, not just the lyrics, but the music as well. Angela Gossow takes command of the stage, dressed in a white tank top & matching white pants, running from side to side spewing her ferocious growls to the delight of the crowd. Guitar fans will love both solo spots from the Amott brothers, and there's also a fun drum solo from Daniel Erlandsson.

Bonus features include a near hour long documentary of the band's experience in Japan, and three music videos. It all amounts to another stellar live DVD from Arch Enemy, and one that you will want to add to your metal collection.

Track Listing
1. Blood On Your Hands
2. Ravenous
3. Taking Back My Soul
4. Dead Eyes See No Future
5. Dark Insanity
6. The Day You Died
7. Chris Amott guitar solo
8. Silverwing
9. Night Falls Fast
10. Daniel Erlandsson drum solo
11. Burning Angel
12. Michael Amott guitar solo
13. Dead Bury Their Dead
14. Vultures
15. Enemy Within
16. Snowbound
17. Shadows and Dust
18. Nemesis
19. We Will Rise
20. Fields Of Desolation / Outro
Bonus Features-Documentary (with interviews), 2 versions of "Revolution Begins" video, and "I Will Again" video

Added: March 7th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Arch Enemy Website
Hits: 2716
Language: english

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Arch Enemy: Tyrants of the Rising Sun (DVD)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-03-07 15:44:32
My Score:

While I am not sure of the rationale behind the release of another live Arch Enemy live DVD only two short years after their "Live Apocalypse" edition, I am hesitant to complain because when it comes down to it, Arch Enemy is one of those bands who continually seem to deliver the goods for the Metal legions. This time around we find the band performing in front of a "Ravenous" Japanese fan base and you must pardon the obvious pun using the bands own song. As most Metal heads know - the Japanese really take their music seriously when they believe in a band and we saw this very long ago with the likes of both KISS and Cheap Trick along with countless others. From this film we see that their love of the mighty Arch Enemy is caught very early for the observing eye and the crowd seems to absorb every tune with delight as the band delivers not only classic material from their back catalog but also offers up some of their new greatness from "Rise Of The Tyrant". While I had questioned the relevance of another live DVD in the opening of this piece, when one considers that this is the first tour that found the returning Amott brother back in action then it is a no brainer to capture more attention for this great event. Arch Enemy fans or those who just follow the Metal might remember that the guitarist had left the group to pursue other interests and once he had finished with them decided to return. He was replaced for a time by Fredrik Akesson who did an incredible job and now with his return was no longer needed by the group. I wouldn't worry too much about him because he is working in Opeth now and doing a stand up job over in that camp because he is very clearly an incredible player for the more Melodic styled Death Metal. Thank you for your contributions to Arch Enemy sir, you were a great addition to the lineup.

That being said we can move on to just how perfect and in sync the Amott brothers actually are when working for the benefit of the Arch Enemy material together. It's clear from watching this DVD that there are no other guitar pairings that will work just as good as these two manage to do as each of them brings something different to the table and when morphed together dole out some amazing results. The abilities are complimented by the rock solid rhythm section of Erlandsson and D'Angelo who don't lose a second of timing with their in the pocket bottom support. Of course the main attraction for many fans of the band is Angela Gossow who always manages to deliver and seems to be gaining strength during the show as she feeds off of the energies of the crowd and band behind her. She sounds great here and I feel that this show really captured her doing her thing on an above exceptional night. While the concert features about twenty two songs when one includes the solos and introductions, there are only five new tunes presented from the "Rise of the Tyrant" CD and the rest is left to the bands "standards" as they have come to be known as from playing them at show after show. Numbers like "We Will Rise" and "Dead Eyes See No Future" are rather hard to cut from the concert set list, and they are here for all of us to enjoy thankfully. The show moves quickly and its very interesting at how fast the time goes before you find yourself debating whether to let the whole thing repeat because of just how good it came out. There are terrific angles and close ups presented for the home audience and the intensity coming off of the Japanese audience will have you on your feet again and again. Watching them made me realize that their actions in the general audience area was actually helping the band be more energetic on the stage. I cannot imagine any performer watching a crowd go that insane and not finding themselves more motivated as a result. Good stuff from beginning to end.

Although this is only a single DVD, we do get the full concert and a host of other bonus features. The first feature comes as an interview with the band by key Japanese Metal journalists who discuss with them their own countries scene of the time. The videos for "Revolution Begins" (which we get two different versions of) and "I Will Live Again" are also in this special features section. They provide a booklet that offers up some liner notes and photos but this was a little lacking in my opinion. They did a lot of animated photos of the band as opposed to the real photo and while the style is interesting, I need the real images to keep my eyes engaged more than interpretations. To each his/her own right?

The concert is also available as a double CD audio release and I really think that they should have packaged them together for this one since this was not even entertained for the "Live Apocalypse" DVD. I guess if you are a diehard fan that you will buy them both, but if you only like the audio stuffs then maybe just take a look at that one. Either way, this is a must have concert for the Metal collection. It will sit well right next to "Live Apocalypse" which you should already have up there. If not, then what the hell are you waiting for?

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