"Attention to all the fans of Rob Halford the Metal God, as it is time to get out your credit cards because the DVD film that we have waited for many years to be released has finally arrived." Yes, thanks to Rob's own Metal God Entertainment company we will be able to enjoy the "Rock In Rio III" concert in the comfort of our own home after knowing for so long that the film existed and was just this far out of our reach. Of course I am sure that something lackluster was available on some kind of bootleg that one would find at conventions that cater to music, but the chance to own the real deal is really something special. The show comes very early in the career of the band that Rob simply called Halford and I remember that when he performed in NYC around this time it was as opener for Iron Maiden on a triple bill that also featured Queensryche. For that show Halford performed first and it was the only time that I ever saw the entire audience in place for the opening act. Let's face it; Rob Halford surely deserves this kind of treatment.
The DVD features the entire show that Halford and his gang of merry Metal men performed in front of the Rock In Rio crowd and it was reported that 1.2 million people had attended this seven day event. Iron Maiden also recorded and released their set from this same event on the appropriately labeled "Rock In Rio" CD and DVD. While the number of music hungry maniacs is not clear to me for Halford's actual set one can easily gauge that a few hundred thousand were in place as the Metal God did his thing. As one might expect the video features a combination of material found on the Halford debut CD "Resurrection" along with a healthy dose of Judas Priest classics but what people might not have expected was the inclusion of a couple of the better songs by his band Fight. I was a casual fan of that band and felt that the Halford lineup did these songs very well even though they were not their own penned tunes. There are thirteen cameras working to bring the best of this show to your homes but since there were not many effects used by the group it remains rather uninteresting in the whole bombastic visual sense. The sound and production are of course great but in the end this becomes a straight stage view kind of thing and if you are expecting more then this might not be for you. The crowd interacts with Halford very often and responds to each call he directs out to them. You can clearly hear the audience singing along with him and when the singer does his closing number of the Priest classic "Breaking The Law" he lets the audience sing the entire track. I have to admit that while that must have been cool for them that he still should have begun the tune on his own and done it as opposed to leaving us with the audience rendition only. Leave the audience participation numbers for those nights when recordings on audio and video are not taking place is my view. As I watched the video I did get goose bumps as I recalled just how excited I was when he had opened up for Maiden with this new band. Yes I liked some of what Fight was doing as I had already mentioned, but something about Halford playing this kind of Metal again was electrifying. Kudos all around to Metal Mike Chlasiak, Patrick Lachman, Bobby Jarzombeck and Ray Riendeu for their amazing musicianship and delivery of this material. My favorites included "Resurrection", "Made In Hell", "Jawbreaker" and "Electric Eye". There are fourteen numbers making up his set and Halford himself sounds better than ever.
The film not only gives the full performance but lets you also watch this within the context of a documentary about the festival as told by Halford and company. I suggest that the viewers give both choices a go. The release is packaged in a beautiful digipak holder that is loaded with artwork and gives you a twenty eight page booklet. There are tons of photos in this booklet and also lots of lyrics for the songs. The package also includes a remastered edition of the Halford debut CD "Resurrection" and it gives you the lyrics for that as well. Since we have a number of these songs on the live portion of the video I felt putting them in twice in the text was unnecessary repetition. The space could have been used for more photos of Halford being the Metal God or just dramatic in whatever sense he feels like being.
Bonus Features: "Made In Hell (video), Fight "War Of Words The Film" (trailer), Crucible Live World Tour (trailer), "Metal God Essentials Volume 1" (advert).
*** I have to be honest and say that I felt that all of these "bonus" features were rather beat because all they amount to at the end of the day are commercials for some of the other releases that Halford will be doling out via Metal God Entertainment at some point in the future or have already delivered. I already own some of these items because they have been out for over a year and that makes putting a commercial for them on a new release rather pointless if you ask me. The stuff that's "coming soon" is fair enough inclusion, but he really should have placed some additional interview footage or live clips here to make it true bonus content and not just plugging. His fans would appreciate that more.
CD: "Resurrection" (remaster): 1. Resurrection, 2. Made In Hell, 3. Locked And Loaded, 4. Night Fall, 5. Silent Screams, 6. The One You Love To Hate, 7. Cyber World, 8. Slow Down, 9. Hell's Last Survivor, 10. Tempation, 11. God Bringer Of Death, 12. Fetish, 13. Sad Wings, 14. Twist, 15. Drive, 16. Saviour.
*** Given the fact that a remastered edition of Halford's debut is going to be released as a stand alone piece in the coming months along with the rest of that bands catalog I will save my coverage of it for that time but will say how incredibly happy that I was to find them giving these CD's the treatment that will make them much more in your face than ever before. Of course, when one considers just how good the concert film was, I was partially jaded by their not simply delivering a CD audio of it for people to load it onto their music players and then allowing the "Resurrection" CD to be delivered on its own and enjoyed at that time. Oh well. You can't get everything.
Summing it up this is still an amazing film with a lengthy booklet and a cool bonus CD that will stand out in one's music collection very prominently. The great thing about Metal God Entertainment is that they are making sure to deliver the goods so to speak on a number of things that might have never seen the light of day had they not chosen to release them. Horns up Mr. Halford, may you forever be "The Metal God".
Track Listing DVD:
Made In Hell
Locked And Loaded
Into The Pit
Nailed To The Gun
Breaking The Law