Alive is the first ever DVD release from the mighty Swedish avant-garde metal act Meshuggah. Filmed at various locations on their tour of ObZen and directed by Ian McFarland, Alive is a 90 minute look at what the Meshuggah set list was comprised of during 2008-2009. Also featured in the package is a CD containing the same tracks from the DVD for your listening pleasure.
McFarland has done a great job of piecing together the footage from the various venues here; though one track might be from Montreal, and the next from Tokyo, there's no lack of flow or drop off of uniformity. It's great to see the audience's reactions to the band from venue to venue, and the size and shape of each place, whether it be Irving Plaza in New York (sadly, relegated to just one clip here), Loud Park in Tokyo, The Phoenix in Toronto, or Club Soda in Montreal, as each one greatly differs and offers some nice variety for the viewer. Much of the set list is comprised of tunes from ObZen, 2002's Nothing, and 1998's Chaosphere, so there's a healthy balance of classic Meshuggah to be found here (not a lick from Destroy Erase Improve however), and each one performed with the power and intensity that the band is known for. The camera work and audio is quite good-during tracks like "Bleed", "Stengah", "Pravus", and "Electric Red", your TV's speaker system will be rumbling and you'll feel like you were at the venue hearing the band up close and personal! Thankfully there's not a ton of quick & rapid camera edits that is so common on live concert recordings these days, so kudos to McFarland for that. Instead, you get to really see what Tomas Haake, Fredrik Thordendal, Marten Hagstrom, and Dick Lovgren are playing, and the close ups of the maniacal singer Jens Kidman are great. The vocalist, who prowls the front of the stage like a demented puppet, makes a wide variety of faces while barking out the lyrics, and is always fascinating to watch while the band thunders on behind him.
Not a lot of bonus material here, though there is some interview footage and comments from Haake and Hagstrom throughout the film, plus the video of "Bleed" (one of the most bizarre heavy metal videos EVER!) and a short documentary on the making of it. For those into the musical gear, there's some interviews with the crew who talk about the guitar & drum equipment that the band uses. The package itself is nicely housed in an attractive slip case (which obviously is a take on the original Alien film), and the DVD set includes a nice thick booklet filled with photos and info. Add in the bonus CD and you have a killer set of live Meshuggah for their fans.
- Perpetual Black Second-Toyko
- Bleed_New York
- New Millenium Cyanide Christ-Montreal
- The Mouth Licking What You've Bled-Montreal
- Electric Red-Tokyo
- Rational Gaze-Tokyo
- Straws Pulled at Random-Toronto