Bringing Down the World reviews

70%
beardovdoom on May 23rd, 2014

Great Performances, Repetitive Setlists

I've been after this DVD for a while, I finally got it with the reissue of Unholy Cult which is the album they were touring at the time and thus it makes up the bulk of the setlist. First of all, UC is a solid album so a set full of these songs is off to a winning start. Across this whole DVD you get all but one of the tracks off that album and a relatively limited selection from their back catalogue, with nothing off 'Failures For Gods' for some reason.

Basically this DVD consists of a show as a support act for Cradle of Filth, plus 2 other short shows, a couple of tracks from yet another show and a music video. There's a brief documentary and a clip of various tour shenanigans too, bringing the whole thing up to around 2 hours of Immolation goodness.

The good points: The main show from Amsterdam is shot professionally, consists of a solid setlist, a tight performance and decent sound. Can't fault this one. The documentary is short but informative and amusing, and the L.A. show is of reasonable quality considering it's shot on a single distant camera,with a few different songs to the main show.

The bad points: The Paris show is shot by an amateur on the balcony to one side with terrible audio quality. Maybe it was a good show but you'd never know from watching this! The music video for 'Of Martys and Men' is redundant as it is a live video from this very DVD with the studio version superimposed on top.

Final negative point is the repetitive sets. Despite these songs being amazing and in particular the focus on 'Unholy Cult' material, you simply get too much of the same songs. After watching this DVD once I doubt I'd ever sit through it all in one go again. 'Of Martys and Men' is on here 4 times!!! The title track of 'Unholy Cult', 'Father You're Not a Father' and others are on her 2-3 times which makes for limited appeal.

I know this comes across as a negative review but the Amsterdam and L.A. shows make it worthwhile, with the other stuff as minor bonuses. Ultimately this DVD would've been better off with shows from different periods of Immolation's career instead of 4 shows from the same album tour in a 6 month period which would've given us much more song variety.

I'd recommend listening to/watching 'Of Martys and Men', 'Unholy Cult' and 'Bring Them Down' from the main show and 'Sinful Nature' and 'Dawn of Possession' from the L.A. Show. Only buy this if you're buying the reissue of Unholy Cult.

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80%
chaossphere on December 27th, 2004

Close To A No Cigar

Well, well.... after seemingly endless delays, Immolation's long-awaited DVD offering finally surfaced with less fanfare than I would've expected. Still, maybe they were aware that it doesn't quite have the impact that one would wish. To be honest, I was expecting to be blown out of my armchair by this thing, but it merely left me wishing to see the band in a live environment. But preferably not the sort that the shows on this were filmed in.

The main problem here is that the central show is from a support slot - namely, an appearance from the Cradle Of Filth tour they were on in 2003. Thus, a few problems surface - for one, the crowd obviously doesn't give a fuck, most of them being there to see an effeminate midget strut around screeching like a tormened chipmunk while a bunch of gothed-up session musicians play directionless pseudo-metal tripe and half-naked fat chicks masturbate in cages. This also explains the second problem - the sound, although decent, is rather fuzzy and indistinct, and Alex Hernandez's percussive thunder is often very buried. Especially his ravenous double-kick work, which is practically inaudible.

The camera work is decent, except a camera technician is often visible, which is annoying. We want to see the band, not some guy fiddling with a camera. The picture quality is also inconsistent. Some shots (especially close-ups) are often mildly pixelated, although that's only noticable if you're seated only a few feet from a 29" TV set like I was when watching it for the second time.

Then there's the biggest problem of all. NOT ONE FUCKING SONG FROM FAILURES FOR GODS!!!! OK, so they're obviously in love with Close To A World Below and especially Unholy Cult, but to omit epics like "Once Ordained", "No Jesus No Beast" and "The Devil I Know" is quite simply criminal. There's also a mere one song from Here In After, but that's better than nothing.

Then there's the bonus material: two shorter shows, filmed in varying quality. The French show is amusing - the sound quality is utter shit, it's filmed with a single camera from a side-of-stage balcony, and the fans are insane. Unlike the plastic mannequins from the Dreidle of Filth crowd, this lot are constantly thrashing around and many of them keep climbing onto the stage (and are subsquently thrown back by two roadies perched on the edge of the stage - refer to the camera-guy complaint regarding the main show). The LA show, meanwhile, appears to have been filmed through the eyes of the decapitated head of Syd Barret circa 1969 - the colours and focus are completely whacked out here, the band members appear to be moving underwater, and the sound is quite cool in a basement-demo-from-1984 way. There's also a couple of bonus tracks, which are nicely filmed and makes me wish they'd included the entire Tilburg show. Rounding things off, we get a decent interview with Ross Dolan and Bob Vigna, and some shaky footage of the band acting like asshats. Oh, and a video clip for "Of Martyrs and Men", which is also the opening track for the 3 shows and thus is utterly superfluous, because by the time you've watched those 3 shows you'll be getting sick of hearing it.

Despite all my bitching, this is a good DVD. It just could have been a lot better. Still, I don't hestitate recommending that you buy it, get drunk and crank the fucker to 11 and sit there screaming along with the words. Immolation still owns you and everything else.

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Bringing Down the World track list

1(Live in Amsterdam) Of Martyrs and Men05:02
2Father, You're Not a Father05:15
3Unholy Cult06:24
4A Kingdom Divided04:03
5Those Left Behind04:54
6Reluctant Messiah04:24
7Unpardonable Sin04:52
8Christ's Cage04:12
9Bring Them Down05:28
10(Live in Tilburg) Sinful Nature03:32
11Into Everlasting Fire04:53
12(Live in Paris) Of Martyrs and Men04:34
13Father, You're Not a Father04:42
14Unholy Cult06:49
15Into Everlasting Fire04:49
16Wolf Among the Flock03:45
17Bring Them Down05:03
18(Live in Los Angeles) Of Martyrs and Men04:48
19Sinful Nature03:35
20Father, You're Not a Father05:52
21Unholy Cult07:31
22Furthest from the Truth05:11
23Dawn of Possession03:03
24Of Martyrs and Men (video clip)04:31

Bringing Down the World lineup

Ross DolanVocals, Bass
Robert VignaGuitars
Bill TaylorGuitars
Alex HernandezDrums