All Excess (DVD)
Not your typical live DVD but good nonetheless
In the lead up to the release of their all-important fourth full-length self-titled effort in late October, Californian act Avenged Sevenfold have put together their debut D.V.D. All Excess to tide fans over. Unlike a lot of D.V.D.'s that hit the markets these days, Avenged Sevenfold's effort attempts to project something a little different from the standard live concert performance, with All Excess primarily an in-depth documentary centred around the group's early formation, right through to the release of their critically acclaimed City Of Evil and the extensive touring the band undertook following its release.
Over the sixty-five minute duration of the documentary itself, the band talks about their hometown Huntington Beach, how the current members (Vocalist Matt Shadows, guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates, bassist Johnny Christ and drummer The Reverend) all got together, the origins of their stage and the band names, their friends and family (The shit sandwich presented to U.K. metalcore act Mendeed is pretty funny, and the interview with former tour manager Valary DiBenedetto is quite touching), the band's early failures and success at Chain Reaction (The early live footage is pretty cool), their signing to Goodlife Recordings (2002's Sounding The Seventh Trumpet), their move to Hopeless Records (2003's Waking The Fallen) and their eventual rise up the record label ladder to Warner Records (2005's City Of Evil).
Towards the end of the documentary, the focus shifts towards more recent times, with the band discussing their stints on the Vans Warped Tour, Ozzfest and the fulfilment of a lifelong dream supporting Metallica. Aside from the documentary, All Excess also includes three professionally shot live recordings (Beast And The Harlot, Trashed And Scattered, Bat Country and a guitar solo from Gates) from their 2006 tour, their four promotional video clips (Unholy Confessions, Bat Country, Beast And The Harlot and Seize The Day, all of which include the option of audio commentary from the video directors), an on the set look at the making of Seize The Day, twenty-two minutes of outtakes (Shadows performing with Korn in Europe is by far the pick of the seven selections) and an audio only version of the band's cover of Pantera's Walk (Which originally appeared on Kerrang! Magazine's High Voltage: A Brief History Of Rock compilation in 2006).
On the whole, All Excess is well produced and an interesting watch, provided of course that you're a diehard fan that wants an insiders guide tour of the rise of the band over the last nine years. But if you're after a definite live concert experience from the band, you'll just have to wait for their next release.
(Warner Music Australia)