The Seventh Date of Blashyrkh
A solid performance but nothing more
Just what is it that makes a good live DVD? While, off the cuff, it seems like an easy question to answer there are often a lot of additional factors to weigh up in addition to the actual concert performance on offer. Not only is there the concert itself to consider but there’s the sound and video quality, the use of multiple or interesting camera angles, the overall quality of the package itself and the inclusion of extra material (whether that is video clips, interviews, behind the scenes stuff etc). The hard thing on top of that is balancing these elements against the price of the package as well. This, perhaps above all else, is what will determine whether the inclusion (or exclusion) of any of the aforementioned items is a big deal to the purchaser. The Seventh Date of Blashyrkh, Immortal’s first DVD foray, has proven to be a perfect example of the struggle to balance content versus perceived value as outlined above.
The Seventh Date of Blashyrkh is taken from Immortal’s comeback concert at the 2007 Wacken Open Air festival and, as anybody who has seen Immortal play live before will know, it is a solid and professional performance from start to finish with a set that touches on the vast majority of the band’s back catalogue (with the exception of Blizzard Beasts and All Shall Fall, obviously). As you would expect from a long-running band of Immortal’s calibre they plough through their material in a tight and accurate fashion while, arguably and somewhat irritatingly, doing very little of actual note from a stage presence perspective save for the odd shifting of stage positions.
So while the above probably sounds all well and good, the issue I have with The Seventh Date of Blashyrkh is the fact that what I’ve described in a single paragraph is all there actually is to this DVD and this is where my initial musings about the perceived value of such a DVD come into play. In spite of the fact that the sound and video quality of the concert are of a high standard and the performance itself is also quite good there is literally nothing else in the way of extras on offer to add value to the package. This may not be a big deal for the diehard Immortal fans out there but I think it is an issue for those of us who like the band but aren’t exactly in love with them either, willing to cherish without question anything that is churned out by the band. When you also consider that I’ve seen this DVD’s sticker price from a well known retailer pushing pretty close to the $50 mark it’s difficult to see the intrinsic value here. After all, it’s not like bands releasing live DVDs is a rare thing these days that might actually warrant such a premium price.
As much as I enjoy Immortal’s material and generally enjoyed this DVD as well it is definitely a hard prospect to recommend it without a certain amount of reservation attached. I can’t help but feel that, by purchasing and thus supporting this DVD, it is a tacit approval of mediocrity and laziness. To put it another way, if I’d actually spent the nearly $50 on The Seventh Date of Blashyrkh, I’d be feeling pretty ripped off.
(Nuclear Blast Records/Riot! Entertainment)