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Review: Salem - Live Demise
Salem
www.salemband.com
Live Demise

Label: System Shock
Year released: 2004
Duration: 130 min.

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: November 10, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
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Live Demise

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Review


"Live Demise" is the first DVD from the prolific Israeli death metallers "Salem". There's over 2 hours of material here, comprising a full live show at the Barbie Club in Tel Aviv, 7 promo videos, plus some bonus material. The DVD is region-free, but is in PAL video format, so it will not work on most North American DVD players (check your player's documentation before buying!)

The show is pretty well filmed overall, with multiple camera angles and good lighting - while keeping the dark club atmosphere intact. Saying that they have a good crowd would be a major understatement - obviously they had some long time fans in that club that night and it shows. They did a good job of showing a balanced dose of stage performance and crowd views to give a better live experience to the viewer, something I wish would have been done on some other DVDs I've watched in the past few months. Obviously the singer addresses the crowd in Hebrew, but there are English subtitles (along with three other languages, selectable in the menu.) One thing worth mentioning is the security staff - I saw at least one with a sidearm. That's pretty impressive, if not disturbing! Different regions of the world call for different types of security I guess. :) Other than that, this looks like your typical death metal show - mosh pit, stage diving, crowd surfing, headbanging, fists in the air, etc... Overall a good show with a well-garnished set list.

I found the promo videos section more interesting. Salem have a way of telling stories in their video that's becoming a lost art. The best one is arguably "Act of War", which I had first seen on their CD-ROM (reviewed on this site.) It was great to finally see it on a TV screen. Just to refresh the memory of those who've read my previous review, the song is about suicide bombers that attack Israel, and the video does a great job of putting it in images. The other videos are not as... "controversial" (for lack of a better word) in topic but are also quite well done nonetheless.

The other material such as the gag reel and the "making-of's" are OK but not too interesting. Just a nice to have, but not something you're likely to find an urge to play again the next time you watch the DVD. There's a band biography that spans several screens, but the text is pretty small even on a 32" TV, so it's kind of a bitch to read it from a normal watching distance. Unlike most DVD booklets, this one has several pages with band photos, but next to no text in it, if that's what you were expecting to find in there.

Overall this is a DVD well worth the purchase - as long as your player can play PAL video - and the minor shortcomings are not enough to pass on this one - the good stuff more than makes up for it. Check it out.


Other related information on the site
Review: CD-ROM (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Collective Demise (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Playing God and Other Short Stories (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Strings Attached (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Ze'ev (vocals) on February 21, 2003 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
Video: Act Of War
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