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Review: Marduk - Funeral Marches and Warsongs
Funeral Marches and Warsongs

Label: Regain Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 1h55m

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: August 29, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Funeral Marches and Warsongs

Rated 3.82/5 (76.36%) (11 Votes)

Alright, I've been stalling on this one for a while - well, it's more like a matter of sitting down long enough to watch an entire DVD, something I found difficult to do over the past few months! I was looking forward to this DVD after a rather disappointing Blackcrowned box set a couple of years back - some good stuff there but no professionally-shot show. Funeral Marches and Warsongs addresses this shortcoming by presenting not one, but two full live shows, both pro-filmed. Minor problem: They both have the exact (and I do mean exact) set list. They were shot in France and Poland in April 2003. I'm not sure exactly what they were thinking when they came up with the idea of having two "identical" shows on the same DVD, but personally I don't find that funny. The Paris show was filmed at "La Loco" (formerly known as "La Locomotive" but nobody uses full words anymore - hehe.) This is one of the big bars in Paris that regularly present metal acts. The one is Poland I'm not too sure - I think it's in some kind of arena, but the surroundings were so dark that it was difficult to make out. The band was playing on a bigger and more impressive stage than in Paris, that's for sure. Performance-wise... Well, it's decent but I found it a bit boring although I don't know exactly why - sound and picture quality are good, quite a few cameras were filming and providing various views of the stage, but somehow I just couldn't get into it - whether it was the French or Polish shows. Go figure. It's a bit funny to see a Black Metal band on stage and saying how happy they are to be there etc... I guess popularity will do that to a band. :) That's just an observation and not a criticism, by the way. ;)

There is another albeit shorter live show on there, shot in Germany in August 2003. Only four songs compared to ten for the other two shows, but I must say I got into this one a lot more than the other two combined. Maybe the cameras just better captured the atmosphere of the show here, but somehow it felt less artificial. The first few lyrics on the first song are inaudible, which would seem to indicate that the band didn't do any studio overdubs when preparing the DVD. Hey, it's part of the show, that's fine with me.

There are also two videos, "Hearse" and "World Funeral". Call me old fashioned, but I like the approach they used - some black and white footage, alternance between live shots of the band and other images (nature etc...) To me this beats the crap out of the artsy videos that many bands waste money on. Keep it simple, it works. Two thumbs up for these two.

The extras are "simple" but well done. Photo Gallery, Biography, Discography, and technical information about the DVD. I might have missed something but it seems like you can't switch from the previous to the next photos, you have to watch the slideshow in its entirety - that's a bit annoying. The Biography is extensive, spanning several pages and going into quite a bit of details, more than on other DVDs I've seen. The discography is extensive and plenty of details are given about each album.

Overall, this is definitely not what I would call a killer DVD, but it's satisfactory for an occasional fan of the band such as myself. It is most likely a must have for unconditional fans of the band (hell, they probably already have it.) Most places I've looked sell it for quite a reasonable price, and it's worth the price they're asking for it.

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