Testament-Live in London (2005)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 3-May-2006

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Interviews
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 71:14 (Case: 82)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (48:06) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Perry Joseph
Studio
Distributor

Rajon Vision
Starring Chuck Billy
Eric Peterson
Alex Skolnick
Greg Christian
John Tempesta
Louie Clemente
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Testament
Chuck Billy
Eric Peterson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Testament return to their early material in this energetic performance filmed in London. After a period of uncertainty for the band that involved vocalist Chuck Billy's much publicised battle with cancer, the band returned with a group of musicians that many fans would refer to as a classic line-up. This is a simple show, at an intimate venue, with minimal stage clutter. Testament are the kind of band that don't need fancy pyrotechnics and lighting displays - the focus here is on the music, and it doesn't disappoint. The musicians performing here include:

    Drumming duties are shared by Tempesta and Clemente. It's been stated that Clemente has returned to drumming after a long period of inactivity, and here he only plays the last six songs of the set, beginning with Practice What You Preach. When the tour began, Clemente was only joining the band for two songs, so it would appear his role is slowly being increased in line with his playing fitness. The two drummers are quite different and it is clear that Tempesta has quite a bit more flair behind the kit. Clemente does do a great job, all things considered.

    My personal favourite albums from this band are their more recent efforts, such as Low and The Gathering. I was a little hesitant about the material they were covering as it is largely unfamiliar to me, but that trepidation was soon replaced by amazement as I saw how truly amazing these musicians are on stage. Alex Skolnick is an unbelievably talented guitarist and the band as a whole are in truly great form.

    Testament is still touring with this group of musicians as I write this review. In fact, a new album has been rumoured for some time. A new album would be great to hear, and if they ever make it to Australia, I'll be there for sure!

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. The Preacher
2. The New Order
3. The Haunting
4. Electric Crown
5. Sins Of Omission
6. Souls Of Black
7. Into The Pit
8. Trial By Fire
9. Practice What You Preach
10. Let Go Of My World
11. The Legacy
12. Over The Wall
13. Raging Waters
14. Disciples Of The Watch

Transfer Quality

Video

    This video transfer is excellent. After some disappointing video quality in heavy metal DVDs of late (recent releases from Slayer and Anthrax spring to mind) it's refreshing to see such a fantastic production.

    The transfer is presented in 1.78:1, complete with 16x9 enhancement. The gig has been captured via Digital HD cameras, and the result is excellent. The image is tight to the frame and doesn't contain any windowboxing at all.

    The level of sharpness and overall clarity is superb. Shadow detail and black levels are also excellent. Even in the most dimly lit moments the viewer can see all the way to the back of the stage without any problems. There was no low level noise evident in the transfer.

    As I stated earlier, the stage lighting is rather simple, but colourful. The bright colouring is translated to DVD well without any cometing or bleeding to be seen.

    Obviously, film artefacting isn't an issue, since this is a digital production. I didn't note any major MPEG compression artefacting either, which is great. A little grain can be seen now and then, but unless you're using a large display this isn't likely to be an issue. This show really looks great on a big screen.

    There are no subtitle streams included.

    This disc is dual layered (DVD9 formatted). A layer break is situated during the feature at 48:06, between the songs Let Go Of My World and The Legacy.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are three soundtracks to choose from. The default soundtrack is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, encoded at a rather flimsy bitrate of 178 Kb/s. Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) and dts 5.1 (768Kb/s) soundtracks can either be selected on the fly or via the audio menu. This is one DVD that demands to be turned up loud!

    The audio has been overseen by renowned producers Andy Sneap and Vince Wojno. While I wouldn't call this reference material, the soundtrack is very warm, spacious and faithful to the live setting. Chuck Billy's singing voice is always distinct in the mix and never overpowered by his bandmates. Audio sync is perfect.

    Because this is a PAL transfer, I made a point of checking for NTSC conversion artefacts and/or pitch issues. Neither appear to be a problem in the slightest.

    The use of the surround channels extends to a moderate amount of spill from the front soundstage and some echo effects that emulate the acoustics of the venue. The instruments are spread across the front, with the guitars panned to the extreme left and right. Drums and bass are weighted nicely and occupy the centre of the soundfield along with the main vocal.

    As I stated above, the default soundtrack is stereo. Next to the surround options it is a bit lame and unnecessary, but it should keep two-channel purists happy. There is little to separate the dts and Dolby Digital 5.1 options, aside from a noticeable increase in brightness present in the dts track. As far as output level and depth is concerned, these two are virtually identical.

    The subwoofer is used effectively to augment the bass guitar and drums.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu pages are 16x9 enhanced and include clips from the concert.

Featurette - Band Interviews (11:25)

    Chuck discusses his battle with cancer, the recent Anthrax reunion and the Dynamo festival. Louie Clemente explains his thirteen year break from the music business and Eric Peterson touches upon the pressures the band faced back in 1992, which led to them parting ways. John Tempesta explains his arrangement with Louie regarding the drumming duties and compliments him on his progress. This short featurette is very well put together, and surprisingly insightful.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc appears to be identical across all regions.

Summary

    Testament - Live in London is an awesome document of the band's classic line-up of musicians. The show itself is simple, intimate and transferred faithfully to DVD. I recommend this one highly to all the fans of heavy music out there.

    The video transfer is excellent.

    The audio transfer is comprised of a great dts option.

    An insightful, but brief interview with the band is included.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Rob - Alex Skolnick is a legend - Rodda (This... is my *bioom* stick!) REPLY POSTED