Dio-Holy Diver: Live (2005)

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Released 17-Jul-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Audio & Animation
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Booklet
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 113:52 (Case: 125)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (59:17) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Perry Joseph
Studio
Distributor
Rajon Vision Starring Ronnie James Dio
Simon Wright
Doug Aldrich
Rudy Sarzo
Scott Warren
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Ronnie James Dio
Tony Iommi
Ritchie Blackmore


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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

    Some very interesting results have emerged from this current trend of bands who perform an entire 'classic' album from their catalogue in a live environment. Anthrax are currently on tour performing their entire Among The Living album, as are Metallica with the 20th anniversary of Master of Puppets. Last year Slayer released a DVD of their original line-up performing Reign In Blood in its entirety. While revisiting these classic albums of the 80s certainly makes superb entertainment for concert-goers and the aging metal audience (of which I am a part of), in my opinion some credit should be given to American progressive-rock band Dream Theater for starting this ball rolling. Rather than enlist a support act at some shows, several years ago Dream Theater began performing their favourite albums from beginning to end, followed by a set of their own original material. Their fans have been treated to performances of The Number of the Beast (Iron Maiden), Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd) and Made In Japan (Deep Purple). It seems fitting that with such a great focus on influential albums of the past, this DVD features Ronnie James Dio and his band performing his most seminal solo work, 1983's Holy Diver. The musicians included in this performance are:

    Each of the musicians are given a little of the spotlight, most notably Wright and Aldrich. Gypsy includes a superb drum solo by Simon Wright, while Aldrich shines during his lengthy solo in Shame On The Night. Doug Aldrich is a fantastic guitarist, who can also be seen in Whitesnake's Live In The Still Of The Night and Dio's previous DVD Evil Or Divine. Initially, Dio began this Holy Diver tour with guitarist Craig Goldy, who was forced to resign due to an injury while the band was in the USSR. Aldrich stepped in not long before this DVD was filmed and he does an admirable job, given the late notice and pressure of performing for the cameras.

    This performance was filmed on October 22nd, 2005 in front of an obviously ecstatic London audience. Besides the entire Holy Diver album, the set list is book-ended by a cross-section of classic songs from Dio's time in both Black Sabbath and Rainbow. I was particularly surprised by a short segue the band inserted between Man On The Silver Mountain and Long Live Rock And Roll; a brilliant Rainbow tune that is not listed on the cover slick but is sure to make fans gasp.

    As far as live concert DVDs go, this is one of the best I have seen of late. The direction is excellent and not overly frenetic, which can often be the case with music such as this. This is an excellent disc that deserves a place of pride in any metal fan's DVD collection.

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Track Listing

1. Tarot Woman
2. The Sign Of The Southern Cross
3. One Night In The City
4. Stand Up And Shout
5. Holy Diver
6. Gypsy
7. Caught In The Middle
8. Don't Talk To Strangers
9. Straight Through The Heart
10. Invisible
11. Rainbow In The Dark
12. Shame On The Night
13. Gates Of Babylon
14. Heaven And Hell
15. Man On The Silver Mountain
16. Long Live Rock And Roll
17. We Rock

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced and looks great on a big screen.

    I have the Region 1 NTSC version on hand for comparison. Curiously, both the PAL and NTSC versions have identical runtimes, however I cannot detect any conversion artefacting in the Region 4 disc. In my opinion, it would appear the NTSC disc has been converted from a PAL source. When viewed side by side, the PAL transfer is sharper and noticeably superior overall. The Region 1 transfer also contains quite a bit of compression artefacting.

    As I stated above, the transfer looks great on a big display (I reviewed this disc via my LCD projector onto a 96 inch screen). The image is sharp and clear throughout, with a great degree of depth to the many dark, shadowy moments that can be found on stage. The bright, colourful stage lighting is similarly well handled and never appears bloomy or smeared.

    I didn't notice any ghastly MPEG compression issues, although a little grain is noticeable from time to time, usually associated with fast movement on screen. The image quality seems to be largely dependant on the MPEG decoder used, because I noticed an increased amount of compression when I checked the disc on my computer's LCD monitor. Obviously there is no film artefacting to be concerned about, as this is an entirely digital production.

    There are no subtitle streams provided on the disc.

    This disc is dual layered (DVD9 formatted), with the layer transition placed during the feature at 59:17. This is between the songs Rainbow In The Dark and Shame On The Night and only interrupts audience applause, so you couldn't really ask for a better position in my opinion. My system is buffered and I didn't even notice the break.

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

Audio

    There are three soundtrack options available. The default soundtrack is Dolby Digital 2.0, encoded with a bitrate of 224Kb/s. Surround options in Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) and dts (768Kb/s) can be selected from the setup menu or on the fly.

    From the beginning of the feature I had the feeling that something was not right audio-wise. I began with the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, but couldn't reach a satisfying depth of sound without increasing the volume way beyond my normal listening level (much to the dismay of my family). I then swapped around between this and the dts soundtrack for a few minutes, until I discovered there was no signal coming from the front centre speaker. This applies to both surround soundtracks, unfortunately. Not only are they missing a front centre signal, their mix is muddy and lacks brightness, particularly in the cymbals and guitar tone. The stereo soundtrack suffers much less from the lack of brightness and is my preferred, I'm sad to say.

    Dio's voice is always dominant in the mix and is easy to discern above the rest of the band. Audio sync is perfect.

    The surround channels are not utilised to a great degree, only to mildly replicate the acoustics of the venue with some echoes. Audience applause is also directed to the rears.

    The LFE channel accentuates the kick drum and bass guitar, however as I stated above I doubt I would bother with these surround options next time I watch the concert. Such a shame!

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

Extras

Menu

    The main menu page is animated with an excerpt from the concert, with audio. All of the menu pages are 16x9 enhanced.

Interviews (11:39)

    This segment appears to have been captured back stage and includes the band members and some of the crew. They discuss their thoughts on the tour and the audience reactions so far. This is presented with 16x9 enhancement.

Booklet

    A few pages of glossy photos from the gig, a track listing and an article by journalist Dave Ling.

R4 vs R1

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

    As I stated above, the Region 1 NTSC disc has the same runtime and may have been converted from a PAL source. Aside from formatting differences, the disc's content is identical across all regions.

    The Region 1 NTSC disc is also coded for Region 4, however I recommend you stick with the local PAL version.

Summary

    Holy Diver Live is DVD-Mecca for metal fans. The performance is inspiring and this disc should please both old and new fans.

    The video transfer is great.

    The audio transfer is a bit disappointing.

    The extras include some interesting interviews.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Monday, July 17, 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.

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