Helloween-High Live (1996) (NTSC)

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Released 24-Sep-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Review
Audio Commentary
DVD Credits
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 91:20 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Andy Derris
Uli Kusch
Michael Vikat
Roman Grappau
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Helloween


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown 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

    Helloween are a hair/thrash band from Germany that were popular in the 1980s and have not really done much since. After the success of their albums Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I and Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II, Helloween looked set to break through to the big time in this musical genre along with Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and some would say, Queensryche.

    Sadly for the members of the band, their leader Ky Hansen quit the band shortly thereafter and massive disputes with their record label left them in the wilderness for many years, robbing them of their 15 minutes of fame.

    Not all was lost for the members of Helloween and their fans, though, as after a few more line-up changes and a few more years, Helloween had built up another strong following and had released some more mildly successful albums.

    It is on the Time Of The Oath Tour tour in 1996 that we meet up with Helloween during the European leg of the tour. Captured over 2 nights in both Italy and Spain, this performance would no doubt send fans of Helloween into hysterics. Unfortunately, I know very little of the band post 1990 and struggle to get too excited about them.

    Nevertheless, Helloween's show seems tight enough and the crowd are into it. Just try to turn a blind eye to many of the abhorrent stage raps and guitar tricks on stage....this is the sort of stuff that Eddie Van Halen made cool in 1983!

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Track Listing

1. We Burn
2. Wake Up The Mountains
3. Sole Survivor
4. The Change
5. Why
6. Eagle Fly Free
7. Time Of The Oath
8. Future World
9. Dr Stein
10. Before The War
11. Mr. Ego (Take Me Down)
12. Power
13. Where The Rain Grows
14. In The Middle Of A Heartbeat
15. Perfect Gentleman
16. Steel Tormentor

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this film is very poor as it suffers from plenty of ugly artefacts such as low level noise, chroma noise and heavy grain. Most of these artefacts are to do with the clarity of the picture and are due to the source material, as this film was (most likely) shot before high end digital cameras were readily available. As this disc is transferred in NTSC, before you purchase this disc you should make sure that your display device can play back NTSC video.

    This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Because of the way this title is authored, with each song encoded as a separate title without time coding, it is difficult to give exact time references, so I have presented each artefact with an approximate time reference from the start of each track.

    The sharpness of this transfer is marred by large amounts of grain and noise. Almost every shot that has some sort of darkened area has plenty of low level noise throughout. Grain is the most significant offender on this DVD with plenty of instances worth a mention; 00:01 in We Burn, 4:19 in Wake Up, 00:30 in Why, 00:44 in Time Of The Oath and 1:52 in Perfect Gentleman. Along with the ridiculous amount of grain, there are some fine instances of low level noise at 1:04 in We Burn, and 4:19 in Wake Up. Chroma noise appears at 1:23 in We Burn, 2:04 in Wake Up The Mountains, 2:34 in Why and 2:51 in Dr Stein.

    The colours in the concert are all over the place and hard to grasp due to the amount of stage lighting apparent. There are a couple of instances of colour bleed - at 00:27 in Why and 3:59 in Time Of The Oath.

    There was a touch of posterization at 00:01 in Why and at 2:32 in Steel Tormentor. There were no film to video artefacts and no film artefacts noticed.

    There are no subtitles recorded on this disc.

    This disc is not RSDL formatted.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer of this disc is pretty lacklustre and does not show off the format very well. Unlike some recent music DVDs, this disc does not enhance the listening experience of the music.

    There are two audio tracks on this disc- both are English 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtracks running at 448kb/s, with the only difference being that one is the "commentary" track by Malcolm Dome. More on that later.

    As the concert is taken from two different concerts, it is hard to tell if the audio sync is out. From time to time it is, but it is impossible to tell whether this is a problem with the DVD or just the editing of the source material.

    The music itself mainly comes from the front stage with very little coming from the rear speakers. The music sounds very congested and stuffy. There is no refined sound available to put the viewer 'in the stadium' which is what I would have been looking for from this disc.

    The subwoofer hardly gets called into action, and when it does, it does not really do too much.

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

Extras

     There is not really very much on offer here besides some background on the band by a freaky looking Brit called Malcolm Dome - apparently he knows what he is talking about.

Review

    This "Review" is more a brief history of the band and their struggle to regain momentum after they had a falling out with their record label in 1988. Running for 5:21 and presented in a ratio of 1.80:1 16x9 enhanced, this featurette displays some of the worst audio I have heard on a commercial release. It sounds as if Malcolm Dome has been recorded using the microphone from a Handicam through a milk bottle.

Audio Commentary

    This does not really count as a commentary, as it is simply Malcolm Dome talking for about 15 seconds at the start of each song about who wrote it and what album it is from. The information contained here is something that should be taken from an extended track listing.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 2 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     There is currently no Region 1 version of this disc available. The Region 2 disc, however is identical - even down to the video format! The inherent saving would make the local version the edition of choice.

Summary

    Helloween: High Live is a concert that, I guess, fans of the band will enjoy regardless of its quality. Personally, the music does not do too much for me but it was never going to.

    The video transfer is pretty terrible.

    The audio transfer does not use its full potential.

    I did not find the extras to be very useful.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Hugh Fotheringham (what the hell is going on in bio??)
Monday, November 11, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S525, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm) 16:9. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS797- THX Select
SpeakersJamo X550 Left and Right, Jamo X5CEN Centre, Jamo X510 Surround

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Ben P

Comments (Add)
Laughably bad review -
re:people's criticisms of reviewers - orangecat (my kingdom for a decent bio)
Re: Laughably bad review -
Re:re: people's criticisms of reviewers -