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3 stars Puts you in the room

"The Roundhouse Tapes" dvd finds Opeth filmed at the famous Camden Roundhouse live in 2006. The home viewer can expect to be treated to some beautiful camera work showcasing the band-talk about feeling like you are on the stage with the band! You are right there. The lighting was odd in that they keep the main room lights up most of the time, so the crowd is clearly visible during the whole show. This was done to show off the tenacity of the fans who are clearly having the time of their lives. So perhaps more than most dvds you really get the perspective of this entire show, band, fans, and venue right in your home. I didn't really notice any sound problems noted by other reviewers, the sound was pretty solid to me. The setlist included a decent overview of material from the band's long career. I also didn't notice the weariness in the members noted by other players, they seemed in fine form here despite the less than scintillating between-song banter offered by Mr. Akerfeldt. Musically we have the same Opeth two-trick pony I've come to expect. Very talented musicians flipping the switch back and forth from their angry thrash to their narcotic clean modes, filling around the edges with lovely little leads and odd chord progressions. Some of it can be amazingly beautiful, at other times it's really quite a yawn. I'm not yet one who has jumped on the bandwagon of this band's invincibility but there's no denying this is a good dvd experience and certainly valuable to fans. After the show they follow the fans out into the streets for comments and as you'd expect, there is much exuberance and determination to show off one's cursing skills. Extras include band interviews, more fan interviews, sound check footage, and still photos. Nice package.

Report this review (#258222)
Posted Monday, December 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars A good live DVD with some smashing performances.

Opeth's followup to their moody 'Lamentations' DVD is a much higher energy show, featuring a career spanning setlist and much more up tempo light shows and band performances. Unfortunately, the recording quality doesn't really do the show justice - the audio quality could definitely be a lot better and the video is very patchy and low res.

Their are some fantastic performances here, specifically the second track 'Ghost of Perdition' (which is also my favourite Opeth track). The band explodes open with their signature sound and plays into folky interludes from death metal riffs flawlessly. Face Of Melinda is also stunning, although the bright lights at the softer, slower parts of the song kill the mood a little.

The choice of setlist is odd, but good none the less - with a selection of tracks from Orchid, Morningrise, My Arms Your Hearse, Still Life, Blackwater Park, Damnation and Ghost Reveries (their latest at the time of recording) there's a lot for any Opeth fan to listen to.

A great show, although hampered by poor production values and an odd, out of place choice of lighting.

3 stars.

Note: The 2CD option for the same show is much better; wonderful packaging for the 2 CD's, and much better recording audio reproduction.

Report this review (#284980)
Posted Saturday, June 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Now I know that I have poorly peepers and deaf old tabs, but I fail to pick up on any video or any sound problems on this release, it all looks good and sounds good to me. The only quibble I have with the visuals is that occasionally the director sees fit to make it go all grainy, not to my tastes at all. What is to my taste, is the editing is not fast and frenetic, but you get nice long, leisurely shots of the band at work, which is nice. Could I whinge about the setlist? Being a professional curmudgeon then yes Will I whinge about the setlist? Hell No! There haven't yet been many bad Opeth songs and none of them are here, so let us ROCK!!! The set provides us with a nice little Opeth selection box, and like all good choccy boxes there is a choice between Hard centres, and soft centres, and some of the little choccies have a mixed filling - yum, yum! And with a nice bit of Black Metal nonsense in the lyrics to "Under the Weeping Moon" I do believe their excellencies are spoiling us.

One star has been docked for it not being a masterpiece of Progressice Rock music as it's a masterpiece of HEAVY METAL, Il;m sure though that an open minded Prog Fan would find a little room in their little elven hearts to love this one.

Report this review (#300056)
Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Valuable music - Voluble Mike

I'm a huge Opeth fan so I bought this release on spec. I'm not disappointed, oh no. Quite the opposite, it's one of the best live releases I've ever seen. Absolutely flawless execution, almost perfect sound, very good set list = fantastic DVD release!

What is a very distinctive feature of this concert, and every Opeth concert in general, is a lack of any kind of rock/metal pose or showing off. There is professionally illuminated stage of Roundhouse and an old good folk sample which serve as a introduction to their concerts since I remember. The band members enter the stage and without unnecessary fuss start to play.

If you remember Mike from LAMENTATIONS as a shy and mellow guy you might be surprised by his present stage behaviour. Mike from Roundhouse is a funny guy with many good (and sometimes not so good) jokes to hand. He feels at ease on stage and with the audience and it's admirable. Still, for some people his long conversations with the fans might be slightly irritating.

ROUNDHOUSE TAPES is a very well produced album, and what's more, almost completely devoid of mistakes usually made by musicians playing live. However, there is one thing which might be annoying for minimalism fanatics. Namely, the producers decided to ornament mellow and atmospheric parts of the concert with retro filters which are supposed to enhance the Opeth sensation. If it worked you should check on your own.

Report this review (#325838)
Posted Thursday, November 18, 2010 | Review Permalink

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