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Overkill - "Live At Wacken Open Air 2007" (DVD)

Overkill - "Live At Wacken Open Air 2007" DVD cover image

"Live At Wacken Open Air 2007" track listing:

1. Rotten To The Core
2. Elimination
3. Necroshine
4. Thanx For Nothin'
5. Skull And Bones
6. In Union We Stand
7. Walk Through Fire
8. Wrecking Crew
9. Old School
10. F*ck You

Reviewed by on April 18, 2008

"10 tracks and 50 minutes of footage ranging over classic thrash albums like 'Feel The Fire' to the new (unreleased at the time) 'Immortalis'"

Few bands are ever granted the prestige of taking the stage at Wacken - let alone more than once - but it's no surprise to see a revered thrash originator like Overkill as a headlining act. Blazing a trail of thrash through the 80s and moving into a metal groove through the 90s, Overkill had an arsenal of metal to release on the crowds at the 2007 Wacken, and so the American originals have seen fit to release the performance on DVD as well.

The first thing I'll say is rather obvious: this release is essentially for initiated fans of Overkill. If you're part of the small uninitiated group of metal heads, I'd say your first step will be to pick up a copy of their 1996 best-of compilation, "Hello From The Gutter." However, Overkill have done a nice job with the tracks they did manage to squeeze into their set, and this would still make a great introduction to the band. There are 10 tracks and 50 minutes of footage on this DVD, ranging over classic thrash albums like "Feel The Fire" to the new (unreleased at the time) "Immortalis." This will no doubt be a major positive for those who've enjoyed the total range of Overkills albums. The fans who attended Wacken certainly did enjoy their performance, as community metal anthem "In Union We Stand" gets a crowd sing-along, showing just how many there are out there craving a release like this.

However, why buy this album over a live album you say? What makes this better than a "best of" compilation? The downside is there's not to much difference. If you're like me the reason you buy DVDs is not just to see live performances of songs you memorized long, ago but to see more of a band you're a fan of. Unfortunately there is no bonus material here, no interviews or backstage antics, and no shredding or warm-ups at all - though we do get a bit of Bobby's heartfelt metal comments when chatting to fans in between songs, which is nice. The lack of extras comes as a bit of a disappointment to say the least, considering how easy it is to pick up a camera and press record.

On to the footage: Compared to other live footage some bands put out, this DVD is a great recording. The video is crystal clear and the band has a great setup and lighting. You will not be disappointed by the footage. The audio is even more superb. It's great to get a live recording and still feel that heaviness when blasting it through a set of decent speakers. The limited amount of cameras doesn't hold the footage back too much, which is an achievement when working around filming at a festival. There are a good range of shots for each band member too, but one gripe -speaking as a guitarist - was the frustrating tendency to not focus on guitarist David Linsk each time he blazes out a solo.

As mentioned, this DVD is a fan's item, but is still is far from a cheap cash-in for Overkill. If you're looking for a live concert with superb visuals and audio, don't turn down "Live At Wacken Open Air 2007," because it delivers with full metal force. However for anything more, you'll just have to vacate that couch and thrash your way to see Overkill live on their 2008 Immortalis tour.

Highs: Great audio and video for a live DVD

Lows: Lacking any extras for fans

Bottom line: A great live performance, nothing more, nothing less

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)