Dark Tranquillity - Live Damage review

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Band: Dark Tranquillity
Album: Live Damage
Release date: 2003

01. Intro
02. The Wonders At Your Feet
03. The Treason Wall
04. Hedon
05. White Noise/Black Silence
06. Haven
07. Punish My Heaven
08. Monochromatic Stains
09. Indifferent Suns
10. Format C: For Cortex
11. Insanity's Crescendo
12. Hours Passed In Exile
13. The Sun Fired Blanks
14. Damage Done
15. Lethe
16. Not Built To Last
17. ThereIn
18. Zodijackyl Light
19. Final Resistance
20. Ex Nihilo / Outro
21. Live In Essen (Bootleg):
    1 - White Noise/Black Silence
    2 - Haven
    3 - The Wonders At Your Feet
    4 - Final Resistance
22. Live In Athens And Paris (Bootleg):
    1 - ThereIn
    2 - Zodijackyl Light
    3 - Final Resistance
    4 - Damage Done
    5 - The Wonders At Your Feet
    6 - Final Resistance
    7 - Punish My Heaven
    8 - Monochromatic Stains
    9 - ThereIn
    10 - Haven
    11 - Hedon
    12 - White Noise/Black Silence
+ Monochromatic Stains (video)
+ ThereIn (video)

After so much studio work, it's really thrilling to finally see available a documentary of Dark Tranquillity's live performances. "Live Damage" was done mainly in support of "Damage Done", and it's no surprise that half the setlist on the main concert is comprised of songs from that album. It's evident there was a will to make this release as worth of our money as possible. It's really not just a few songs in concert, there's a long and insightful interview with the band, extensive art and photographic galleries, videoclips and so on. This DVD certainly doesn't fail it's purpose of being not only a varied present to the fans, but also a possible interesting introduction to new listeners.

If it's true that "Live Damage" excels in terms of extras and valuable information, it also brings us close to the band with the main live show, recorded at Krzemionki Studio TVP, in Krakow, Poland. The concert seems restricted, different from the usual clubs or open air festivals where you normally would see a metal act. The directing is particularly focused on the Swedish musicians, and we feel like we are almost on stage most of the time. Stanne and company sweat their hearts out, and their commitment and also the way the concert was planned can't be put to question. This sounds and looks good.

Two points are concerning though, and they are the exact same criticism I keep seeing being directed at this release. One is that, for such a close set show and sober performance, the crowd sounds particularly unenthusiastic. It totally kills the ambiance, and it's not like Dark Tranquillity isn't trying hard to raise the intensity of the concert. The people watching them just aren't into it for some reason, I don't why. Secondly is the editing. Incredibly amateurish and unpolished, even to the smallest details like putting a simple logo on screen seems to have been difficult, but mostly it's the synchronization that bothers me. The music and images become out of synch, in the middle of it! If you're a film editor, finding the right visuals to fit the sound file should be the antithesis of rocket science, it should be really basic stuff.

It's difficult to judge the biggest section of the DVD as well done or even pleasant to watch from start to finish. I've played this a few times, but normally just the songs I like the most. At least in relation to that, the choices were very good. Dark Tranquillity goes through most of their catalogue, from "The Gallery" to "Damage Done" they have no problem in going through all of their albums, and I, for one, am glad they played more than one track off "Projector". Not only is it a severely underrated album, it's also one that works surprisingly well live.

On the other hand, if you prefer to watch the bootlegs, recordings of older shows where a Dark Tranquillity concert looks like a Dark Tranquillity concert, the production is unfortunately poor, mostly one camera and fairly raw sound. You'll also get repeated songs in each recording, which is disappointing since I'm sure whoever did the final cut had a lot to pick from. Overall "Live Damage" is not very well executed, but the intentions are definitely good and you can still play it out loud and enjoy the songs. I don't regret getting it since Dark Tranquillity doesn't have many more similar testimonies of their live power, but I have seen better.

Written by Passenger | 07.07.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 38 users
07.07.2008 - 15:16
Angel of Lust
Tracklist is good, performance average... but there are 30-40 people seeing the show!

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,
and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Howard Phillips Lovecraft
09.07.2008 - 10:18
Its really awful to see that no-one came to the show. Ok the ones there were having fun, apparently, but it still breaks my heart.

It is a great setlist but I resent Stanne's vocals here and there, I think he got much better in the next albums. I dont think his voice was very exciting live.

Anyway, I'm proud to have this DVD because it was expensive and they play great songs.

I would agree that the bootlegs are weak, especially because you can't see a thing and there is no variety in the setlists. A fan wants different songs
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
11.01.2010 - 01:08
Darkside Momo
Written by BloodTears on 09.07.2008 at 10:18

I would agree that the bootlegs are weak, especially because you can't see a thing and there is no variety in the setlists. A fan wants different songs

I agree the bootleg's quality is bad (who doesn't), but they are here for a reason : to show what a typical DT audience REALLY looks like. For Paris, I should know as I was there, and for Greece, let's just remember Zodijackyl Light when the band stops playing just to hush the audience.

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)

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