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Warning - Watching From A Distance - Live At Roadburn review



Reviewer:
N/A

10 users:
8.50
Band: Warning
Album: Watching From A Distance - Live At Roadburn
Release date: September 2021


01. Watching From A Distance
02. Footprints
03. Bridges
04. Faces
05. Echoes


The last week brought a lot of bad news and a lot of tribulations for me. Today I drove home from a relative’s funeral. When I checked my e-mails to see what I had missed in my couple days of absence, I found this promo in my inbox. Of all the albums, of all the days…

This is an album of special significance. I say that for many reasons. Here on Metal Storm, we’re often reminded of our late friend Marcel, who adored this album and put many of us onto it. Rod was present when this live album was recorded, at the 2017 edition of Roadburn. I myself saw Warning perform the album later that same year. To me, Watching From A Distance is not just a flawlessly written and performed collection of songs, a perfect 10 as a work of music; it’s an album that I can listen to when nothing else helps. It is one of the most emotional metal albums ever released, one of the most painfully, crushingly human expressions of sorrow committed to record.

But more broadly, Watching From A Distance is special because it is one of those works that so often takes root in the hearts of those who hear it. When I saw Warning those several years ago, the crowd was full of people who knew these words by heart and who stood side by side in awe as Pat Walker’s tender, brittle voice brought us to tears. Dozens of people were lined up afterwards to meet Pat and tell him over and over again just how meaningful these songs are to them. Watching From A Distance is a special album, and the chance to see it performed live was an incredibly wondrous experience that I never imagined I’d have. The release of this recording from the Roadburn performance allows those of us who have had that experience to relive it and those of us who have not to imagine a portion of its grandeur.

While the original album was recorded as a trio, with Pat Walker handling all the guitars himself, onetime bassist Wayne Taylor rejoined the band a few years ago as a second guitarist, and thus we get to hear the heart-rending riffs of this masterpiece in full stereo with the interlocking parts present. The guitars linger in feedback a little longer than on the record, giving the songs a bit more of a droney feeling, and there’s some more heft to the drums that preserves the live feeling through a thoroughly faithful rendition. Pat’s voice is as spectral and aching as you might hope – and for an album like this, whatever imperfections there may be can only add to the effect. There are minimal crowd sounds, too, limited to transitions between songs, and while that could be due to the placement of the recording equipment or later mixing, it is equally possible that the audience was simply too engrossed in the emotions of the music. I think that “Faces” contains the best injection of live energy, but of course it seems impossible to listen to anything but the full album in sequence, with this release as with the studio version.

I don’t typically sit down and write reviews in one straight shot as soon as I get the promo. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. But if you know this album, then you’ll know why I made an exception. And if you don’t know this album, consider this a chance to be introduced.





Written on 24.09.2021 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 15   Visited by: 115 users
24.09.2021 - 06:42
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Just thinking about it makes my heart ache
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


2021 goodies
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24.09.2021 - 13:42
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Have you secterly was in old country?
Not fan of live slbu, more I am not fan of roadburn, but this is exelent band, might listen this today as respect to Marcel and You
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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24.09.2021 - 20:15
nikarg
Mod
Quote:
I don’t typically sit down and write reviews in one straight shot as soon as I get the promo. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.

I know exactly what you mean, it very rarely - if ever - happens to me too. When an album is that great, the words just flow naturally and the reviews write themselves.

As BE said, I am not a fan of live albums but this version of Watching From A Distance deserves a listen. Thanks for the review.
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24.09.2021 - 20:36
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by nikarg on 24.09.2021 at 20:15



As BE said, I am not a fan of live albums but this version of Watching From A Distance deserves a listen. Thanks for the review.


I once listened all Iron Maiden live album what was out to 2016 ,,,, dont remind me. Good we have alcohol.
Few live albums are sortha iconic, but generally I dont like it. I can listen one studio in same time.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
24.09.2021 - 20:43
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 24.09.2021 at 20:15

When an album is that great, the words just flow naturally and the reviews write themselves.

Or that ridiculously terrible.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


2021 goodies
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24.09.2021 - 20:52
nikarg
Mod
Written by RaduP on 24.09.2021 at 20:43

Or that ridiculously terrible.

Oh yeah, that too. That Crematory review just came pouring out of me.
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25.09.2021 - 10:27
Deadsoulman

Yeah, well, I know I've been repeating myself for fifteen years but really, I don't understand why people treat this album like it's the eighth wonder of the world... It's a good album, ok, but that's about it as far as I'm concerned. This live version doesn't change my opinion.
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25.09.2021 - 14:35
DeliciousDishes
always right
When I went to Roadburn 2017, I didn't know much about warning and I hadn't listen to this record in full yet. I know I saw it on a few lists here and gave it a shot, only to drop it. But for some reason I had decided to see it performed live that day and I'm really glad I did. The album brought me to tears even just sitting there leaning against the wall, hearing it in full for the first time. Since then I've been listening to it a lot, on my way to work, on walks in the dark, on car rides home, etc.
I'm pretty excited to check that exact live version out again.
----
You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
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25.09.2021 - 14:42
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Deadsoulman on 25.09.2021 at 10:27

Yeah, well, I know I've been repeating myself for fifteen years but really, I don't understand why people treat this album like it's the eighth wonder of the world... It's a good album, ok, but that's about it as far as I'm concerned. This live version doesn't change my opinion.


I would ask same question about festival where it was recorded
Maybe someone needs write article, Getting into roadburb.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
25.09.2021 - 20:15
Deadsoulman

Written by Bad English on 25.09.2021 at 14:42


I would ask same question about festival where it was recorded
Maybe someone needs write article, Getting into roadburb.


To be honest, I've always found your hatred for poor Roadburn a bit weird and irrational.
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25.09.2021 - 23:36
musclassia

Written by Deadsoulman on 25.09.2021 at 10:27

Yeah, well, I know I've been repeating myself for fifteen years but really, I don't understand why people treat this album like it's the eighth wonder of the world... It's a good album, ok, but that's about it as far as I'm concerned. This live version doesn't change my opinion.


Thought I was alone among the regular users on the site for not caring about this album. I tried it again a couple of years ago for the first time in a long while, and I'll give it its due, the title track has a great opening riff, but generally it's lacking something for me. Listening to the live version of the title track, the different key they're playing in even takes the edge off of that great opening riff, and the recording in general doesn't make me reinterpret my opinion of the album either.
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27.09.2021 - 15:39
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


2021 goodies
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27.09.2021 - 15:44
Deadsoulman

Written by musclassia on 25.09.2021 at 23:36


Thought I was alone among the regular users on the site for not caring about this album. I tried it again a couple of years ago for the first time in a long while, and I'll give it its due, the title track has a great opening riff, but generally it's lacking something for me. Listening to the live version of the title track, the different key they're playing in even takes the edge off of that great opening riff, and the recording in general doesn't make me reinterpret my opinion of the album either.


I've warmed up to the album a bit over the years. Where I used to think it was a gruelling borefest, I now find it "rather good". Especially due to the title track, which is the only song I really like. I'm sure I would have enjoyed the show, though. But the cult status this album has achieved pretty much everywhere baffles me a little.
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30.09.2021 - 18:56
Stormm

Written by Deadsoulman on 27.09.2021 at 15:44

Written by musclassia on 25.09.2021 at 23:36


Thought I was alone among the regular users on the site for not caring about this album. I tried it again a couple of years ago for the first time in a long while, and I'll give it its due, the title track has a great opening riff, but generally it's lacking something for me. Listening to the live version of the title track, the different key they're playing in even takes the edge off of that great opening riff, and the recording in general doesn't make me reinterpret my opinion of the album either.


I've warmed up to the album a bit over the years. Where I used to think it was a gruelling borefest, I now find it "rather good". Especially due to the title track, which is the only song I really like. I'm sure I would have enjoyed the show, though. But the cult status this album has achieved pretty much everywhere baffles me a little.


My problem probably is that it's all quite monotonic. And it's more like one song in five chapters.
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30.09.2021 - 21:26
BitterCOld
The Ancient One
Written by Deadsoulman on 27.09.2021 at 15:44


I've warmed up to the album a bit over the years. Where I used to think it was a gruelling borefest, I now find it "rather good". Especially due to the title track, which is the only song I really like. I'm sure I would have enjoyed the show, though. But the cult status this album has achieved pretty much everywhere baffles me a little.


Because it is trad doom, it's not a technically cutting edge album showcasing newest styles or techniques, but rather completely contingent upon connecting with emotionally... an experience which is hit for some, miss for others before you factor in appreciation of the vocal technique. The essence of a lot of doom albums falls in this "trap", it makes you feel something or it doesn't. This one even moreso.

From my end, I didn't like doom prior to WFAD. Had Cathedral dating back to Forest, but only enjoyed the rawking tracks off Ethereal Mirror Carnival Bizzare - less the doom and more Iommi-worship.

WFAD was the first proper doom album that connected with me at an emotional level.
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get the fuck off my lawn.

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