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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Arch Enemy: Burning Japan Live


1) The Immortal; 2) Dark Insanity; 3) Dead Inside; 4) Diva Satanica; 5) Pilgrim; 6) Silverwing; 7) Beast Of Man; 8) Bass Intro/Tears Of The Dead; 9) Bridge Of Destiny; 10) Transmigration Macabre; 11) Angelclaw.

It's a lucky thing I have to review this on New Year's Eve — too many things to wrap up, too little energy to spend on music writing, and here comes a live album that is absolutely impossible to write about in long, scrutinizing detail anyway.

So, briefly and up to the point. These recordings were made in October/November 1999, during se­veral shows in Tokyo. The line-up is the same as on Burning Bridges, meaning that this is the officially last album to feature Liiva as vocalist. The setlist is predictably heavily tilted towards Burning Bridges, with Stigmata only represented by three songs and Black Earth by two. The performances are practically indistinguishable from the studio originals. And the audience is ab­solutely in­audible, except in between tracks. Happy New Year!

PS. Liiva's vocals are actually far more «shiver-inducing» during his stage announcements than when he is singing. So shiver-inducing, in fact, that I am embarrassed to play this album in front of any person of any level of intelligence without first submitting the person in question to a long lecture about artistic conventionalities, traditions, customs, and rituals. Want to increase your to­lerance levels? Try death metal. Beats modern art and bestiality all to hell.

PPS. No, but seriously, it is a good album, if only you take your expectations off the «live» regis­ter (it is admirable that they can play with such speed and complexity on stage, but, presumably, much of their studio output was recorded «live in the studio» as well, so no outstanding feats of originality here). Excellent production — certainly better than on Black Earth, which is why 'Dark Insanity' is more of a success here than it was over there — and a strong setlist. And yet, completely unnecessary for non-fans.

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