I have seen Opeth live two times now and haven’t regretted it in either case. The band has existed for over a decade now and can be classified as a progressive metal band. Their beginnings are in black metal and as evident from their last work they have moved towards more mellow creations. I am a fairly recent fan of Opeth and while I have all of their albums I haven’t had much chance to see many of the bootleg videos of their performances that can be found on the net. Well no need for that anymore. Enter the first official Opeth DVD: Lamentations – Live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire 2003.
The DVD features the live performance and a documentary on the making of ‘Deliverance” and “Damnation”. The live performance is made out of two sets; the first set consists almost entirely out of the ‘Damnation’ material. The song ‘Harvest’ (from the ‘Blackwater Park’ album) has been well incorporated in between ‘Ending Credits’ and ‘Weakness’. The second set is made out of the heavy stuff from the ‘Blackwater Park’ and ‘Deliverance’ albums.
As far as the actual concert goes the stuff is good. For legal reasons Opeth couldn’t play their older stuff so we only have songs from three albums. That’s the only real drawback IMO.
I guess another thing that can seem as a bit of a bad thing is that the first set followed the ‘Damnation’ album song order almost exactly. This sort of took the fun out of guessing what the next song could be. However they did make slight modifications in the way they performed some songs which sounded good. There was also a bit of crowd interaction between songs when Mikael would talk to the audience and seek approval. The second set was the head bangers’ dream and a good song combination was executed.
The documentary part of the DVD is of particular interest. The band members are interviewed about their experiences while making the ‘Deliverance’ and the ‘Damnation’ albums. They describe the difficulties they faced and the good times they had. I have heard (or read :) ) people say that the DVD is worth watching just for the interview if nothing else.
As I mentioned before I have seen Opeth live two times before and I can tell you that this DVD comes as close to those experiences as possible. The sound is very good and the screen ratio of 16:9 just adds to the whole experience. Speaking of the sound, the DVD offers the options of Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS.
The DVD also comes with a booklet which features a description of the contents of the DVD (surprise, surprise) and the credits (the usual legal mumbo jumbo).
02. In My Time Of Need
03. Death Whispered A Lullaby
05. Hope Leaves
06. To Rid The Disease
07. Ending Credits
10. Master’s Apprentices
11. The Drapery Falls
13. The Leper Affinity
14. A Fair Judgment
The making of ‘Deliverance’ & ‘Damnation’
Michael Ĺkerfeldt: Vocals, Guitars
Peter Lindgren: Guitars
Martin Mendez: Bass
Martin Lopez: Drums
Per Wiberg: Keyboards, Backing Vocals