Devin Townsend is by far the greatest musical prodigy to rear his balding little head in the mid-90s. "Strapping Young Lad" is the band name under which he releases his heaviest material, and as terrific as it is, Townsend managed to surpass even that with his somewhat softer, more melodic, later solo releases, such as "Ocean Machine/Biomech" or "Infinity". But whether ultra-heavy or more ethereal-sounding, his music is enjoyed only by a select few who are able to appreciate progressive metal of the finest quality. Does this sound arrogant? You bet it is. I truly feel sorry for anyone whose inferior ear cannot appreciate what Townsend has to offer. Still, what you don't know can't hurt you...
The FTATR DVD itself, however, is not quite as good as I had hoped it would be. First and foremost, I am not satisfied with the song selection. I have no idea why they'd play the only two crap tracks from the second album, "Home Nucleonics" and "Oh, My F***ing God", yet omit "AAA" and "Underneath the Waves" - absolute highlights from the same album. "Devour", "Aftermath", and "Force Fed" are all average/forgettable tracks from their very disappointing third album. Understandable, however, if nothing; after all, they were promoting that piece of crap on that tour; the good side is that they managed to play the only two quality songs from it, "Relentless" and "Rape Song".
The other criticism has to do with the sound. There is no problem with the clarity, but the heaviness isn't there. The guitars do not dominate the way they should. Industrial thrash needs to have a very heavy and clean live sound in order to work.
On the more positive side, Townsend is refreshingly unserious about his image, preferring to spoof metal rather than make "evil faces", like other bands, which fail to scare even 6 year-olds. I particularly liked something he said in the interview, regarding metal being so bombastic, larger-than-life that it's almost like a parody of something. There are far too many bands and fans who take the image side of metal overly seriously, exposing their own foolishness and low I.Q.s in the process. Townsend's stage antics reflect a different, much more down-to-earth attitude.
Someone ought to include the "Safezone" DVD from the Devin Townsend Band on this site. I'd recommend that one to anyone before getting this DVD.
For my music commentary, go to: http://rateyourmusic.com/collection/Fedor8/1
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