Patrick : Sonata Arctica does not need any further introduction. The kings of ice play power metal at the highest level and their most recent cd 'Reckoning Night' made their herd of fans grow to immense proportions. After four studio albums, for convenience I do not count for the numerous mini cd's and the live cd, it was time for a DVD. 'For The Sake Of Revenge' has been recorded at the 5th of February in Tokyo (Japan) during their de 'Reckoning Night World Tour'. At least four cameras have been used and the sound is in Dolby 5.1.
The DVD starts with a nice animation after which you get the choice to either listen and look at the whole show or just to a specific song. You can do so with just the live registration or do so with comments of the band members, in Finnish (!), at the background.
Of course the DVD contains some extras as well, in which you can read the biography of all members, the discography and have a look at 'The Men Of The North In The Land Of The Rising Sun'. It is the itinerary of the band during their travel and arrival in Japan, all sorts of nonsense during their stay and before and after the show. This makes it a complete package!
Those who have seen Sonata Arctica perform during their recent tour will not be surprised by the set list. Recent songs as 'Don't Say A Word' and 'Misplaced' are being changed with earlier tracks like '8th Commandment' and 'Replica. But also 'The End Of This Chapter' (at least a part of it), 'My Land' and 'Kingdom Of A Heart' are present among the total of nineteen tracks. It is an impressive list, but also one which is predictable. This is the same as the talks Tony holds with the fans. Though I know Tony as an entertainer by heart, he hardly takes the crowd into consideration this time. It lasts until the encore when he starts playing with his audience. Of course he holds talks with the crowd, makes is cliché joke before 'Victoria's Secret' ("Are you ready for some underwear music?”), but somehow it is not really spontaneous and enthusiastic this time. His remark "Shut the fuck up. I need to sing in silence.” Probably was meant to be funny, but many crowds would not have taken this from him. But not the Japanese; they do exactly what is expected from them and celebrate on. The other guys are also doing what is expected from them; professionalism at its best which results in an extreme tight performance. Marko and Tommy deliver a tight rhythm section, Jani plays his six strings really solid and seems to be the most enthusiastic of all. Hendrik is only visible at the side of the stage and his presence only stands out when he smashes his mobile keyboard at the end of the show. No remarks at all regarding the professional execution of the songs, although performed with some more inspiration would have been appreciated!
When I watch and listen to a live DVD, I like to hear a crowd. And not only at the end of a song when they feel they have to give the obliged applause. And that is something which I miss at 'For The Sake Of Revenge'. The mix has been adjusted so that the crowd is only noticeable just before Jani plays a solo or when Tony asks for response and let the crowd sing along (begin of 'My Land'). The end result is a perfect, smooth sound that makes a great impression, but hardly gives me the atmosphere of a live performance. And that is a deficiency!
Despite the lack of a real live ambiance 'For The Sake Of Revenge' has become a great DVD which perfectly displays the shows of Sonata Arctica from the past year. The DVD is full of recognizable moments and will give the fans of the ice kings of power metal most likely a lot of hours of pleasure.
Intro (Prelude For Reckoning)
Blinded No More
FullMoon / White Pearl Black Oceans...
Kingdom For A Heart
Sing in Silence/The End Of This Chapter
The End Of This Keyboard / Sing Along
Don't Say A Word
Vodkaa (Hava Nagila) / Sing Along
Outro (Draw Me)
+ The Men Of The North In The Land Of The Rising Sun
+ Biography & Discography