Lords Of Depravity Volume I (2 DVDs)
posted on 7/2006 By:
First, a word of explanation: You’re just now reading the long overdue review for Lords of Depravity Part I because it was initially assigned to another writer who eventually ended up hanging up his keyboard and moving on. It ended up making its way to me, but by now the cat’s way the fuck out of the bag on this release, the first DVD offering from the legendary Sodom. There have been scores of painstakingly detailed accounts of the bulging content of this double disc set, and there’s been pretty much nothing but glowing reviews. Point is, those that wanted to know about this already do, and those that wanted it probably already have it in their hot little hands. No doubt, if you’re among the legion of raging Sodomites, who’d been banging their chests and howling impatiently for the unleashing of this set, this is all old news. We don’t normally show up to the party so late around here and we won’t make it a habit (don’t we look ashamed?). But despite this review’s tardiness and less comprehensive dissection, this DVD deserves the coverage, and if you’ve been waiting to cross this off your "to buy" list, let this serve as a reminder to your procrastinating ass.
The first, and perhaps most compelling selling point of this set is its flat out gargantuan content. The two discs combine for five hours of footage, enough of a binge to make a bulimic groan and reach for the sweatpants. Taking a tack similar to Iron Maiden’s excellent The Early Days video, Lords of Depravity offers up a combination of a trove of live material (albeit from recent gigs), and more valuably, a detailed and comprehensive interview documentary straight from the mouth of the band and other insiders. This bit of oral Sodomy covers from 1982-1995 and consumes the whole of disc one, and at over three hours long, History of Depravity is a bloated but consuming look into the early days and rise of the band. Mr. Angelripper himself leads this tour through not only the band’s formative years, but his as well, as he tells of growing up in a harsh, industrialized area of Germany, and how that led to his introduction to metal and escape from a fate of a life in mining. There are a lot of years to cover here, and the film is chock full of explanations, insights and anecdotes, as well as tons of shots of old pictures, video clips, and assorted scrapbook fodder. This is the kind of video that makes you want to go back and revisit an entire back catalog chronologically. The only downside to the documentary is that it is entirely in German, and while three hours of video is a lot to sit through at once, three hours of reading subtitles does get old. Further, the small, white text on the typically dully-colored video can sometimes be difficult to see. It seems likely that a large percentage of the audience for this wouldn’t speak German, so I would have preferred to see more effective subtitles.
The second disc consists of two hours of live footage culled from three recent festival performances at Wacken 2001, and 2003 appearances at Rock Hard and Full Force, as well as a headlining show in Sofia, Bulgaria in ’04. Originally, the plan was to include the complete Wacken show as the only live material, but the band endured some technical mishaps and by, their own accord, just weren’t at their best that night. Instead the Sofia show gets the lion’s share or attention here, with smaller sets of tracks from the other shows spaced throughout the set. Interestingly, in several places the band has used the audio from one gig while splicing together video from all three shows. This gives those songs more of a music video vibe, which doesn’t seem out of place, as each time this technique is used it follows one of the several brief tour montages interspersed throughout the set of live tracks. Some fans will no doubt gripe that the collection doesn’t include enough material from the early years, as the majority of the tracks come from the band’s modern era. Regardless, there’s no shortage of strong material and the sound and video quality are impressive and superior to the first disc. It’s a whole mess of Sodom, but pace yourself—after all, this is only part one...
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