posted on 10/2008 By:
Filmed live at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on the Among The Living tour, Oidivnikufesin (henceforth referred to as "Oidiv") captures Anthrax at the creative peak of the 80s thrash wave, riding high on the success of what is almost always hailed as their finest release. (That said, this reviewer holds Sound Of White Noise above Among The Living, but that's another discussion for another day.) This is Belladonna-era 'Thrax, pre-Public Enemy collaboration, playing some kick-ass metal in front of legions of British fans, their goofy take on thrash in full swing and embodied by Mutant Ninja Turtles and hideous jam shorts and haircuts that they all surely regret.
The production is great: a well-done live show intercut with brief snippets of backstage goofiness (most of which was actually filmed some four months later at the tour's end in Las Vegas). The video looks good--a multi-camera shoot that’s professional and possesses good sound quality that is noticeably live but not to the detriment of the songs, the audio recorded and mixed by thrash-master Alex Perialas. The material is expectedly heavy on Among The Living and Spreading The Disease, the two most recent records at the time and also two of the band's best, so the songwriting is first-class—with great tunes like "Indians," "Medusa," "Among The Living," "Madhouse," "AIR." (The last of those is regrettably wrapped around the godawful "I'm The Man," the video's sole skip-able moment, even if Belladonna screws up his drum part.) At this point in their career, Anthrax was among the best metal bands around, and watching this and remembering these songs and those that came after, remembering riding around in my mom’s car and cranking Among The Living and later State Of Euphoria, I’m reminded of why this band was in thrash’s Big Four. Except for the dreadful "I’m The Man," these tunes are great slices of fun thrash that hearken back to the golden years of the style.
There’s one strike against: as good as Oidiv is—and it is very good because the band was very good—I’m a bit bummed because these Cherry Red re-issues of the three classic Anthrax video cassettes are so regrettably bare-bones. There’s no bonus material on hand for this one--nothing at all beyond the original show, which is powerful, but only eleven songs long. There’s not even a booklet, aside from an insert with ads for the other Anthrax and Cherry Red DVDs. Considering that Scott Ian seems available for a VH-1 "I Love The 80s" interview every ten minutes, the lack of commentary or photos or whatever is disappointing. It couldn't have been hard to get him to provide something—he seems perfectly willing to show up and talk about anything at any time—but nonetheless, there's nothing here beyond the show. So, even as it’s the best of the three recent Anthrax DVD re-issues, as a die-hard fan from way back, I just wish Oidiv had a bit more for guys like me. Still, I heartily recommend Anthrax, without question, and of their recent spate of DVDs, this one’s the best, hands-down.
Oidivnikufesin, absolutely, and even with a lack of bonus material, for ‘Thraxers and other classic thrashers, Oidivnikufssakik.
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