‘Megadeth: Rust In Peace Live’ is presented in widescreen 1.78:1 with VC-1 1080i coding.
Concert’s are always difficult to film and light shows often play havoc with the image quality. That being said, some bands have shown that careful co-ordination with the camera crew, can yield very good results, so this is not really a valid excuse for a weak presentation. Megadeth are pros when it comes to concert releases and this is one of their best looking releases to date.
Close-ups expose Mustaine’s greying stubble as he spits (literally) snarling lyrics at the mic, all the while bobbing his enormous mop of (metal) hair. His eyes clenched tighly shut, squeezing sweat from his eyeballs, as he almost forces the words out. The clarity during these close-ups is top notch, with the passion which Mustaine has for the music shining through on this release. These shots also focus on the almost inhuman speed at which the band play, as we follow their fingers flit from note to note, bending strings and thrashing their heads along in time to the music. There is some impressive depth on show during the well lit long shots of the crowd but there are few few instances of that sought after 3D Pop factor.
During the mid range (and close-up) shots, the image is crystal clear, with a lot of detail on show. But due to the aforementioned unusual lighting conditions, the image can sometimes appear saturated, with some digital noise creeping into the background. The red lighting, in particular, seemed to soften the image somewhat. The colour palette, during the brighter portions, demonstrates some vibrant tones, such as the bright yellow on Drover’s kick drums or the deep blue custom artwork on Mustaine’s flying V. The end result is somewhat of a mixed bag but the good points, on a whole, definitely outweigh the bad.
So, while this presentation most certainly has its merits, the difficult nature of the filming conditions means that some of the shots definitely look worse than others. Overall this is a fine looking presentation and just makes it into the eight scoring bracket.
‘Megadeth: Rust In Peace Live’ comes packed with an excellent dts HD Master Audio surround track.
As the opening riff from “Holy Wars” bursts from the speakers, I knew that I was in for a treat with this release. Stereo separation is simply impeccable, with drum rolls moving effortlessly from left to right. The precision on the guitar placement is also amazing at times, with dual solos sounding like reference material and every chord is clearly audible. Power is evident in the mid range, with spiralling solos bringing the best from the high range. The bass guitar underpins Mustaine and Broderick, while also accompanying the Drover on drums. Individual notes stand out with ease and are, on occasion, felt.
The vocals are, for the most part, locked to the centre channel but on occasion they can wander into the left field, which can be a little distracting (but this is a minor gripe). They cut through the onslaught of the instruments with ease. As mentioned, it’s clear that the vocals have been dubbed and on occasion it can be a little distracting but, to honest, it’s better than hearing a less than perfect rendition of the classic tunes.
The surrounds carry some of the instruments at times but are largely used to inject some crowd ambience and raucous shouts, which certainly adds to the experience. The subwoofer gets a serious workout, thanks to the combined efforts of Ellefson and Drover. It produces tuneful bass notes and also high impact from the regular double kick drums, which was much to the delight of this reviewer, and very much to the distain of my neighbours! Overall the mix is crystal clear in every aspect, even at high volumes.
There are a few excellent concert BD’s out there (‘NIN: Beside You in Time’ stands as my own reference point) but this release ranks among the best (in terms of audio quality). The track has been expertly engineered (no doubt under the watchful eye of Mustaine) to encompass all the best parts of the show. The instruments rise and fall in the mix in perfect harmony, with the chants of the crowd coming into play during the more subdued moments. Complex compositions in conjunction with ambient effects, all come together to bring out the best from your surround system – highly recommended, scoring a high nine here.
The extras portion contains a behind the scenes look at the concert, as well as some bonus songs. To be honest, I can’t understand why the additional footage from the show was not available at the end of the “Rust in Peace” set. A branching option would have been perfect but instead the interface feels clunky.
This minor gripe aside, there’s no better extra than bonus concert footage and this release adds six additional juicy numbers to the already impressive content. Track listing is as follows:
Skin O’ My Teeth
In My Darkest Hour
Symphony of Destruction
The band continues in the same vein as the performance for “Rust In Peace” and it’s great to hear some old classics played to perfection. Points are lost, however, for cutting the tracks from “Endgame”; a decision I really cannot fathom.
Behind the Scenes Footage (8mins 1080i) – This rather sparse and rapidly edited backstage footage gives a brief insight into what went on just before the band went on stage at the Hollywood Palladium. Momentarily interesting but there’s really not much substance to be honest.
Megadeth are one of the most enduring metal bands in history and have produced some standout albums over the years. Their opus deus was undoubtedly 1990’s “Rust In Piece”, which featured such seminal classics as “Holy Wars”, “Hanger 18” and “Tornado of Souls”. Twenty years later, the band embarked on an anniversary tour to celebrate the album, by performing it in its entirety. It’s an album that I have listened to many times and here, the best Megadeth line up in a long time, play it to perfection in a brutal and intense no frills production. Megadeth remain one of the best technical bands around and are a group that everyone should see live at least once. This BD stands as a testament to their evolution and continued prowess on the metal scene; here’s hoping that we get another album soon.
The video presentation, while suffering some setbacks due to the difficult lighting conditions of a concert setting, shines overall. The audio presentation is the real star of the show and stands as a reference mix, bringing the most out of all available channels. The extras portion comprises some bonus tracks and backstage footage. The audio and video portions, in conjunction with a blistering performance from the band, means that this release comes highly recommended.
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