PictureDespite lots of hand held camera footage the PAL image quality is actually very good. Blacks in particular are solid and deep and colours are rich with no bleed at all. Picture noise is also pretty non-existent and contrast levels are very high. When you load the DVD and hit play you will be treated to Mudvayne performing live, here the image is non-anamorphic which means that if you are viewing on a widescreen monitor the picture will be surrounded on all four sides by black borders. When the first live track finishes the image changes to 4:3 proper with the members of the band being filmed on their tour bus. Picture quality is again impressively sharp and detailed, especially given the “on the road” conditions, although the brighter outdoor scenes can sometimes have an “over-exposed” look to them.
SoundThere are two tracks from which to choose - Dolby Digital 5.1 and Linear PCM. I was expecting to prefer the Dolby Digital track for the live concert scenes, but actually preferred listening to the PCM stereo recording. This may have something to do with the nature of the music, especially the vocal aspect - Mudvayne are nothing if not in your face LOUD. The 5.1 track just seemed to accentuate everything that didn't really need accentuating making the listening experience a tad tiring after a while. After all this isn't simply Heavy Metal, this is Aggro Metal! When I switched to PCM things became a little more mellow and, therefore, bearable - for me, at least. I'm sure there are those out there that will relish the full musical assault that the DD 5.1 track can offer.
I should mention that your sub-woofer will get a workout of steroid-induced intensity at times. Saving Private Ryan? Mudvayne laugh in the face of weak bass! Don't get me wrong, though, it is always tight and well integrated, and never woolly or overblown. First rate. Having said that, there are a couple of “pops” or crackling noises like a scratched record would make around the1 hour 23 mins. mark.
ExtrasAside from the World So Cold video and making-of feature, extras are reasonably plentiful, with behind the scenes footage segments that can be viewed either spliced into the live performances or watched individually. Personally, the thought of having to endure Mudvayne live for ten songs back to back made my choice easy - I'll watch the behind the scenes footage spliced into the main footage every time, thank you!
Special mention must be made of the menu screen on this DVD, an image of which can be seen on the cover shot. I think it's great - simple, yet impactful, novel and easy to navigate. The female voice that tells you which segment you are about to watch is a very nice touch also.
VerdictThere is a lot to like about the presentation of this music DVD. The picture quality is generally excellent, audio is more than satisfactory and extras are plentiful. It's a shame that the image isn't presented in an anamorphic widescreen format and will appear to be “shrunk” when viewed on widescreen TVs, but the image itself is of the highest order. If you're a Mudvayne follower, fan just doesn't seem to be the right description here, then I'm sure you will be fully entertained by what's on offer here. And if you're not a Mudvayne fan? Go out and buy b>Mudvayne - All Access To All Things/b> and find out just what it takes to become one!
Please be aware - there is a “Parental Advisory explicit content” warning on the front cover. Given the colourful language that is used throughout I think that is a necessary warning!
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