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Judas Priest - Rising In The East (Rhino) DVD Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Judas Priest - Rising In The East (Rhino) DVD Review

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    Released by: Rhino
    Released on: November 15th, 2005.
    Director: N/A
    Cast: Judas Priest
    Year: 2005
    Purchase From Amazon

    Judas Priest - Rising In The East – Movie Review:

    It was with much rejoicing that Judas Priest fans welcomed the news that Rob Halford was coming back to the band that made him famous. Halford and the rest of the crew were able to bury the hatchet and move on after going their separate ways a few years prior. Out of that reunion came one of Judas Priest's best albums in a long, long time, 2005's Angel Of Retribution. The tour that followed, in support of that record, proved that despite the break up and despite the fact that they're getting on in years, the band still deliver live and Halford's voice is still a force to be reckoned with.

    To commemorate the reunion tour, the band chose to record their performance at The Budokan in Tokyo, the very same venue where they recorded their famous live album Unleashed In The East way back in 1979. Japan has always loved Judas Priest, and it made sense for them to head back there to shoot this concert video in May of 2005.

    The complete track listing for this concert is as follow:

    The Hellion/Electric Eye/Metal Gods/Riding On The Wind/The Ripper/A Touch Of Evil/Judas Is Rising/Revolution/Hot Rockin'/Breaking The Law/I'm A Rocker/Diamonds And Rust/Worth Fighting For/Deal With The Devil/Beyond The Realms Of Death/Turbo Lover/Hellrider/Victim Of Changes/Exciter/Painkiller/Hell Bent For Leather/Living After Midnight/You've Got Another Thing Comin'.

    Looking at the set list you'll notice a lot of newer material makes its way into the show, but that's not a bad thing. The tracks off of the latest record do sound really good live and go over well with the packed crowd of Japanese metal heads in attendance (though it was a disappointment both here with this release and seeing them live personally in the summer of 2005 when the band opted not to play their fourteen minute ode to Scottish monsters, Loch Ness). Aside from the new material though, all of the classic cuts are there as one would expect them to be. Early tracks like Breakin' The Law and Living After Midnight sound as good as they ever have live, and Hot Rockin' and I'm A Rocker are still enjoyably campy and sure to get your foot tapping.

    While the stage show isn't as elaborate here as it has been on past tours, Halford still manages to fit in a few costume changes and when he comes out for the encore, he's wearing a mirrored ankle length trench coat, a leather biker cap, mirrored sunglasses and is sitting on a Harley. The theatrics that Halford brings to the live performance are still very much a part of the live Judas Priest experience. While at times Halford and company look a little tired (in their defense, they play for over two hours and that's got to get exhausting no matter how old you are!), for the most part this is definitely a high energy show and when the band kicks into Painkiller, probably the fastest and heaviest thing that they've ever recorded, there's no slowing down even for a second.

    Judas Priest - Rising In The East – DVD Review:

    The concert was shot using a few different DV cameras and some angles and shots look better than others but for the most part, the fullframe image looks miles above most concert videos. This is one of those rare instances where the harsh stage lights don't hurt the production at all and colors stay strong and distinct throughout. There's a pretty decent level of detail evident in the picture, just look at Halford's various costumes for an example of that, and there aren't any problems with mpeg compression artifacts. Some edge enhancement is present as is some line shimmering but these are mild problems and they don't really interfere with the show much at all and don't prove to be too distracting.

    Though the English language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix doesn't come with any other alternate audio options or subtitles, it delivers where it needs to with some really strong bass and very clear vocals during the performance. The rears are used mainly for crowd and background noise with most of the musical action hitting you in the face from up front and it works. There's plenty of nice channel separation and a nice low rumble for the bass and for the drums. The guitar sound is nice and clean and the mix does a good job of keeping everything in check, it never gets muddy or muffled but instead stays very clear from start to finish. There's also a DTS 5.1 track that sounds just as good (if not identical) and a PCM 2.0 track that lacks the power of the surround mixes.

    There are no extra features at all on this release to speak of. The concert is divided into chapters, one for each song, but that's it. On the reverse side of the cover art, which you can see through the translucent keepcase, there is a short letter from the band thanking their fans for their loyalty and some credits for the DVD and the concert, but that's all she wrote.

    Judas Priest - Rising In The East – The Final Word:

    While it would have been nice to see some interviews with the band or even with some of their Japanese fans, the presentation on this release is pretty solid and the audio is very strong. Judas Priest – Rising In The East proves that Halford and company are back and in fine form, and for fans of the band, this one comes easily recommended for fans of the original Metal Gods.


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