Customer Review

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lights, lights, too many danm lights, 11 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray) (Audio CD)
Finally Epica have released a live dvd accompanied by a full orchestra and choir. It has taken too long as they have been deserving of such a show for such a long time. Hell even Nightwish haven't released a live dvd with an orchestra and they were one of the pioneers behind the symphonic metal growth seen in the past 20 years. They are arguably the biggest and most well known band for this genre and yet Epica have beaten them to it and fully deserving Epica are of such a show.

However let's get straight on with the major issue this release has.... Whoever was in charge of the lighting for the show went and f****d up. The lighting is horrible and it ruins the entire show from a visual stand point. Throughout the whole show the lights glare on the cameras in a way extremely unpleasant way. The majority of the time you can't see the band as they are obscured from view. and other times they have lighting that would be better suited to a dance concert and is very out of place, during the Phantom Agony for example they have green lasers that would more at home in a nightclub. There are times when the lighting tones down, during softer orchestral parts and this is how the lighting should have been throughout the whole show

This is a real shame because the actual music is fantastic, everyone performed very well and everyone for the brief moments you can actually see the band seems to be enjoying it immensely. Appearances from past members of the band and Floor Jansen were great and added a great emotion to the experience as it really brought the last 10 years together

The set list is huge and gives 3 hours from a huge catalogue. From a personal stand point I was disappointed they didn't do Mother of Light fully and only included it in the orchestral medley and I would love to have heard Tides of Time as Simone's vocal performance on the studio version was phenomenal , but complaining and marking the show down based upon set list when it was so long anyway would be too harsh.

There is good behind the scenes footage and interviews with the band which is a welcome addition, Simone is awesome as ever <3

Ultimately if you get this you will I think love the CD's because as I said the sound is great and listening to it in the car is great, the dvd's have let the band down tremendously though. Whoever decided on this lighting should never ever be allowed to make any decisions ever again with regards to live shows for this band.

What could have been Epica's crowning achievement has instead finished as a huge disappointment of what could have been. They may never release another live dvd like this again. Hiring a full orchestra and choir isn't cheap and there was a time when the band said they weren't even going to release a live dvd at all because the costs involved weren't justifiable for the size of the band.

It is with a heavy heart I have to rate this only 3 stars. As a huge Epica fan I am disappointed and hope sincerely they have a chance in the future to set right the wrongs of this show

5 stars performance
5 stars set list
5 stars extras
1 star lighting
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Nov 2013 19:08:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Nov 2013 19:11:02 GMT
I want to defend the lighting as in the end I don't think it was that bad. As a photographer I know lighting like that is a nightmare for getting the best quality image. I understand though visually for the audience it's great and in context of a band like Epica I think it works. On the YouTube previews the combination of the lighting and compression made it look like it was going to be awful. Having now watched the Blu-Ray the picture quality manages to save the often distracting lighting and in moments for example the lighter songs where Simone is lit properly the HD picture is great. One major plus point for the video is that the camera work and editing works well, no horrible effects or excessive cuts and zooms.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2013 20:21:46 GMT
Twitch says:
I respect your opinion but I disagree. The lighting was too strong most of the time. There were moments when it was ok such as the lighter songs like you mention but too often that is not the case and for me it ruined the show.

I'm pleased that it may not be the case for everyone though

Posted on 13 Nov 2013 18:14:58 GMT
Valad says:
My copy is yet to arrive yet but the two times I've saw Epica live their lighting has been terrible. So it'd be interesting to see if the bad lighting is just typical of how they usually do it or if it's particularly bad on the recording.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2013 20:29:23 GMT
Twitch says:
I have seen Epica live once myself and the lighting on that occasion was fine. This time they seem to have been trying too hard and instead it came across very badly.

There are a few times when the lighting calms down during the quieter sections when it is ok, but during the heaver songs it is poor
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