Metal God // 1997 // 105 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Steve Power // May 18th, 2009
Judas Priest fans rejoice! Rob Halford comes to Blu-ray in all his high resolution glory! Wait, what the heck is this?
Rob Halford; metal fans know the name well. More leather than a Hell's Angel, more sharp metal studs than a Claymore anti-personnel mine, and a voice that could shatter glass. He made Judas Priest one of the most enduring heavy metal acts in the genre's history, and today he's revered as the self-appointed "Metal God," star of screen, song, and video game. It's truly a shame that with all his power, wealth, and fame, he couldn't put together a decent Blu-ray to save his life.
Everything kicks off with Resurrection World Tour, a documentary chronicling the formation of Rob's band, the recording of the 2000 comeback album, Resurrection, and some live footage taken from Halford's appearance at Rock in Rio III. In a nutshell, Halford senses metal is on the upswing, bails on Fight and 2wo, his shot at staying relevant through the 90's, and proceeds to build a new band and get signed to play at Rock in Rio III (the very same Rock in Rio that re-introduced the world to Guns N' Roses and saw the triumphant return of a Bruce Dickinson-led Iron Maiden). The documentary is a slog, just boring as hell, with about a million snippets of talking heads and little in the way of guidance or direction. The live footage isn't bad, as the band is pretty solid, and the Resurrection album as a whole was actually a great effort, but the pacing and general lack of anything interesting to talk about just kills my interest.
Also on the disc is Halford: Live at Rock in Rio III, consisting of the concert from the documentary in its entirety. Halford's band has the skill and the song choices are pretty cool, but Rob is the most boring front man in existence. He just sort of stands rooted to one spot on the stage, rocking back and forth like some kind of Frankenstein monster. There's just no charisma there. Thrown into the mix is the Live Insurrection album in its entirety, remixed in DTS 5.1.
Sounds like a solid package, right? And being on Blu-ray means a nice high definition presentation with some razor sharp sound and 1080p picture for sure. Wrong! The concert is 12-year-old home video, and video quality is representative of that. The documentary and the concert are both presented in grainy, pixilated, antiquated standard definition fullscreen. To make matters worse, being encoded as a Blu-ray disc means my player wouldn't even upscale this visual garbage to high-definition, presenting it in progressive scan only. The documentary sounds adequate enough, and the 5.1 mix on the concert does a solid job with the soundstage, but features no bottom end whatsoever. Without bass attack, this metal sounds more like aluminum than steel.
On the plus side, the Live Insurrection album sounds fantastic, with a nice full mix that hits with all guns blazing and flattens the listener, especially at a decent volume. The concert is accompanied by a running slideshow, which is a nice touch, I guess. I'd probably love it if I had grabbed a DVD-audio disc. This, however, is supposed to be a Blu-ray. The only bonus features included are the video for "Made in Hell," and a few trailers for other Metal God releases.
Seriously, Blu-ray people, stay away. The only high-definition image on this entire disc is the front end menu. If you need a Halford fix, go buy the Halford: Rock in Rio III DVD, at least then your player will upscale the damn picture.
Guilty! This crapola is going into the pit.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Metal God
* Full Frame
* DTS 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 105 Minutes
Release Year: 1997
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Music Video