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Recorded live at Loud Park Festival at Saitama Super Arena, Japan on October 18th 2014.
In The Line Of Fire Larger Than Live is Dragonforce's first ever DVD. It includes the band's performance at Loud Park in 2014 and is a mixture of live clips and off stage sequences. The film systematically follows a given frame where it's either 1 or 2 songs on stage succeeded by 1-3 short clips including mainly things happening on the band's tours and in their homes.
I think that the general layout with mixing live and off stage stuff is appealing, because I certainly don't always have the peace and patience to be able to keep focus for hours of live music displayed on a television screen and I also tend to get quite bored by watching a full live performance while sitting comfortably on my sofa.
I don't want to reveal too much information of the film's contents, since I guess buyers of this product most likely want to see for themselves what's included, but I can tell you that the presented material is quite far away from being a documentary in the true sense of the word and although a few of the clips are somewhat interesting, in the end I find myself rather unaffected, yet not adverse to them.
The guys have cut down on most of their wildest jumping and spinning around on stage lately, yet I think a lot of the energy and the playfulness is still present as a key factor to the band's performance. Herman Li might be the more technically skilled guitarist of the two, but at the same time, I enjoy the sound of Sam Totman's tones more and the latter one's riffs are often heavier and less complex and therefore kind of more directly striking.
The extra material, of less than 16 minutes, first comprises vocalist Marc Hudson, later joined by keyboarder Vadim Pruzhanov, wandering around Tokyo looking for a peculiar café and as clip number 2, bass player Frédéric Leclercq is visiting his favorite places in that city. The final section of the DVD shows Herman and Damien Rainaud talking about the mixing and editing of the film for a few minutes.
I believe that this product is a double-edged sword for DragonForce fans. On one hand, you have people like myself, who like the concept of combining on and off stage pictures alternately. On the other hand, you have the people who would have preferred a live show in its entirety, followed by some kind of documentary. You decide which person you are and then you will know if this product is something valid and if it's worth spending money on.