Misery Index - Misery Index DVD Volume 1

posted by Greg, Sunday July 11, 2004 @ 01:05:17 PM

Artist: Misery Index (http://www.unkindesign.com/miseryindex)
DVD: Misery Index DVD Volume 1
Release Date: Available on their website and at concerts for $10
Label: Anarchos Records

Rating: 8/10

Live DVD's are all the rage these days in the music scene, and it's no exception in the metal community. Now that they are so cheap and easy to produce, even the lowest level just-starting-out garage band can film themselves with a cheap camcorder and have a live concert DVD of themselves available in days. Oftentimes these DVD's also give you a rare glimpse at the men behind the music that you wouldn't normally get while being bounced around in a mosh pit for 45 minutes. Misery Index's new DVD (which I bought for $10 after their awesome performance at Swayze's Venue on July 9th) contains over 90 minutes of goodies from live shows in the U.S. and Europe, as well some performances with ex-M.I. band Dying Fetus and some behind the scenes laughs.

The DVD opens up with the band tearing it up at a performance in Thessaloniki, Greece last November while on tour with Nile. The high energy and intensity with which they played is captured very well, as well as the energy of the very large crowd headbanging along in unison. The sound quality isn't all that great, and the entire performance is filmed from behind the shoulder of lead guitarist Sparky Voyles so you spend most of the time watching the band's backs, but after a while your eyes and ears will adjust to everything and you'll be caught up in how awesome a performance they are giving. You can really tell the band is 100% into their music and love what they do, and this comes through above all else despite the minor production flaws. It also helps if you're familiar with their music, as you can kinda go along in your head what the music is supposed to sound like which will make everything sound a lot better.

After their crushing Greece set you get treated to a visit to a construction site with the band as they get to work on their day job inbetween shows. It's easy to forget sometimes that 95% of metal bands play for the love of the scene and make very little money off their music, so they have to work actual day jobs to make ends meet. Every metal band can't be Metallica and make their money then spend the rest of their life hoarding it from all those vicious internet pirates out to get them. In one scene, lead singer/bassist Jason Netherton is hammering on a plywood board talking about how they drove back from New York to D.C. to go to work and got about one hour of sleep through a bumpy van ride. How many of you guys out there in your own band playing late night shows can identify with that? These guys are living the metal dream just like you, and it's refreshing to see they are so humble about it.

The rest of the DVD contains footage from a U.S. tour with Dying Fetus and Skinless, with some footage of both bands shot using a night-vision camera. Luckily, there's a lot more action in this particular night-vision bootleg footage than another famous night-vision bootleg that got leaked to the internet a few months ago (to be fair though, Misery Index isn't quite as cute as Paris Hilton, but they can't help but be smarter). There are some great shots of what a mosh pit should look like (including a scene with the lead singer from Skinless jumping into the crowd, parting them like the Red Sea, then ordering them to charge headlong into each other), and all the bands put on powerful sets. Dying Fetus' set is also highlighted by a guest appearance on vocals by Jason from Misery Index. Sprinkled inbetween sets are some behind the scenes concert moments, such as the pre-requisite "this is what we drink" shot of the band's wet bar backstage and some other pre-show antics.

Like I said earlier, the band didn't really have the budget to spruce up the production or the muffled sound values, but it's clear this DVD was made with the interests of the fan in mind rather than fancying it up with bells and whistles. The murky, gritty tone perfectly matches the attitude of the band and the music, and there is more than enough here worth justifying the purchase of this DVD. Misery Index fans are definitely gonna want to grab this, and the average metalhead will appreciate having a documentary of how hard these guys are working to keep furthering the progress of the metal scene.

- Greg

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