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The Tokyo Showdown

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Average Rating
(18 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • a good cd but if your looking for a god version of these songs you must! absolutly have to hear the studio versions on the other albums. but this is a must have for the hardcore fans

    Posted on December 15, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Very recently, I obtained a copy of the Tokyo Showdown live album. I have to honestly say that it is one of the better live albums. However, whether you will like this CD or not depends on your preference of live performance quality. Some people prefer a very polished live album that has been remastered in the studio such as live albums from Pantera and Metallica. However, I, like many of my friends, prefer a very raw live sound. The quality of this CD really appealed to me because when I listen to a live recording, I like to hear what it was really like at the show. Not every live performance is absolutely perfect and a lot of bands try to make it seem that way by re-recording over parts of the performance they felt were lacking. But the fact that the sound is the way it is shows that In Flames really are just a few very talented musicians playing their music in front of a large crowd, they’re not trying to make it seem like something it isn’t. They’re not trying to convince the listeners that they are the Alpha and Omega of metal bands. Regardless of the sound quality, In Flames puts on an excellent performance and chose a perfect set list that encompasses most of their early work before Reroute to Remain. Overall, if you are a big In Flames fan or are just looking for a live recording that’s in your face for one straight hour, this album is highly recommended.

    Posted on December 15, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • If you’re going to make a live album, then make it good. Iced Earth’s “Alive in Athens” is marvelous. Even Cradle of Filth’s “Live Bait for the Dead” is at least a quality product. But In Flames, a band just as capable as the two aforementioned groups, decides they just want to add another album to their discography, and produces a very sloppy recording. I’m not going to say anything about the songs themselves, aside from “Moonshield” and “Gyroscope” which have their acoustic parts removed, because we all know that In Flames is a band composed of extremely talented musicians. I will comment on the fact that Anders’ clean singing is poor, though. Instead, I want to focus on the quality of the disc.In Flames’ studio albums feature high-quality production, so I’d think fans would expect a live album to at least sound like there was more than a tape recorder and a computer to record the sound. Basically, this album sounds like what you’d hear if you decided to take your camcorder and record the band’s performance on it, and were watching it played back. Not good. This is something you buy to complete a collection, but don’t be hasty.

    Posted on December 15, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • We all know In Flames and that is one of the most important swedish bands nowadays. There are lots of LIVE albums coming out and I sincerely expected something special for this album or some extra stuff. But none of this happended. In Flames show they are killer on stage and that they can do perfectly on stage what they did on the studio. This album has too many songs from their last three albums (“Clayman”, “Colony”, “Whoracle”) and only two from their first two efforts “Behind space” (also in “Colony”) and “Moonshield”. Some cool songs were left out, like “Clad in shadows”, “Artifacts of the black rain”, “Goliaths disarm their Davids”, “The Jester Race”, “The Inborn Lifeless”. Of course, their last three albums are the ones that put In Flames on top of the world…But the songs show no surprises (I mean, like in “Scorn” they play Slayer’s “Raining blood”’s riff)…You can listen to the audience at the beginning and at the end of each song, but that’s it…Anders Friden is colder than ice to present the songs…The album starts with “Bullet ride”. It has a killer beginning but the drums’ sound didn’t help. It is one of the weakest points in the album..The guitar are in the front, and sometimes you can’t hear the vocals…Some versions sound more violent than the studio ones (“Episode666″)…In Flames is one of my favorite bands and in this case, I have to say that this is another live album from another great band.

    Posted on December 15, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ve been meaning to pick this one up for a while, but a recent overinduglence in live albums and a slightly limited budget kind of hindered my progress for a while. However, after a bit of time, the In Flames bug began biting again, and I realized it was time to and reacquaint myself with some quality melodic metal. Soon after, a copy of Tokyo Showdown was in my hand and I eagerly awaited my trip home to prepare myself for a thrilling and dynamic live performance…To my surprise, that performance never exactly came, at least not the one I was expecting. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled in the past by all the excellent live releases I’d picked up by Dream Theater, Iced Earth, etc., but after careful scrutinizing I’ve come to find this album overall pretty darn average, which is a real shame because I’ve never needed to say that about an In Flames release before, and I was really hoping the day would never come. In Flames is a special band, and for me (and most of their fans) their albums meet special requirements, and an album of merely average quality is simply not acceptable. As a matter of fact, I’m surprised In Flames would even release a live disc which so blatantly reeks of poor production and shoddy development.I guess for starters I’ll try to cover the pros (or pro, really). For one thing, with a few personal preferences aside, the set list is excellent; In Flames certainly know what their most powerful songs are, and they know what people want to hear. There is a bit too much of an emphasis on the last 2 albums over their previous material, but these albums were awesome anyway, (not to mention this IS the Clayman tour; a multitude of songs from that album is to be expected) so it shouldn’t be too much of a complaint. Most In Flames fans should be reasonably satisfied here.Now, to move on to the album’s overwhelming flaw: the horrible production. I’m not really sure where the root of this problem came from, the sound quality of the band’s equipment at the concert, the quality of the recorder used, or the mixing finesse in the studio, but this album sincerely lacks the punch and power of a quality recording job. I am of the opinion that In Flames were having some problems during the actual show, as each song has it’s own specific problems. The lead guitar drowns out the rhythm immensely in certain songs, and vice versa in others. Anders Friden’s vocals are positively buried under the playing of the band the majority of the time, and certain harmonies are barely audible. Perhaps all this could be forgiven if the band had come out and played a blistering performance and won over the crowd, but even that isn’t the case here. Some of the band’s best solos and harmonies are chopped in half on certain songs, or heavily shortened for no apparent reason, there is abolsutely no improvising or any signs of instrumental creativity present, and certain sections of songs are removed entirely. Many fans may be shocked to know that the compelling and captivating acoustic melody at the beginning of Moonshield is completely gone, as is the electric and acoustic guitar interplay towards the middle of Gyroscope. These changes are uncalled for and incredibly disappointing. One reviewer stated that Anders Friden is as cold as ice interacting with the crowd, and I couldn’t agree more. Although I’m sure his mastery of English is obviously far from complete, we easily find ourselves 3-4 tracks in to the cd before he even says a WORD to the audience, and that’s just unacceptable.Speaking of the audience, they hardly show any enthusiasm to the band at all, a half-hearted cheer at the beginning and end of a song is all you hear, and not a peep from them is heard during a single song. You’d think they got lost on their way to an arts and crafts fair and wound up here by mistake. In fact, I’m starting to even wonder if this was an actual concert at all, or the sound of an audience cheering was added to the beginning and end of every song.I know there is some harsh criticism here, but I feel it’s necessary to any In Flames fans who have come to expect the same level of quality from their music as I have. I hold the band on a high pedastal, which up until now has not been shaken. The whole album is just so poorly produced and most likely rushed it’ll make you wonder if In Flames even oversaw it’s development in the first place. If you, like me, are searching for a quality In Flames performance, see them live for yourself instead when they come near your area. The show I attended contained far more energy and showmanship than anything heard on this album, and for right now it’s the best way to see what In Flames are capable of. As for this album, I’m giving it 3 stars, and I think even that’s generous; if it were any other band I wouldn’t be anywhere near as merciful. Buy one of their studio releases instead.

    Posted on December 15, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now