Ugh, I hate this whole retailer exclusive bonus DVD business. It’s either terrible content almost no one cares about (in the case of Born of Osiris’ The Discovery, it was just studio videos available on the band’s Youtube), or it’s really good and you’ll be missing out. Especially a brick and mortar store doing exclusives is really bad, because they’re pretty hard to find if you don’t live near one. Anyway, I’ve decided that it’s worth the time and effort to keep our readers aware of the content of these bonus materials so you can decide whether it’s worth the extra effort or not. This time I’ll be doing Winds of Plague‘s Against the World, and the bonus content is the Hot Topic exclusive DVD. Yes, Hot Topic, ugh. I actually had to go in the store to buy this one, and it was as awkward as ever. But are the contents worth it?

First of all, you should read my review of the album. If you still care, keep reading. The mileage you get from this DVD will be heavily dependent on how much you like the band itself. The contents of the DVD is basically a bunch of well shot live footage interspersed with random videos the band captured during their touring experiences. First the random videos part. I usually find it hard to care about random tour videos of bands, especially if they’re not bands that I’m heavily fanboying over. The footage here was a mixed bag in my opinion. There were some pretty dull moments, but there were quite a few shots that were so random that it was entertaining. The band chilling out with drunk midgets in an outdoor festival, hiking on cliffs, and the vocalist Johhny Plague (ugh) showing us the circus he works at (seriously). Most bands have a short amount of footage and most of it is dull, but the band’s antics are pretty amusing in this case. There’s not too much of awkward drunken/high moments of the band in a tour bus, it’s usually the band doing crazy stuff. There’s also a short shot of the band’s drummer Art Cruz filling in for Lamb of God. Another highlight was the band preparing for a Halloween show with ridiculous costumes and makeup (one member paints himself black, calling himself Tupac, which is hilarious or terribly offensive depending on your point of view). Overall, the random footage was pretty entertaining.

The live content is not terrible either. The audio is clearly taken from the soundboard, and the video is high definition with multiple angles. The track listing is:

1. The Impaler

2. One Body Too Many

3. Chest and Horns

4. Decimate the Weak

5. Mr Destiny

6. Refined in the Fire

7. Reloaded

If you’ve seen the official live video for “Refined in the Fire”, the footage on this DVD is from that show. Here’s the video for reference:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=517CUzXrj-c]

I have only two gripes with the DVD and one minor nitpick. The option to play only the live footage or only the random footage would have been useful. You can access the live footage from a DVD menu, but the random footage is not accessible like that. My other gripe is that they could have worked a little bit more on the sound of the live footage, it’s good but it’s not great. And my nitpick is that they should have played more songs from The Great Stone War, but I know those tracks are unpopular with the bro fans of the band, so it’s understandable.

Overall, it’s actually not a terrible package, and along with the album it’s worth its cost. You get an entire live concert that sounds decent enough to put on its own live DVD, along with some enjoyable footage of the band. If you’re a fan, I’d definitely recommend it.

– N.

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