German melodic hard rock band formed in the early Nineties, and since then have released seven studio albums with their most recent album, ‘Common destiny’ being released in 2012. Now though they’ve decided to release their first ever live album – Live in Cologne. As the title suggests, the alb um was recorded in Cologne, on 18th October 2012.
Ok, let’s start off with the bad part – this barely deserves to be called an album. Seven songs and a running time of 36 minutes is shockingly poor – an hour running time would have been the minimum I’d expect from a live album, especially from a band that has been around for twenty years. A live album should be around the same length as the live show itself, so in that respect this album is very poor.
There is some good news though – the album comes with a bonus DVD, so at least that restores some value.
Listening to the album, the sound quality is good. Musically it’s a great album that melodic rock fans are likely to enjoy. The vocals are great – that quite high pitched but smooth sound that you associate with melodic rock bands and German ones such as Bonfire in particular. The guitars are nice and heavy which balances out the vocals to give a great sound.
As well as the songs themselves they’ve kept the between-song bits where they talk to the crowd, which is always a plus – removing this does tend to lose some of the live feel of things.
The DVD includes the live show (but again only the 7 songs). The sound and picture quality is good, and there are also a number of other extras on the DVD (see the list below).
Frankly this is a really poorly thought release. They should have released the full show as a double CD. That would give lots more songs and really be a lot more representative of the live experience. Instead they’ve released something that is probably less than half of a typical concert length, and that is just not good enough and that means instead of a great album they’ve released something that is only really for hardcore fans.
‘Live in Cologne’ is out now.
Rating: 7/10 – it would have been an 8/10 if the album was a decent length
2. Saints denied
3. Run and hide
4. Fly away
5. Life is beautiful
6. Justice is denied
7. With you
Bonus DVD contents:
Live show, Cologne 2012
Big in Japan 2013 – tour report
In their own words – Interview
With you – video clip
Your soul to keep – Japan bonus video
Watching you break – Japan bonus video