Korn: Live At Montreux [Blu-ray Review]

Studio: Eagle Vision

Starring: Reginald Arvizu, Jonathan Davis, James Shaffer, David Silveria, Brian Welch
Directed By: N/A

Running Time: 75 minutes
Ratings: N/A

Back Cover

Founded in 1967, the MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL has established itself as one of the most prestigious annual music events in the world. The extraordinary list of artists who have played there is drawn from across the musical spectrum and from around the world. Now, with the consent of the festival and the artists, Eagle Vision is making these concerts available for the first time.

This stunning Korn concert is the band’s only appearance at Montreux so far. It features the classic line-up of Reginald Arvizu, Jonathan Davis, James Shaffer, David Silveria and Brian Welch in one of his last appearances with the group. With a set packed with classic tracks, Korn rock Montreux as it has never been rocked before!

Movie

First, let me start by saying that I’ve never been able to find enjoyment in the Nu-metal genre. Aside from a few of Metallica’s tamer tracks, the genre has only ever managed to move me in such a way that standing in front of a wall and head banging was just deemed unproductive by my faculties of logic. Anyone unfamiliar with the genre looking for a description need only think about the combination of hair band death metal instrumentation, aggressive rap/screamed vocals, and negative lyrics. Everything that a human being requires in order to better themselves intellectually.

This release of the bands 2004 concert is definitely going to be one for the hardcore fans of both the genre and the band. I cannot see this as being a concert that would provide an unsuspecting viewer with an introduction to a newfound source of musical enjoyment. The music is loud and in your face… or, more appropriately, in your ears. For myself, personally, I can honestly say that my ears cringed for almost the entire 75 minute presentation. Even turning the volume down didn’t help in this regard. I say “almost the entire 75 minute presentation” because there was a few minutes where the bassist and lead guitarist took control of the stage and had a few minutes where they riffed a fairly enjoyable ballad-like piece that sounded quite nice. Too bad they had to eventually get back to their setlist.

The direction of the video is done with plenty of MTV style quick edits, creating a very music video type of presentation. Unfortunately, it also comes across as very methodical as the edits seem readily timed with the music.

Crave Factor – 3

Extras

No extras are available on this release.

Crave Factor – N/A

Video

1.78:1 Widescreen / MPEG-2

Eagle Visiona has given this their usual 1080i transfer. Having experienced numerous releases from the company, I can honestly say that this video transfer has been one of their weakest as the heavily lit stage show is often plagued with moments of over saturation and contrasting. Much of the extreme bright lighting appeared to be ignored during the recording as colours jump in stability throughout. However, although the black levels leave plenty to be desired, the one thing that the transfer seems to have under control is the amount of detail present on anything that isn’t black. Much of the performers and instrument detail can be made out with impeccable detail. Again though, it still doesn’t live up to other releases by Eagle Vision as the image still manages to retain a softness that bleeds the 3-dimensional quality away just enough to be noticeable.

Crave Factor – 6

Audio

DTS HD MA 5.1 / Dolby TrueHD 5.1 / Linear PCM Stereo

This is one of the only times that I will outwardly express my displeasure with such amazing audio tracks. As I mentioned earlier in this review, this type of music just equate to a headache for me. And, hearing it in such pristine condition only makes it that much more concise for causing said headache. But, fans will be blown away!

Obviously, the two lossless codecs have more to offer in the way of a concert experience with 5.1 mixes that are as crisp as they come. Both tracks offer fantastic midrange balanced beautifully with strong highs and potent lows, neither of which peak to distortion. When volume matched, the DTS HD MA track still edges out the TrueHD track. However, the only difference I noticed was that the drums didn’t seem to punch quite as strongly on the TrueHD track. The PCM Stereo track has plenty to offer for those old school audiophiles who believe stereo is the only proper way to listen to their content. Matrixed, it doesn’t measure up to the positional dynamics of the 5.1 mixes across the entire speaker setup.

Not being a fan of this type of music, it’s hard for me tell if the vocals are meant to be slightly downplayed. Therefore, my only complaint is that the lead vocals are often hard to discern… then again, when is screaming and grumbling ever discernable?

Crave Factor – 9

Menu

The disc main menu, like every other Montreux concert release I’ve seen to date, is composed via an artistic design framing the bottom of the screen wherein lies the menu options while a clip from the concert plays on the remainder of the screen. The positive to this menu is that it is visually pleasing and simple in functionality. The negative is that the concert footage used is the opening of the concert with the drummer “ramping things up.” As a result, it takes away from the beginning of the presentation. As soon as you select play, it’s like starting the concert over again, making you feel like fast-forwarding in order to “get to where you were.”

The playback menu is very well designed. It appears on the left side of the screen in a relatively small box that allows you to navigate menu options without impairing the visual presentation of the disc. The options aren’t all listed, but they cycle within the small decorated pop-up window with the use of the up and down arrows of your remote.

Crave Factor – 7

Conclusion

Eagle Vision bring Korn to the Blu-ray format with justice. The video is a satisfactory upgrade to DVD quality, although it won’t be a reference disc for your friends in this area. The audio fidelity is definitely impressive with the mixes giving the band a strong clarity and balance. However, without extras and only a 75 minute runtime, this is definitely going to be something that only the devout fans will want to add to their collection. Even then, I’m not sure if the setlist is their best.

Overall Crave Factor – 6

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