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Author Topic: 2004: Devotional on DVD  (Read 11516 times)

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2004: Devotional on DVD
« Reply #30 on: 22 March 2012 - 05:04:47 »
2004-09-xx - Q Magazine (UK) - Devotional DVD Review

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2004: Devotional on DVD
« Reply #31 on: 22 March 2012 - 05:05:38 »
2004-10-06 - Digitally Obsessed - Devotional Review

Mute presents
Depeche Mode: Devotional (1993)

"Let me take you on a trip,
around the world and back
you won't have to move..."
- lyric from World In My Eyes

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: October 06, 2004

Stars: David Gahan, Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher, Alan Wilder
Director: Anton Corbijn

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:33m:54s
Release Date: September 21, 2004
UPC: 603497037223
Genre: music

Grade Substance
Grade Image Transfer
Grade Audio Transfer
Grade Extras
B+ B+ B A- B 
DVD Review
Talk about an evolution.

British synthsters Depeche Mode morphed from happy, perky dance pop of the early 1980s into a group of sometimes brooding dramatists, but along the way their sound actually managed to mature in tandem with their noticeably serious change in focus and mood. It's no accident they were often referred to as Depressed Mode; too electronic to really be Goth and predating the emo shoegazer movement, they sometimes teetered on the edge of becoming more gloomy than fun, but by 1993 they were riding what was probably their highest crest with the release of the CD Songs of Faith & Devotion, and the tour filmed for this two-disc set (recorded in Barcelona and Frankfurt) captures the band at an oddly compelling point in their career.

Visually, a concert like Devotional is a weird, though more often than not, satisfying experience. The stage design is elegant and exciting to look at, a two-tiered affair with a series of towering video monitors underneath that allow all sorts of projected images to flit about behind the sweaty posturing of head Mode Dave Gahan. This concert film juxtaposes the somber reverential angst of a Depeche Mode studio recording and mixes it up with a jarring combination of clichéd stadium rock moves from Gahan and the flashy stage set designed by lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe and celebrated rock photographer Anton Corbijn, who also directed this disc. We get all of their quasi-serious synth dirges—and truly the band is operating on a high plane of cool here—but Gahan works the stage like a crazy man, screaming "yeah" and pumping his arms to get the crowd going when the rhythmic ebb and flow of the electronic music belies such standard (and sometimes silly) rock moves, especially during cuts like Personal Jesus.

It's almost like apples and oranges; I do like their music a lot—and have for a long time—even if some of the stage drama is a bit on the overblown side. The last time I saw Depeche Mode live was on a tour or two before Devotional (circa 1991), and the band was almost Kraftwerk-ian in the way they hunched over their keyboards, and there were moments then when I wasn't even sure they were actually playing. Times change, I guess, and the band has moved on to more pronounced rock star cool moves. During Devotional, the band opens by performing the opening song Higher Love behind a huge, diaphanous curtain, with Gahan building his initial appearance into a prolonged bit of horny rock foreplay that seemed to go on a tad too long.

Set List:

Higher Love
World in My Eyes
Walking in My Shoes
Behind the Wheel
Mercy In You
I Feel You
Never Let Me Down Again
In Your Room
Personal Jesus
Enjoy the Silence
Fly on the Windscreen
Everything Counts

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

Image Transfer
Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratio yes
Anamorphic no

Image Transfer Review: Devotional is presented in 1.66:1 nonanamorphic widescreen, and while Corbijn's coverage of the band's stage show is excellent, the transfer suffers from some smearing and graininess as a result of the concert lighting. It's not an awful transfer by any means, just not as crisp and sharp as I might have expected.

Image Transfer Grade: B

Audio Transfer
  Language Remote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1 English yes
PCM English yes

Audio Transfer Review: Audio comes with the choice of either Dolby Digital 5.1 surround or PCM 2.0, and for a broader, more expansive presentation the high marks have to go to the 5.1 track. No real beefs whatsoever with the PCM mix, but it is tough to hold a candle to the larger, more aggressive track that spreads out the synth noodlings and crowd sounds into what comes closer to recreating that "live" concert sound. Dave Gahan's voice is crystal clear, and small effects like the circuitous synth pans and car sounds during Behind the Wheel noticeably move and swirl around the room.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

Disc Extras
Static menu
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 16 cues and remote access
1 Documentaries
8 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Gladiator style 2-pack
Picture Disc
2 Discs
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Disc One includes a couple of additional live tracks, with the band performing stellar versions of Halo (04m:42s) and Policy of Truth (05m:07s). Not exactly sure why they weren't part of the main set, but whatever.

I experienced some major playback issues on Disc Two (on three different players), with either a shrill, high-pitched whine or blocky, distorted graphics that eventually locked up any machine it was tried out on. Not sure if it was some kind of mastering problem, or if I just got a bum disc, so your mileage may vary. I can't really comment on the quality of the supplements on the second disc, but I can at least tell you what they were supposed to be.

The second disc (at least according to the back cover) contains six music videos in PCM Stereo (I Feel You, Walking in My Shoes, Condemnation, In Your Room, One Caress, Condemnation-Live) as well as the background projections used onstage during performances of Walking in My Shoes, Stripped, Condemnation, Judas, I Feel You, Never Let Me Down Again, In Your Room, and Enjoy the Silence. The projections are available in either 5.1 or PCM Stereo. There is also an MTV documentary entitled Depeche Mode Rockumentary, a short Monologue by Anton Corbijn, and images from the Devotional tour programme.

So while I couldn't actually enjoy all of the extras, they do seem moderately interesting, so just on principle I'll go out on a limb and guess that if your second disc plays ok, it will be enjoyable. If I'm wrong, let me know.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments
I'm not used to seeing Depeche Mode prance and preen around like arena rock stars, and though their music still has that "I'm a cool, moody loner" feel to it, watching them live on this particular tour is another story entirely.

My wife and I (big Modesters from way back) caught ourselves chuckling a few times at the frequent fist pumps and crowd exultations, but the slowly building and familiar rhythms of tunes like Behind the Wheel and Walking in My Shoes made everything better in the end.

Even with the weird posturing, this one is still a fine-sounding rock show.

2004-10-xx - Uncut (UK) - Devotional review

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2004: Devotional on DVD
« Reply #32 on: 09 July 2012 - 21:29:00 »
2004-11-16 - Popnews (France) - Devotional Review

Depeche Mode - Devotional
17/11/2004, par V | DVD

DEPECHE MODE - Devotional
(Mute / Labels)

En 1993, Depeche Mode entame une tournée de 15 mois avec 156 concerts à la clé. Jouer 156 fois "Enjoy the silence", ça use, ça use... Et le groupe n'est guère fringant lorsqu'il achève son marathon promotionnel. Fatigué de ne pas voir son travail reconnu à sa juste valeur, le discret Alan Wilder quitte le groupe en juin 1995, après treize ans de bons et loyaux services. Sa tentative de suicide, quelques mois plus tard, en dit long sur son humeur de l'époque. Dave Gahan lui embraie quasiment le pas : une overdose d'héroïne et de cocaïne le laisse entre la vie et la mort dans une chambre d'hôtel de Los Angeles, en mai 1996. Ambiance...
Que s'est-il donc passé durant cette maudite tournée ? Des excès et des débordements, des déprimes et des trous noirs, le présent double-DVD ne nous montre rien. Les coulisses restent dans l'ombre, cachées, mystérieuses. Mystérieuses comme cette superbe entrée en scène : le groupe joue derrière de longues tentures, sur lesquelles il apparaît en ombres chinoises, jusqu'à ce qu'enfin Dave Gahan sorte de ce cocon soyeux pour faire face au public. Christ tatoué ruisselant de sueur, le chanteur arpente la scène de long en large, se déhanche comme une stripteaseuse le long de son pied de micro et multiplie les poses de crucifixion. Sa voix puissante, son charisme et sa fraîcheur font passer le reste du groupe au second plan.
C'est d'ailleurs là que sont regroupés les autres, sur une scène en retrait. Martin Gore, avec ses boucles peroxydées et sa combinaison argent ressemble à une luciole sous acides. Andy Fletcher, plus spectateur qu'acteur, appuie sur un bouton de temps en temps et Alan Wilder, qui s'ennuie ferme derrière son synthé, finit le concert à la batterie. Deux choristes gospel sont aussi appelées à donner de la voix, comme sur "Condemnation", magistralement hurlé par Gahan. C'est qu'il est beaucoup question de religion, ici : "Mercy in You", "Judas", "Higher Love", "Personal Jesus". Des préoccupations mystiques qui vont de pair avec la nouvelle orientation gospel-rock de l'album "Songs of Faith and Devotion". Fini le tout synthés, Depeche Mode veut un son plus brut. Le résultat sur scène ressemble à un numéro d'équilibriste : gênée par les nappes de sons léchées, l'étincelle rock a dû mal à partir. Du coup, les morceaux s'étirent, pas toujours convaincants, comme ce "I Feel You" répétitif. Martin Gore le confie sur le second DVD : il n'a jamais été très partisan du tournant rock de Depeche Mode. Heureusement, les vieux tubes savent transformer n'importe quel hangar à voitures en boîte de nuit ("Behind the Wheel", "Never let me down Again"). Le DVD bonus propose aussi, en plus d'une poignée de clips et de quelques visuels pas essentiels, un entretien instructif avec Anton Corbijn, le designer du groupe. L'austère Hollandais, recruté dès 1986 pour apporter une crédibilité artistique aux quatre garçons, mérite des lauriers pour sa remarquable scénographie. Les écrans placés sur scène et les élégants visuels inspirés de Warhol, Gilbert & George et Jérôme Bosch parviennent à animer la scène. Le côté "design branché" peut énerver mais repensons au look garçon coiffeur sado-maso des débuts du groupe...


2004-11-xx - DVD Est Extra (Hungary) - Devotional DVD

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2004: Devotional on DVD
« Reply #33 on: 23 February 2013 - 02:35:30 »
2004-12-01 - Teraz Rock (Poland) - Devotional Review

Depeche Mode: Devotional
Data: 1 grudnia 2004, autor: MICHAŁ KIRMUĆ
Premiera: 1 grudnia 2004
Mute/Pomaton EMI 4

Kolejny DVD Depeche Mode to zapis występów zespołu w 1993 roku w Barcelonie i Frankfurcie. Zaczynają dość kontrowersyjnie. Od Higher Love. Sam utwór nie jest niczym nadzwyczajnym, ale muzycy pozostają za kurtyną... Unosi się ona z nadejściem kolejnej kompozycji, wielkiego hitu ze znakomitego Violatora, czyli World In My Eyes. Pod względem wizualnym scena nieco przypomina prezentacje koncertowe grupy Kraftwerk. Z kolejnym utworem Martin bierze gitarę, a na ekranach za plecami wokalisty pojawia się charakterystyczna postać z teledysku.Walking In My Shoes. Do końca koncertu pojawiają się jeszcze między innymi Behind The Wheel, Stripped, Never Let Me Down Again, In Your Room, Personal Jesus czy Enjoy The Silence... Jeśli ktoś ma ochotę na Policy Of Truth lub Helo, znajdzie je także, choć oddzielnie, jako dodatki. Zestaw imponujący. Wykonanie zresztą też. Twórcą rejestracji jest Anton Corbijn, człowiek odpowiedzialny za teledyski zespołu.

Depeche Mode przyzwyczaili nas już, że ich wydawnictwa DVD przygotowywane są z pietyzmem. Tak jest także w przypadku Devotional. Wydane jako digipack, z dodatkową obwolutą, zawiera bogato ilustrowaną książeczkę, a także drugi dysk z materiałem dodatkowym. Są wśród nich projekcje sceniczne przygotowane do ośmiu utworów. Ponadto teledyski promocyjne do I Feel You, Walking In My Shoes, Condemnation (Paris mix), In Your Room, One Caress (US Video) oraz koncertowa wersja Condemnation. Płytę wzbogaca także dokument MTV z cyklu Rockumentary oraz monolog reżysera.

region - 0; dźwięk - PCM Stereo, DD 5.1; obraz - 16:9 (PAL); napisy - angielskie

Ocena albumu: BRAK
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