What to tell anymore about a band like Iced Earth? The band has come up with their first record back in 1991 and has released seven pieces of art since then and with the DVD ‘Gettysburg’ the release of their fifth ‘special’ has became reality This DVD is not what one should expect from a musical performance, it tries to make metal fans aware of the history on the most blood-soaked battle ever on American soil.
The point of departure is the song ‘Gettysburg’ which describes the battle in 1863 between the troops from the North and the South in Pennsylvania. In this battle over 51,000 men got killed, making this historic event one of the world’s most
blood-spoiling horrors ever.
When starting the DVD, the first thing you see is the American flag, making clear that one is watching a piece of history. Then, the music starts and pictures are passing by. These contain topics like the maps that the troops used from specific individuals (like Commander John Bufford) that had an important role in the battle to pictures from landscapes that are covered in fog. This is quite impressive but gets bored after a while. There is an additional option to read the lyrics while watching and that makes the story a bit more clear for anyone who is not into the topic at all. But still, witnessing pictures from almost every aspect of the battle for more than half an hour, while listening to some music (which is the most important creation of Iced Earth) is not that challenging.
After the first part, Jon Schaffer comes into play, explaining the point of the DVD. The first part (as described above) was mentioned to create some kind of interest in the battle. This will be followed by a tour around the Gettysburg setting with Ted Gajeweski. Jon explains that the way of looking at any historic event is by trying to watch the topic from a lot of different angles using the following quote: ‘When you read one book you think you’re a genius about a topic. Then you read two and think you’re an idiot and when you read 500 you discover that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.’ This tour is quite interesting when you are actually started to get interesting in the topic. I actually did, because Jon somehow seems so relaxed and open for information about a topic that he’s already really familiar with. On the other hand, the information that is given is not presented that spectacular.
The other two parts are the ‘Spirit of 76’, Jon’s shop, where his new hobby is presented and a photo gallery with a trailer.
On the second DVD we see video clips from ‘When The Eagle Cries’ and ‘The Reckoning’, followed by an interview with Jon. In this conversation he explains a little bit why he came up with this project and his interest on this and he tells about the introduction of singer Ripper Owens at Iced Earth.
So, that’s basically all about the topics on the DVD. Now, let me tell you what my opinion about this is. The intention is, without a single doubt, worth the applause. The fact that Iced Earth is trying to accomplish something more than just amusement by making music is something a lot of bands do these days. Take the George Bush hype for instance. But what this band has done is putting a lot of effort to tell people something about their own background, not just by saying it on stage, but by a two and a half hour DVD.
But is this creativity worth a high score? Should the fans from a band, the ones that adore the songs, the shows, the attitude and the atmosphere, follow their imperators blindly by buying this DVD? I think not. Consider the facts that the music is put aside as not even a secondary point of importance, the information that enthusiasm on the given information is kinda stable, like a general tour through a museum, and the probably 20$ or more one should pay to get this double DVD.
Therefore, I think very few people should consider buying this one, but for those few fans who are actually interested, ‘Gettysburg’ is everything they longed for.
DVD 1 Contents:
Gettysburg Battlefield Tour
Spirit of '76
DVD 2 Contents:
When The Eagle Cries (Video)
The Reckoning (Video)
Jon Schaffer Interview