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ASSASSIN
ASSASSIN
Chaos And Live Shots
(Steamhammer Records / SPV)
approx. 248min

ASSASSIN is a pretty weird band. Even though they started out around the same time as all the other German Thrash Metal acts in the mid 80s, they never managed to get as big as SODOM, KREATOR or DESTRUCTION for example... and from all the people I know, no one really completely got into ASSASSIN, for one reason or another. I personally enjoyed them quite a bit when they started out, but unlike the majority of real ASSASSIN fans around the globe, I always prefered their second album "Interstellar Experience" over the band's rather immature early stuff (demos, "The Upcoming Terror" album). The crushing guitar sound and overall aggression and intensity on that record easily stood the test of time and from my personal point of view it is still able to compete with many of today's Thrash Metal releases. But I never really enjoyed them as much anymore again afterwards. The newer ASSASSIN recordings just didn't move me in the same way anymore. To me it seemed the band had lost something special from the day they disbanded until their reunion with different line-ups. And this 2 disc DVD release certainly didn't help to change my opinion either... it even got worse, I'm afraid. Disc 1 is about two and a half hours long and apart from a bunch of live songs (professionally recorded in Osaka, Japan on March 27, 2010) it features in-between statements about the entire ASSASSIN career thus far. Mostly from the current line-up, but also from Tom Angelripper (SODOM), Josef "Peppi“ Dominic (aka "Grave Violator", ex - SODOM), Lemmy (VIOLENT FORCE), Arnd Klink (ex - DARKNESS), Markus Hahn (DEATHROW), Rudy Graf (ex - WARLOCK), producer Harris Johns, various old bandmembers, ex - managers, friends etc. As a whole it turned out pretty entertaining, but on the other hand they reveal way too many stupid / superfluous topics about happenings while they were drunk or on drugs... and if you're not exactly from their close circle of friends, you mostly can easily live without those stories. At least the DVD's title makes sense when you're aware of this. Disc 2 features the 45 minutes long Osaka show again (so the total playing time mentioned above is a bit misleading), but this time without any statements in-between. Now you can sit back and just enjoy ASSASSIN live on stage... well, if you can "enjoy" it... I couldn't... It's pretty obvious that the new members are musically way better than the original line-up ever was, but the whole performance totally lacks the excitement and hunger that ASSASSIN still had in their early days and to me the band simply is no real unity anymore. Vocalist Robert, who used to be a high energy performer in his late teens, unfortunately is only a shadow of himself these days and it's pretty obvious that he seems to have a tough time surviving the time on stage... Additionally you can check out three more songs ('Fight To Stop Tyranny', 'The Last Man' and 'Bullets') that were added from a second night in Osaka (recorded on March 28, 2010) and disc 2 furthermore has some "easter eggs" on offer. You'll find them if you left- or right-click while you're on top in the main menu. Then you end up in the ASSASSIN logo and there you'll get some more small statements as well as a classic 36 minutes long ASSASSIN show from Düsseldorf, Germany (recorded on September 26, 1986) in a very very lousy VHS / bootleg quality (this one impressively captures the raw energy these guys still set free on stage in their early days though) and about 10 minutes from their show in Pforzheim, Germany (recorded on May 23, 1987)... still of very poor quality, but at least way better than the Düsseldorf recording. So all in all I am not really sure who's supposed to buy this release, apart from some die hard ASSASSIN fans maybe... and it certainly won't help the band to get more into the spotlight again, sorry. To achieve that the next album should at least completely live up to their legacy again! You can check out an official DVD trailer here. For all further info go to www.assassin-online.de or www.spv.de

Frank Stöver

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