I’m not generally a big fan of concert films because they usually pale in comparison to being at the actual show and fail to capture the excitement of the audience. But some tours are so epic that they simply must be commemorated for rock and roll eternity. Black Sabbath’s reunion tour for their album “13” is one such show and thus we have the release of “Live…Gathered In Their Masses.”
Recorded live in Melbourne, Australia, the film opens with street scenes of a busy city with the band members getting off the plane and arriving at the arena to the strains of “God Is Dead?” Pre-concert footage of fans entering the arena and backstage warm-ups are also shown here. As Ozzy takes the stage like an evil master of ceremonies to the opening sounds of “War Pigs,” it is clear that you are in for a treat both visually and sonically. The live footage is flawless and flows very well from close-ups to audience shots to wide pans offering views that even attendees of the show couldn’t see. Acoustically, things are fantastic with Ozzy’s vocals sounding better than he has in a long time and Iommi and Butler performing to perfection as always. In fact, it is the close-up footage of Geezer slapping the strings of his bass and Iommi blistering his fretboard that are the highlights of the film. The setlist is outstanding with new songs “End of the Beginning” and “God Is Dead?” seamlessly fitting in alongside the classics of “Black Sabbath” and “N.I.B.” Of course no Sabbath show would be complete without “Iron Man” and an encore of “Paranoid.”
“Live…Gathered In Their Masses” is an extremely well done DVD and a must own for all metal fans from the band that started it all. They may be a little bit older and a little bit slower but Ozzy, Tony, and Geezer show how rock and roll should be done. Their dark and eerie lyrics may seem more at home in the gloom and doom of Hell but trust me that the music you will hear is pure Heavy Metal Heaven.