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Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria(2010)
The Big Four is an expression designating the 4 most important U.S. metal bands like Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. These are also the 4 groups best known for Thrash metal. It is since 1984 that young fans of Thrash Metal have begun to speculate on a concert that would combine the Big Four. Over the years, and after a few setbacks and tensions between groups, this vision of a reunion faded. It would take twenty-five years before new rumors, stronger and with more presence on many sites and fan communities, resurfaced. On the occasion of the Sonisphere Festival 2010, the legendary Big Four shared the bill for the first time. This already legendary concert was immortalized for giving us the Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria.
For more about Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria and the Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria Blu-ray release, see Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on November 22, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, November 22, 2010
There is 50-minute long documentary on this Blu-ray release at the end of which Scott Ian from Anthrax proclaims: "Now I guess when I get asked the question, what's the best thing you've ever done, I can say getting on stage with all those dudes in Bulgaria. It was the high point of my career." Indeed, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria is a very special show that will be remembered for as long as Heavy Metal is around. History was made in Sofia.
The show is divided into four sections, with each of the four bands taking the stage for approximately 60 minutes (Metallica being the only band whose set runs at approximately 120 minutes). Trash metal legends Anthrax are first with a strong selection of newer material and classic tunes - "Madhouse", "Medusa", "Be All, End All", and "I Am the Law" amongst others. The performances are intense and very energetic. With Joey Belladonna back, Anthrax sound as good as many of their older fans probably remember them.
Megadeth's set also mixes new material with classic tunes – "Hangar 18", the new hit "Head Crusher", "Hook in Mouth", and "Trust" fire up Levski Stadium. However, it is the killer "Symphony of Destruction", and especially the legendary "Peace Sells" that get everyone jumping. Despite some heavy rain for a portion of the set, the energy is fantastic. I must also note that from start to finish Dave Mustaine's voice sounds great.
Slayer, once believed to be the fastest heavy metal band, do not disappoint either. Their set includes many of their classics hits - "South of Heaven", "Seasons in the Abyss", "Chemical Warfare", "Raining Blood", and even the controversial "Angel of Death" - performed with an incredible intensity. Indeed, Tom Araya and his boys might have aged a bit, but trust me, they have not slowed down at all.
Metallica, who visited Bulgaria a couple of years ago and were very impressed with the warm reception, are once again greeted as kings. And for a good reason - James, Kirk, Lars, and Robert give it their all. During "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Sad but True" and "Seek & Destroy", Levski Stadium is literally rocking. However, the biggest moment of night is the group performance of Diamond Head's classic "Am I Evil?" by Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer's Dave Lombardo. Indeed, quite a view, and really, a historic moment.
1. Caught in a Mosh
2. Got the Time
4. Be All, End All
6. Indians/Heaven & Hell
9. Metal Thrashing Mad
10. I Am the Law
1. Holy Wars...The Punishment Due
2. Hangar 18
3. Wake Up Dead
4. Head Crusher
5. In My Darkest Hour
6. Skin o' My Teeth
7. A Tout le Monde
8. Hook in Mouth
10. Sweating Bullets
11. Symphony of Destruction
12. Peace Sells/Holy Wars Reprise
1. World Painted Blood
3. War Ensemble
4. Hate Worldwide
5. Seasons in the Abyss
6. Angel of Death
7. Beauty Through Order
9. Mandatory Suicide
10. Chemical Warfare
11. South of Heaven
12. Raining Blood
1. Creeping Death
2. For Whom the Bell Tolls
4. Harvester of Sorrow
5. Fade to Black
6. That Was Just Your Life
8. Sad but True
9. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
10. All Nightmare Long
12. Master of Puppets
14. Nothing Else Matters
15. Enter Sandman
16. Am I Evil? (feat. Dave Lombardo, Megadeth, and Anthrax)
17. Hit the Lights
18. Seek & Destroy
Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080i "live" transfer, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Warner Music.
Filmed on location at Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria, on 22 June 2010, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria looks very good on Blu-ray. Each of the four sets is filmed with multiple strategically positioned cameras that capture the bands as they perform on the massive stage, as well as the fans enjoying their idols. Generally speaking, detail is very good, clarity pleasing, and contrast levels consistent. This being said, there are certain image fluctuations with each of the sets. For example, during the Megadeth set the weather does not cooperate the organizers of the show, and it starts raining. As a result, there are some lens reflections and tiny rain drops occasionally popping up on the screen. The Slayer set, however, looks excellent - contrast and clarity, in particular, are outstanding. The Metallica set, however, which is the last one in the program, is clearly the best looking one. The stage lighting, the pyrotechnics, and the camerawork are indeed top-notch. Some mild motion-judder is occasionally noticeable, but it is never distracting. There are no serious shadow issues. I also did not see any overly disturbing video noise. Lastly, I did not detect any purely transfer-specific technical anomalies to report in this review. To sum it all up, this is a very strong presentation of a historic show. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0. I opted for the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and later on did a few random comparisons with the LPCM 2.0 track for the purpose of this review.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is quite remarkable. The bass is incredibly potent, the rear channels very intelligently used, and the high-frequencies not overdone (in fact, this release is amongst the very best in terms of high-frequency mixing). Obviously, each of the bands has a unique sound that comes off quite differently. For example, the balance between vocals and guitars during the Slayer set is not the same as the one from the Metallica set, but the mixing is excellent. Additionally, the range of dynamics the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track introduces should impress even the most demanding amongst heavy metal fans - the sound is never flat or anemic; on the contrary, it has excellent depth, power, and color. Lastly, the crowd noise is strong but never overwhelming.
The LPCM 2.0 track is decent but definitely not a match for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. None of the power and depth the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track allows for are possible with it. Balance and separation are not terribly convincing either (listen to "Symphony of Destruction" to hear how far back Dave's singing is pushed).
Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Documentary - a hilarious and very emotional documentary with an enormous amount of before, during and after the show footage. Many of the band members and tech crew members are seen and heard discussing the show. In English, with optional English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Japanese subtitles. (50 min, 1080i).
Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria is a historic show, one that will be remembered for years to come. But don't take my words for granted, and watch the documentary film that is included on this Blu-ray disc -- seeing how these legendary bands are greeted by their fans in a corner of the world where their music was once forbidden, and how excited the members of these bands are to be together, should reveal a lot more to you than I could. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax: The Big 4 - Live from Sofia, Bulgaria Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Metallica/Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax Live Blu-ray Coming Up - October 4, 2010
The Big 4: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria, the eagerly-awaited live Blu-ray from the "Big Four" of thrash metal (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax), will finally come out on November 2, according to retailer information. This two BD set will showcase the concert ...
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