Way back in the late 1980's Digby Pearson started up a record label called Earache. If all you knew about the label was the name, would you be able to guess what kind of music they released?
They became most identified with death metal, although there were also hardcore acts thrown in the mix, and later more radio-friendly acts like Adema were introduced. Earache also had the occasional genre oddity like Dub War, who specialize in reggae-metal. To this day, Earache is a thriving record label, working with distribution through Caroline Records. Their upcoming releases include new albums from Deicide and Carcass
Among the labels releases is this video collection that originally saw the light of day back in 1999. It was a VHS release (DVD was still pretty young at the time), and collected a number of clips from bands on the label. It was a pretty barebones release with simple title cards in between the videos and limited credits. Now fans of Earache bands and the original VHS can relive the past with this 52 minute DVD.
My first impressions of the DVD are not all that favorable. Before you even get to the videos, the main menu has a cheap look and feel to it. There are no bonus features. Considering that fact, I was surprised to find that there was a 5.1 audio mix joining the original stereo. Frankly, I am sure they could have gotten a hold of at least a few of the included bands for some retrospective interview or something, anything.
Once you start the DVD, the cheap feel continues as this looks to be a straight port from a second or third generation VHS tape. The images lack definition; there is virtually no sharpness, and it just does not look all that good. For those fans hoping for a remastering or any sort of cleanup, you will need to keep waiting. As for the audio, it suffers as well, with little definition, often sounding muddied. You will probably be waiting a long time, as I doubt this will see another release for a long time, if ever.