Actually, I had hoped that Maryland's UNORTHODOX would return to Europe after fifteen years. Their latest album 'Awaken' was reason enough, because it displayed that they have not lost any of their force today and it would've been a pure pleasure to see them on stage again. But it wasn't so: unfortunately UNORTHODOX played only a couple of shows in the USA over the past two years. In addition, there were personal changes in the lineup. Drummer Gary Isom and bassist Mark Amen joined Bobby Liebling's Pentagram, so Ronnie Kalimon (ex-Iron Man, ex-Internal Void) returned back to the drums. One consolation for myself is the release of this DVD which is a dream for fans.
'Live At Krug's Place' has been professionally filmed with three cameras, documenting a gig at Krug's Place in Frederick, Maryland in January 2009. At this time, Jon Blank (ex-Wino, ex-Wretched, ex-Rezin) jumped in on bass duties before he went on tour with Wino in April 2009. I am sad to report that he died shortly after the European tour, so it was a great gesture to dedicate this DVD in his memory. The top-notch quality has been increased with the help of unobtrusive changes between color and black & white. UNORTHODOX's setlist includes a fantastic mixture of songs from all three albums as well as three demo tracks that dated from the time between 1985 and 1988 when their name was still ASYLUM. In total, there are ten tunes with a playing time of approximately 48 minutes.
On this night at Krug's Place, Dale Flood, Ronnie Kalimon and Jon Blank were in best condition and this is also sensed by the audience. There's a strong energy exchange between all parties involved and I like that there are also a couple of crowd shots. But don't worry - UNORTHODOX remains the key issue here. The live performance is great, you can clearly hear all the instruments and the different camera angles give you a perfect view of the scene. Ronnie Kalimon once again lives up to his reputation as one of the best drummers of Maryland's heavy rock/doom community. His mechanically precise fills in combination with a powerful punch is one of a kind and unmistakably identifiable.
I personally like Dale Flood's restrained and peaceful stage presence without doing the usual rock guitarist aerobics. His excellent technique and eclectic style are thrilling enough. There are definitely more talented singers around than Dale Flood, but I think his voice suits well with the songs. Jon Blank stays in the background, but his solid playing is clearly heard and it is not surprising that Scott 'Wino' Weinrich has chosen him for the Wino band. This is a great DVD for any UNORTHODOX fan and a great addition to any collection. You can order your copy directly from Video Bill Productions at: unorthodoxdvd (at) yahoo (dot) com
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