Iced Earth founder/composer/guitarist Jon Schaffer isn?t one of those metal musicians who only want to entertain their fans with their music. On the contrary, Schaffer uses his compositions to acquaint his fans with histor... more »ic events and to kindle their interest in subjects that they probably wouldn?t have access to otherwise. He has proved to be an artist who is fascinated by history and looks beyond the boundaries of his genre, basing his songs on educational objectives. Iced Earth?s 2003 album, The Glorious Burden, was a milestone in terms of music and subject matter. Particularly the concert version of Gettysburg (1863) is a successful opener to a historic chapter that is directly linked to the contemporary US. The brand-new same-named double DVD is about to round off Schaffer?s ambitious project.« less
I hope people realize that this is a educational docu.
Oblivionwarrior | Edgewood, NM | 05/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"and not a band dvd. Alot of people are gonna review this and say, " IF I WANTED TO LEARN ABOUT HISTROY THEN I WOULDVE PAID ATTENTION IN SCHOOL" kinda crap. This is def. a new idea brought forth. Its a video montage of civil war scenarios brought to life with the GETTYSBURG trilogy being played in the background. This is John Schaffers passion and I hope people get something from this DVD."
Thank you, Mr. Schaffer, for sharing your passion
e5150 | United States | 08/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Artistic creations like this don't happen very often--visions that are so intensely a part of the artist's interests that their purity and sincerity is almost felt through the medium they are presented in. In fact I cannot think of anything else that is so obviously a labor of love in the history of the metal world. Sure, bands will make their albums and their videos, but "Gettysburg" carries an extra heartfelt sincerity to it that almost renders everything else disingenuous. This is not something your typical high school metal listener would enjoy, seeing as how their interests are firmly focused on one priority alone: how to score another bowl. They don't want a history lesson as that is what they are subjected to every day in school and the last thing they need is this sort of thing coming from their music. So I'm not surprised they don't "get it". But for those of us who have risen above such juvenile desires and have experienced life enough to realize there is a hell of a lot more to it than getting high, this is exactly the kind of mental challenge that keeps us going through our day to day trials. Jon Schaffer has taken the next step with his epic musical vision and forged it in the visual medium so we can become that much closer to what he wants us to know about himself and his grand creation, this "Gettysburg (1863)" opus. The entire trilogy provides the musical backdrop for a montage of pictures, maps and portraits of the main characters. The band is not seen at all, and probably for good reason. They are not the focus here, the story is. There are some instances of CGI and other effects which add life to what would otherwise be just a half hour of pictures sliding across the screen, but it's overall a pretty bare bones yet dramatic production. Personally I would have liked to see some brief live action re-enactments to really add a new dimension to the score, but I understand budget restrictions. I am definitely not a civil war buff by any means, nor a historian. I am interested in METAL and what the musicians want to say with their music, and Schaffer and Iced Earth really raised the standard for intelligent rock with this outing. I can honestly say that, thanks to Jon Schaffer, I am wiser when it comes to American history and I am proud to be able to say it. Now, if all our teachers were in metal bands, what a great world it would be! It seems the problem some have with this dvd set is the fact that it isn't your basic video collection/live concert/band documentary we've been used to. No, this is far more special, and frankly far more meaningful. This feature truly has something to offer the viewer, and not just the "Gettysburg" video but a peek into the mind of its creator, whether he's out on location in Pennsylvania or in an intimate interview setting. It all compliments the main video. Would Steve Harris take us on a tour through the specific location of the Crimean War which influenced his song "The Trooper", or a tour of Alexander the Great's conquests to help illustrate his musical version? Hasn't happened yet and it's doubtful that it ever will. Again, it's a matter of sincerity and the belief in what you're putting across, and Jon Schaffer clearly believes in what he's doing. That is not something I think we've seen to this level of credibility in countless years from any musician. In this day and age of dumbed-down nu-metal which panders to the lowest common denominator, it's encouraging to see something put forth so articulately and with such substance that it doesn't insult the intelligence of those who really enjoy the challenge that this superior art form can offer. One final note: It saddens me to see some non-Americans believe this work is some sort of "American Power!" exercise only to be enjoyed by Americans. In reality, it's an account of an historic tragedy with a lesson meant for all nations to learn from. There is nothing for us to be "proud" of in this tale. Many bands have written tales based on the history of their country of origin, yet Iced Earth gets the bulk of derision for some reason. As a fan of World History, I enjoy songs written by foreign bands which relate some regional event in their past, as I feel it gives me a better understanding of the world and its civilizations. I guess the nay-sayers aren't into World History.
An Excellent DVD for the Gettysberg Trilogy
Erik | Illinois | 06/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD turned out being not how I expected it to be. I was expecting it to incorporate more live action shots, and possibly showing the band. After viewing this, I think that if they showed the band at all during the video, it would have made it more cheesy. There's really only one cheesy part to the music video, and that's at the beginning where CGI cannons are shown firing the initial barrage. It doesn't make much sense why they would use CGI in this case, because later in the video, footage of real cannons are shown. With the exception of this, I have no complaints over how the visuals are done. There are plenty of photographs of key people, such as Robert E. Lee. There are also photos of soldiers. I find that these add a human face, and thus more emotion, to the historical account of the battle, something which the studio album version lacks. If you find the visuals lacking, you could always turn off your TV and treat it as a 5.1 DVD audio CD. Hell, it comes with the lyrics in the DVD booklet, so feel free to shut off your TV if it irks you that much.
The interview with Jon is an great one, since we learn about some of the history of the band and the album. We learn about how little money the band made in the beginning; he mentions that it wasn't until 1997 or so that they started to make real money. It also discusses the controversy over the album, and how little airtime music TV gives their videos.
I loved the song in the first place, and after seeing this DVD, I think I like it 10x more that I did before. I think for an epic song like this, some type of visual form of the song is a perfect way to further emphasis the history, the impact, and the emotion behind the song.
Metal on a mission
Steel Hand | Knoxville, TN United States | 10/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who has heard Gettysburg knows that the music is excellent, and the lyrics are powerful. The video is incredible. With a combination of still and live shots, including both re-enactors and actual photographs from the Civil War, the powerful, terrible story of Gettysburg is told in all its grandeur and tragedy.
To make a modern reference for those who don't understand, more men died in three days on that blood-soaked battlefield than the US has lost in four years of war since 9-11. The Battle of Gettysburg was awful, and tragic and grand, and, ultimately, necessary for the preservation of our nation. For most metal bands, it would have been an act of foolish hubris to try to make this video about such a momentous event.
Iced Earth stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park. "
The BEST tribute to the bloodiest and most tragic battle ev
Parker Buessow | Sequim, Washington USA | 11/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a huge fan of Iced Earth ever since I recieve a copy of their "Days of Purgatory" cd for a christmas present a couple of years ago. I love to study history, espiecially the civil war, so naturally the "Glorius Burden" became my favorite album of all time, and the dvd only makes it better. Jon has a certain passion for history unlike anything I've ever seen nor heard before, and it shows in this music video for their thirty-two minute long epic: "Gettysburg: 1863". The pictures match the topic of each of the lyrics in the three songs, and is extremely accurate and to the point. Like a previous reviewer stated, the pictures do tend to get a little repetive, but thats the only problem in an otherwise flawless masterpiece. Also on the first disc, you'll find a tour of the Battlefield of Gettysburg with Jon and a licsenced battlefield guide, plus an interview with Jon about his history store: "Spirit of '76" On the second disc you'll find music videos for "The Reckoning" and the accoustic version of "When The Eagle Cries", plus an interview with the man himself, Jon Schaffer. All in all, this is an outstanding release and keep any hardcore fan tied over until I.E.'s next release. "