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82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for the music fan...RIFFS!!
This is a review for the blu-ray 2 disc set. On the first disc you get Anthrax, followed by Megadeth and then Slayer's set. On the second disc you get the Metallica set and the bonus features. I will break down the setlists at the bottom of the review.

First the sound is amazing in my opinion, as is the picture. I thought the overall mix on all four sets...
Published on November 16, 2010 by Quiet Summer

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but Disappointed.
Slayer is my favorite out of the bands, so I was highly disappointed when the bands got together to do "Am I Evil?" and didn't see Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman or Tom Araya. What Gives? Jeff Hanneman did walk out on stage at the end for the photo shoot, but that was it. If I'm wrong let me know.
I agree with some of the other reviews, and Anthrax was the best. Megadeth...
Published on November 18, 2010 by nebraskanaboots


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82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for the music fan...RIFFS!!, November 16, 2010
This is a review for the blu-ray 2 disc set. On the first disc you get Anthrax, followed by Megadeth and then Slayer's set. On the second disc you get the Metallica set and the bonus features. I will break down the setlists at the bottom of the review.

First the sound is amazing in my opinion, as is the picture. I thought the overall mix on all four sets was really good. I've read the one review about Mustaine's vocals, I didn't notice it, so can't really comment on whether it has or hasn't been remixed. It wasn't a concern for me personally.
The bonus features include a behind the sccenes documentary which includes interviews and a peak at the Am I Evil? rehearsal backstage which is just good fun. I like back stage stuff and interviews so I dig that extra feature.

So for the bulk features of this "product" I give it five stars, good picture, good sound, bonus features are nice added touch. I couldnt really find a reason to deduct any stars based on the product. The camera shots are typical concert fodder, close stage center, back stage left, over the crowd, close up floating over crowd and behind the band looks. I appreciate the traditional camera shots, I am not really a fan of the waving, roving camera techniques where you flashy, quick looks and can't follow anything. I like to get long shots of the guitar when there are solos etc. So , I was happy with the way this was shot.

Now for my personal opinions. I was very happy with the setlists for Megadeth and Metallica. Megadeth didn't waste time chatting, they went from song to song and really delivered. I've seen Megadeth live many times and they are always incredible, this is no exception, what really got me going for the Megadeth set was the guitar, those riffs are just so amazing, and Chris Broderick is an amazing addition to this lineup. His live performances with Nevermore were astounding and when he joined Megadeth I wondered if it would be enough for a guitarist of his caliber. Clearly it is, he is having a blast.

I was unhappy with Slayer's setlist. I have seen Slayer live and they are really worth seeing. Songs like World Painted Blood, Jihad, Hate Worldwide, Beauty Through Order would have been better replaced with Dead Skin Mask (I can't believe they didn't play this one), Expendable Youth, Die by the Sword. Too bad, but again, this is just my preference. I really recommend the double live CD Decade of Aggression. It's an amazing set of songs.

Metallica setlist mirrors their previous blu-ray release. I think it's a solid set of songs and they sounded very good, the mix is great. This is when you see all the guys coming together and perform together and that is alot of fun. I've seen Metallica live every tour since 1986 and I can say this past tour has had some great setlists. I could have done without N.E.M., but hey the crowd loved it. If you have any questions I'll try to answer them.

((***Side ponder*** I wondered who decided what order the bands should perform in? I found it curious to have Megadeth perform before Slayer as they are more widely known.))

If you dig all four, or one or two of these bands, this is worth owning and was alot of fun to watch.

Anthrax
Caught in a Mosh
Got the Time
Madhouse
Be All, End All
Antisocial
Indians/Heaven and Hell
Medusa
Only
Metal Thrashing Mad
I Am The Law

Megadeth
Holy Wars
Hangar 18
Wake Up Dead
Head Crusher
In My Darkest Hour
Skin O My Teeth
A Tout Le Monde
Hook in Mouth
Trust
Sweating Bullets
Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells/Holy Wars Reprise

Slayer
World Painted Blood
Jihad
War Ensemble
Hate Worldwide
Seasons in the Abyss
Angel of Death
Beauty Through Order
Disciple
Mandatory Suicide
Chemical Warfare
South of Heaven
Raining Blood

Metallica
Creeping Death
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Fuel
Harvester of Sorrow
Fade to Black
That Was Just Your Life
Cyanide
Sad But True
Welcome Home
All Nightmare Long
One
Master of Puppets
Blackened
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
Am I Evil?
Hit the Lights
Seek and Destroy
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrash metal primer, March 7, 2011
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If you want to induct someone into the world of thrash metal, you can't do much better than showing them this Blu-Ray disc. While it's true that the bands all show their age a bit, there are enough highlights here to recommend a purchase. The video is a bit soft, but acceptable. Sound quality is great. As for the performances:

Anthrax puts on a good show and vocalist Joey Belladonna acquits himself well, still managing to bust out a couple of air raid screams. Since it's Joey singing, the set is naturally heavy on the group's early albums. But a real surprise is when they play "Only" from their Sound of White Noise album; I was under the impression that Joey wouldn't sing any stuff from the John Bush era, but here it is. Plus there's a nice homage to the recently departed Ronnie James Dio when they suddenly break into Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell" in the middle of "Indians."

Megadeth's set is tight, focusing on older tunes. I suspect that other comments here about vocal overdubs are correct; there are times when Dave Mustaine's mouth barely moves and yet his vocals are loud and clear. But musically, they're the highlight of the show. After watching the band shuffle through several guitarists after Marty Friedman left, Chris Broderick is a godsend - technically proficient but clearly having fun on stage, a great counterpoint to Mustaine's typically gloomy stage presence. And estranged bassist Dave Ellefson's back! Honestly, the band line-up in this concert is the best since the Friedman/Menza era and I hope it sticks together for a long time.

Slayer's set is... serviceable. Time hasn't been kind to them, and neither have all the twinkies and big macs they've clearly consumed. Tom Araya doesn't even try to hit the scream that opens "Angel of Death" - for that matter, he doesn't bother with half the vocals on several songs - and Kerry King looks winded after two songs. Thankfully, drummer Dave Lombardi hasn't lost a beat and he skillfully saves the set from being forgettable.

Finally, there's Metallica, and their set is a mixed bag. Thankfully, they ignore most of the Load/ReLoad/St. Anger era, playing lots of early tunes and a few from Death Magnetic. They sound great on the newer songs but honestly, they sound a bit tired and sloppy as they rush through some of the older stuff (with the notable exception of "Blackened", which they nail dead-on). It's still a decent set, but James Hetfield's increasing thin voice and recurring problems with the mics on Lars Ulrich's drum kit keep it from being a great one.

Overall, it's still a great concert for us older thrashers to reminisce to and introduce a new generation to the genre. No life 'til leather!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good concert, January 16, 2011
This review is from: Metallica / Slayer / Megadeth / Anthrax: The Big Four - Live From Sofia Bulgaria (DVD)
Having grown up during these bands' heyday, it's nice to see all of them still going strong (some stronger than others).

Anthrax put on an energetic set which was varied as far as the set list goes, well mixed, and flawlessly executed from a musical standpoint. Megadeth's set was ok, but Mustane seems to have lost something as a frontman...the band is really tight, though. Slayer...what can you say? It's hard to replicate the sound & fury of their live shows, but this video did a pretty good job of it. Dave Lombardo is a maniac and the drums were nicely placed in the mix, the guitar players put on a clinic, and Tom's vocal's sounded pretty good (as usual you couldn't hear his bass). This performance makes it worth the price of the DVD alone. I have mixed feelings about the Metallica set. Kirk played brilliantly, as did Robert Trujillo. James' rhythm guitar reminded why he's one of the best, his vocals were pretty good, too, and he had a nice rapport with the crowd. But Lars...I have no idea what happened to him. I know he's going for a more simplified drum sound lately, but it just looked like pure laziness at times (he didn't even try for the double kick rolls in "One", for instance). If Metallica had Lombardo, or Anthrax's drummer onstage instead it would have been an awesome performance. Regardless, it was a good set, happily with mostly classic tunes. Overall, a good show and worth picking up the DVD.
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical, Must have for Anthrax alone, November 7, 2010
This review is from: Metallica / Slayer / Megadeth / Anthrax: The Big Four - Live From Sofia Bulgaria (DVD)
I was never a big fan of Anthrax, mostly because I never really listened to them back then but this performance has made me want to go back and take a better listen.

Anthrax:

In my opinion, Anthrax steals the show that night from watching this DVD. It's supposed to be a celebration of "The Big Four" but it left me wanting to watch more Anthrax. Mainly because they sound incredible and you know for a fact your getting the live feed without any trickery. Everything sounded like you were sitting right in front as it should. All the guys are having a blast and are on top of their game. What a shame they didn't get more time and at night but this is good enough because they schooled everyone else. Every song sounded great and it was a good even surprising mix of what I apparently never heard with the exception of I am the Law, Indians etc.. It was a good sounded diverse set with a hint of Punk from the bass player and a nice thoughtful and brilliantly played Heaven An Hell. I've watched their performance 4 times now and still love it.

Megadeth:

My favorite band out of the four put on a brilliantly played musical set. You can instantly tell from the Anthrax performance and sound quality that Megadeth had a totally different sound going on. More "tinny" Musically and sonically it sounded GREAT but Dave Mustains vocals RUINED the performance. I have seen a lot of Megadeth performances and he usually can pull it off.. sometimes he sounds great, sometimes not but this performance was AWFUL. He usually overdubs the official releases but apparently he didn't have much control over this one. I've read others who say the overdubs suck but unfortunate this is an overdub issue.. This is a vocal issue with Dave.

He needs to seek medical attention or do different songs because this falsetto he's doing sounds silly and embarrassing to sit here and watch it. He seems to really struggle with the higher register.. almost as if he's lost the back of his vocal chords.. I think the rain during their set was a message to the band to get Dave some help or hang it up. Watch it once and it's so embarrassing to see much less hear you will shrink back into your couch. the boys in the back must have been like wtf???

Slayer:

Couldn't hear them.. too damn muddy and the guitars are WAY in the back of the mix.. maybe these guys should get some better gear so we can really hear them? but they looked cool...

Metallica:

Same ole... What are you going to say? It sounded good but I heard Lars screw up a couple times but no biggie..It was Metallica and it's the same songs we've heard over and over..

So in the end I have to say it's worth it from a historical perspective and the added bonus of Anthrax schooling all the pro's that night.. well done
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kick Ass!!!!!!!!!!, November 28, 2010
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This review is from: Metallica / Slayer / Megadeth / Anthrax: The Big Four - Live From Sofia Bulgaria (DVD)
There is no question that this DVD absolutely kicks ass. All four bands sounded and looked great. These bands in their inception represented the underground movement of thrash metal in the 80's. They went on to kick some serious ass and in fact, carry the genre today. This disc is a perfect testament to those days. Joey Belladonna sounded just as I remembered him in the 80's, and the rest were excellent as well. Dave and Megadeth are probably the most solid of the bunch. There is the least variability in their sound, very impressed. Slayer sounded a bit more tired than usual, but this was due to Tom Araya's neck surgery. All things considered, they kicked ass as well. Metallica as always is just simply flawless and raw. Kirk never messes up, and the others, while messing up from time to time, give a heartfelt performance. There is no bologna with these discs; just pure kick ass heavy metal old school style. All four bands on the stage at one time singing Am I Evil? Need I say more? Video and audio are fantastic. Well worth the purchase
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2010 and they can still put on one hell of a show!, June 17, 2011
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Something like this has been a long time coming. I'm extremely glad it happened before any of these bands decided they were done, because having them all on one stage at one event makes this even more special. I'm not for sappy feelings, but being there (and watching it) are quite the experiences.

I've seen recent concerts of Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer, but not Anthrax. I can't believe Joey Belladonna has the charisma and energy that he has for 50. It's mind blowing. I'd say Anthrax and Megadeth tie for the best performances so far (I haven't even made it to disc 2 so I can't comment on Metallica).

Blu-ray quality is great, sound is absolutely fantastic. Video is right on point. At some points I really do feel like I'm standing in the crowd.

Anyone who's a fan of 80s metal owes it to themselves to buy this video. Definitely blows any other recent concert releases out of the water as far as I'm concerned.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very fun watch, well worth the money, July 23, 2011
By 
Josh (Missoula, MT) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Metallica / Slayer / Megadeth / Anthrax: The Big Four - Live From Sofia Bulgaria (DVD)
The Pros:

-Chris Broderick

-Awesome testament to thrash metal

-Nearly all original members together again

-Chris Broderick

The Cons:

-These are all American bands, god forbid they would ever play a monumental, career spanning, historical moment in their own country.

-The notion of a "big four" is pathetic, and is treated like a franchise these days.

-Metallica gets their own disc? That's a horrific bias. Their logo even takes up most of the case, which is just sad.

-After seeing Chris Broderick, everything else just seems like child's play.

-Slayer is child's play these days anyway.

-Mr. Hetfield's melodic singing DOES NOT fit Metallica's music.

I could go on and on. Despite all its faults, this is a great DVD exhibiting all the bands I grew up with. Twas very enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait, March 13, 2011
By 
J. Hill (South Charleston, WV) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Metallica / Slayer / Megadeth / Anthrax: The Big Four - Live From Sofia Bulgaria (DVD)
I definitely had no chance of being in Europe this past summer for the Big 4 tour, and none of my local movie theaters carried the live feed from the Sofia concert featured on these DVD's. When I first heard about this tour earlier this year, I could hardly believe it would happen, and even though I did peek at some of the performances online, I knew the DVD's would come along eventually so I've been waiting for the chance to experience a full show for myself. I'm happy to report that my enthusiasm for this gathering was never in vain, and that the performances, the crowd, and the atmosphere of the entire event gave me chills. The bands are in top form, the crowd is insane to say the least, and there is a magical air to this shameless celebration of the past. Yes, some new material is present, but the crowd and the bands are noticeably more energized on the 80's and early 90's material, when the Big 4 were still the Big 4. And not to belabor the point, but the crowd is so loud and into the music, singing along, chanting, clapping, roaring, it would be hard not to share their enjoyment. All of these musicians have been around for decades, so I have to admit that I had my doubts about whether they could pull off something that would recapture the old times, but I for one am satisfied with what I hear and see on this DVD. Here are what I see as a few highlights of the individual bands.

Anthrax--They get the crowd pumped from the start with an adrenaline-fueled Caught In A Mosh, and it never lets up. I have to say that even though Anthrax has been through some silliness over who's singing for them, it's great to see Joey running around the stage and belting out the old favorites like it's 1988. His voice sounds great to me, and his stage antics haven't changed a bit. The give-and-take between the band and crowd is probably the strongest of any of the bands, as Anthrax are true crowd-pleasers. The set list is all old material, unless you count Only as new. It's the only John Bush song, anyway. Individually, Be All, End All and Indians/Heaven and Hell are stand-out performances. Anthrax left thrash behind for awhile, but it looks like they've returned full force if this show is any indication of their future.

Megadeth--They play more of their post-Rust In Peace catalogue than fans of their early thrash albums will care for, but the crowd seems to enjoy every moment. I would've loved to see them play something from Killing Is My Business, like the title track, or Rattlehead, or Mechanix. But, Mustaine is probably the most talented musician of the night; his fingers look like a piano player's as they race up and down the fretboard. He doesn't have much to say to the crowd during the set, but not even some torrential downpours can stop them from going crazy throughout every song; on a couple of songs, they actually chant louder than the band is playing. They especially seem to love the Rust In Peace and Peace Sells songs, which are my favorites, too, along with In My Darkest Hour and Hook In Mouth. Headcrusher from the new album gets a great reaction, as well.

Slayer--I've seen more live Slayer than any of the Big 4, from the multiple concerts I've been to, to their live albums and DVD's. So other than the World Painted Blood songs and Jihad, I've seen these songs live many times. Slayer is still Slayer, as they've always been, and everyone knows they've changed the least out of these bands over the years. One thing I like a lot is that the songs World Painted Blood and Beauty Through Order are much more potent live than on the CD, and sound more like they fit in with older songs. I also like hearing Dave Lombardo playing drums on Disciple, which somehow makes it sound more like an older Slayer song. Tom, just like Joey and Scott from Anthrax and Dave Mustaine, seems at times in awe of the crowd, which is thunderous during Raining Blood. An amazing visual comes from this set, as the weather clears after the Megadeth set, and during Chemical Warfare, you get an amazing shot from behind Jeff Hanneman of the crowd, the horizon, and the sky. I won't try to describe what it looks like, but it's breathtaking.

Metallica--Just like with Slayer, I've seen tons of live Metallica stuff over the years, and you get what you'd expect from a Metallica show as far as the staples are concerned. Musically, they sound as good as they ever have, and vocally, James still hasn't had that gruff, sometimes vicious tone to his voice since And Justice For All. He sounds fine in this concert, but I don't always like hearing songs like Harvester of Sorrow done with clean vocals. Besides that, I thought the inclusion of songs like Harvester, Blackened, and Hit the Lights offered an older flavor to the show with songs I haven't seen performed a hundred times. Also to that end is the fact that no songs from Load or St. Anger made the cut, which I don't think you'll hear many metal fans complaining about. The crowd response to show opener Creeping Death is one of those awesome, spine-tingling moments that sets the tone for the incredible energy the audience maintains for the rest of Metallica's set. For two hours, nobody from the back to the front of the massive crowd stands still for a second, and not a single person fails to contribute to the wall of backing noise behind each song.

After highlights that include the aforementioned songs, an incredible pyro show introducing One, and the heavier, thrashier edge the Death Magnetic songs have live, the night concludes with possibly the greatest encore in metal history, when Metallica returns to the stage a few minutes after Enter Sandman. As any metal fan knows and has already watched online, all four bands join forces onstage and jam to Am I Evil, something that should be seen and savored by anyone who has ever listened to heavy metal music. The sight of Dave Mustaine playing alongside Metallica again is something I thought I'd never see, but it happened, and it was awesome. After the historic jam, Metallica finishes the show with supercharged renditions of Hit the Lights and Seek and Destroy, wrapping up a legendary event in vintage fashion. Like I said, this show is a celebration of metal music, the past, and the fans, and I'm glad I finally got to see it.

These DVD's capture a very special event, and I think anyone who likes these bands would enjoy them tremendously. I've shown clips to a few people who don't even like metal, and they had to admit the atmosphere is electric. The connection between the bands and the huge crowd is a spectacle to behold. If you were ever into these bands, this is a show you should see.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well, where do I start?, January 14, 2011
By 
Red Ball Jets (Richmond, Va. USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Metallica / Slayer / Megadeth / Anthrax: The Big Four - Live From Sofia Bulgaria (DVD)
I read lots of mixed reviews on this DVD. Most seemed to slam Megadeth and praise Anthrax and Metallica so I wasn't sure what to expect but I figured considering the price of the DVD and 4 bands, there's gonna be somewhere I'll get my money's worth?

In some cases, negative reviews come from the fans themselves complaining about two songs they thought should have been played but didn't or a drum solo in the middle, a medley or whatever.

Well, we've watched this video 9 times and here's the verdict and out of all four bands, I favor no one band over another so this is completely un-biased.

Overall, this DVD won't disappoint. It's very entertaining. The lighting and camera work are first rate.

I'm going to assume each band was given the opportunity in the final mix of the music because every band sounds different.

Anthrax and Megadeth had the most balanced sound. Slayer was very thin and sounded awful and Lars wanted to make sure the world heard his awful (and off time) drumming loud and clear over the rest of the band in Metallica's set.

Vocals - I think all the singers struggled... I'd give the nod to Mustaine out of the 4 and I've never been a Mustaine fan.

Overall performance - Megadeth hand's down ACED it... Anthrax had a very tight set too. Metallica at times had difficulty keeping time and James struggled with the vocals. Slayer's performance itself was good but was overshadowed by poor sound and an aged singer.

James Hetfield made a good point towards the end of the video. He said, "we've been around almost 30 years" and he's right. These guys aren't 20 year old kids anymore and at some points it shows.

I'd suggest buying this video, I think there's something in it that could entertain everybody... Enjoy!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing to see these 4 finally play on stage together after almost 30 years, January 10, 2011
By 
JKat (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Metallica / Slayer / Megadeth / Anthrax: The Big Four - Live From Sofia Bulgaria (DVD)
I agree with most of the other reviews here. Anthrax and Megadeth's setlists and performances were great. Dave Mustaine's (Megadeth) vocals sounded really bad in the theaters but seem to sound better on the DVD. Metallica was great too, but I'm a little tired hearing all of those same songs again, and Slayer was definitely the worst of the four.

The highlight was definitely seeing them all play Am I Evil on stage together, especially seeing Dave Mustaine up there with Metallica after all those years of bad blood between them.
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Metallica / Slayer / Megadeth / Anthrax: The Big Four - Live From Sofia Bulgaria
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