Aletheian - DVD
2004-2005 were very busy year's for Aletheian. New band members, new band name, touring as much as possible, re-releases for Apolutrosis and ...hope prevails, and an upcoming new album 'dying vine'. Aletheian had been filming some live sets at festivals, and thought why not host a DVD shoot as well. Maybe a live DVD would compliment the release of a new album? Maybe an actual music video to support a single from the album? Maybe document the process of recording a cd, making a music video, and filming a live dvd, and put it all into a behind-the-scenes look into life as a DIY band/label?
In the fall of 2004, Joel booked a club called "The Attic" in Hagerstown, MD (Joel's hometown) for an official DVD live concert filming. Some props and backdrops were designed, as well as lights and smoke etc... and several camera operators were enlisted for multiple angles. Alex brought along a mobile recording studio setup, and all of the instruments (guitars and drums) were close mic-ed so that the audio could be individually tracked and mixed/mastered later. Some behind the scenes footage was taken to document the event taking shape. Ultimately the DVD would feature a full live-set with mixed and mastered live audio, and live footage from multiple angles.
Of course, with any live event like this, especially when the director of video, and the director of audio are both in-the-band; there are snags along the way. The lights and large volume of people in a small venue created excessive amounts of heat, far more than the average live show. The band members struggled mightily to perform under the heat-stroke inducing conditions. Also, the audio feed from the vocal mic ended up clipping for the majority of the recording, and the live vocals had to be deleted and added back in post-production. This is not an ideal solution by any means, but the only option available to not lose everything. The end result is a fun live video, with good live sound, hopefully enjoyable for any fan.
Also in the winter of 2004-2005, Joel decided to film a music video for the track "As the Fall Breaks". The lyrics of the song are dedicated to the memory of two friends who died far too early. Joel chose this song to do a concept music video because the story might translate well onto film. Joel also wanted to create a memorial to his friends, while also making a music video that fit the song, the style of music, and could be experienced by everyone. Joel took on the project as the writer, director, videographer, actor, band member, editor, etc.. With the help of the band and some other friends, the "As the Fall Breaks" video turned out pretty well, and is featured on the DVD.
Beginning in the fall of 2004, and finally completing in the summer of 2005, Aletheian recorded the full-length album 'dying vine'. Alex was the recording engineer, producer, sound tech, mixing/mastering engineer, as well as band member, guitarist, and bassist. Alex and Joe built a recording studio in the band practice space (which was the home of Joe Walmer) on a budget of less than $200. Not long after tracking all of the drums for the album, Alex had an accident with a box-cutter blade and severed a tendon in his left thumb. This is a major problem for a guitar player, especially right before the recording sessions of a new album. Alex had reconstructive surgery by an excellent hand specialist, which was followed by months of intense rehab and physical therapy. Alex continued to work on the drum tracks, and also had Donny track all of his guitar parts and solos during his rehabilitation period. All of this, as well as more of the 'dying vine' recording process is documented in a behind-the-scenes tour of the DIY process. The end result was an album that received rave reviews, and doubtfully anyone would ever know was so low budget or stifled by injury.
In all, this dvd is a decent quality, totally self-produced dvd full of material that should be interesting to fans of the band, as well as fans of independent music in general.