5. Stream of Passion – Memento
Unfortunately Dutch band Stream of Passion announced their disbandment at the end of 2016 after a final UK tour (our review of the Glasgow show) and some hometown shows. As the name suggests the band wanted to leave fans a memento of their time together since they saw this as much of a happy occasion as a sad one. It captures another stellar performance from a band who chose to go out on a high note.
4. Sabaton – Heroes on Tour
Sabaton are one of the cheesiest bands on the planet but anyone’s who’s been fortunate to catch them live know that their performance is second to none. Captured at the Wacken Open Air festival in 2015, this live DVD shows off what people love about Sabaton; the fun, the energy (particularly of frontman Joakim Brodén), the corny jokes and the insanely catchy songs.
3. Nightwish – Vehicle of Spirit
It’s a rare treat when a concert that you’ve attended has been recorded and released as an official live album that you can relive time and time again (our review of that show can be read here). Nightwish’s show in Wembley was a special one for me, having never seen them before and also never been in a venue quite that large. Vehicle of Spirit comes hot on the tail of their previous live album but featuring two of the band’s biggest shows (the Wembley one mentioned and also an unofficial anniversary show in Tampere), we can excuse them for wanting to celebrate such occasions.
2. Leprous – Live at Rockefeller Music Hall
Leprous’s sole Irish performance back in 2014 remains one of the best live performances that I’ve been lucky enough to see. Anticipation for this release, the band’s first live album, were through the roof with previews and its subsequent release confirming that this is indeed a phenomenal release. If vocalist Einar Solberg is to be believed, that this is the raw performance with no overdubs, then this is a seriously impressive release.
1. The Gathering – TG25: Live At Doornroosje
While The Gathering have announced that they will go on hiatus they left us a couple of gifts, one of which being this live album. Two shows were recorded that day with the best cuts put together in what has become one of my all-time favourite albums. It also features, for the first time, all of the band’s vocalists past and present to deliver unique takes on the tracks. It’s only a shame we didn’t get the accompanying video footage to match the superb audio but there are many fan compiled videos such as the one below which work just as well.