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Asia: High Voltage DVD

Album Review

The (O)mega group in action at the much-missed festival.

Filmed four years ago on the Prog-sponsored stage at the inaugural (and much-missed) High Voltage Festival in London’s Victoria Park, this audio-visual digipack captures the original line-up of Asia during a tour for their second reunion album, Omega.

However, all but two of its 11 selections are culled from the band’s multi-platinum-selling debut from 1982. This is the only video document of the classic Asia grouping performing those same songs in their entirety (though, if we’re being pernickity, the air of celebration is perhaps pricked very slightly by the fact they’re not played in sequential order). It takes a while to get the audio balance right during opener Only Time Will Tell, but barring the odd flat backing vocal, once there the band sound absolutely magnificent. Steve Howe’s guitar sings in harmonious tandem with the tumultuous, parping keys of Geoffrey Downes and, as well as flexing his famously luxurious larynx, bass player John Wetton locks down the low end tightly with sticksman Carl Palmer. It’s to Asia’s great credit that their two newer selections – the wistful An Extraordinary Life (from 2008 comeback disc Phoenix) and Omega’s own I Believe – are not dwarfed by the sheer enormity of the other music offered here.

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