MARCEL COENEN – A Live Time Journey

MARCEL COENEN - A Live Time Journey


Lion Music
Release date: September 22, 2006

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Dutch guitarist and shredder Marcel Coenen (Sun Caged) had released his second solo album earlier this year, Colour Journey, to rave reviews. To celebrate the release of that CD, Marcel decided to have a “release party” on January 28, 2006 in his native homeland of the Netherlands. The intention was not to throw a typical release party, but a live show playing the entire Colour Journey album live with almost all of the guest musicians who had appeared on the album. Such was born the concept for Marcel’s A Live Time Journey DVD.

Due to the complex nature of some of his Neo-classical and Progressive material, Marcel had to call in some additional help. He chose guitarist Frank Schiphorst (Symmetry) and keyboardist Rene Ubachs (Arabesque). For all other instruments, Marcel used the players who had performed their respective roles on the album itself.

Marcel Coenen doesn’t look like your stereotypical “shred guitarist.” His stature and positive, upbeat, fun demeanor causes his on-stage persona to exude as a cross between Leslie West/Jon Oliva. Marcel’s guitar tone sounds remarkable on the well-done stereo soundtrack, which, by the way, sounds great with headphones on. When backed up by Schiphorst, the resulting combined guitar sound is very thick and heavy.

Video-wise, some flaws come across when the musicians are poised against orange or red lighting. The video in these lighting conditions tends to bleed, losing some focus and appearing not as crisp as shots against white or yellow lighting. Marcel speaks to the crowd in Dutch, so the English subtitles are a welcome addition as are the song titles being displayed before each track. The cameras tend to be all over the stage and not always primarily focused on main man Marcel, which becomes a bit annoying, especially during one of his solos. In fact, Schiphorst almost seems to more than occasionally get the crisper, clearer camera angle (a below waist line perspective) while a lot of the Coenen footage is from his right side.

The video flaws are nitpicks as the material more than makes up for it. Highlights from the eighty minutes of live material include “Abstract Impact,” “The Shrink,” “Traumatized To The Bone” (with five singers on stage, including Marcel), “Shoreline” (from the Guitartalk release), “New Race,” and “Waiting” (with Mike Andersson of Cloudscape on lead vocals). Three tracks are from Marcel’s first solo album, Guitartalk, which he recorded using primarily programmed instruments as a backup band, so to hear them in a live, fully-manned environment is a treat! There’s some substantial “shuffling” on stage between songs to mic additional vocalists, change drummers, etc., but Marcel does a commendable job talking to the audience through these times.

Marcel believes that “a DVD is worth buying if it has some extra stuff as well.” To that end, Marcel has packed this one tight with bonus features. Two live cover songs including Alice In Chains’ “The Rooster,” and an entertaining cover of Whitesnake’s “Still Of The Night.” Cloudscape’s Mike Andersson is no David Coverdale, but he deserves an “A” for effort for tackling this Whitesnake track. The thick, twin guitar sound of Coenen/Schipforst makes for one heavy rendition of this Whitesnake cover. Also included is a scrolling written biography of Coenen and the story behind the DVD, live footage of Marcel playing at a clinic in Thailand, a photo gallery, and “Behind The Scenes” footage shot by a camcorder with Coenen himself shooting some of the scenes. There is also a hidden bonus track; a guitar solo. So, the additional “live” bonus features extends the live set beyond ninety minutes total!

Bottom line, there’s no doubting that Coenen can shred with the best of them. That fact alone will make this DVD a must buy for guitar fanatics everywhere, and will probably lead to additional sales of Colour Journey. Regardless of any flaws or nitpicks, the wealth of bonus features and the quality of the live music earn this one a must buy recommendation! It’s a shame that Lion Music didn’t make this one a live CD/DVD combo, as the live renditions of the Guitartalk material would have been a welcome novelty to own as well.

Track Listing DVD
Abstract Impact * Verbal Defense Mechanism * The Shrink * La Bella Mira * Traumatized To The Bone * Still Bleeding * Patron Saint * Moyra * That Moment * The Skill Factor * Inner Alchemy * Shoreline * New Race * Waiting

DVD Bonus Features:
Hidden Bonus Track: Guitar Solo * Live Cover Renditions of “Still Of The Night” and “The Rooster” * Biography and DVD Story * Live Footage Of Thailand Guitar Show * Behind The Scenes Footage * Photo Gallery

Line-Up (on Live Material):
Marcel Coenen – Guitars
Frank Schiphorst – Guitars
Rene Ubachs – Keyboards


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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