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Live in L.A.: Death & Raw

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(22 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • When Chuck Schuldiner tragically passed away, it was the end of one of, if not the, greatest death metal bands of all time. Death was one of the very, very few bands in the genre that combined the trademark death metal assault with actual thought provoking and intelligent lyrics that made the band a force to be reckoned with, and Chuck’s lyrics, voice, and guitar playing are what highlighted every single Death album ever recorded. This live album captures Chuck and co. in Los Angeles, and even though the sound mix is very raw, it still showcases Death doing what they do best: playing blistering, intelligent death metal. The set list isn’t going to be perfect for any Death fan, but the live renditions of “Trapped in a Corner”, “Crystal Mountain”, “Zero Tolerance”, “Suicide Machine”, “Symbolic”, and “Pull the Plug” are pure death metal bliss. Though not all will dig it, this is essential listening for Death fans, and a time capsule of one of the greatest acts to ever grace the genre.

    Posted on December 8, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • First of all, the production on this album is extremely rough, as many have said. It’s very loud, definitely, but the clarity and depth are often lacking. Still, you can readily make out what they’re playing the vast majority of the time, though some of the fastest stuff can just degenerate into an ill-defined wall of noise. The mix is off too, as the drums are pushed way out in front. Finally, Chuck’s voice doesn’t sound nearly as good as it does on the studio versions, but that’s about what you’d anticipate on most live albums. The setlist is good and bad. Good in the sense that Death were consistently brilliant enough that everything on here is excellent. Bad in the sense that it’s still missing many of my very favorite Death tracks.(Flattening of Emotions, Overactive Imagination, Jealousy, In Human Form, 1000 Eyes, Moment of Clarity, Story to Tell) Still, the tracklisting of a live album is almost never going to be 100% ideal, but for me, anyway, Death & Raw doesn’t even come very close. But, there’s definitely no denying the excellence of the material that is here, so I can’t complain too much

    The performances are excellent and filled with passion and intensity. They’re not completely flawless, but they’re about as good as you could hope considering the complexity of much of the stuff they’re playing. Richard Christy absolutely destroys his drumkit, giving one of the most intricate and devastating drum performances I’ve ever heard. Furthermore, they change up the solos quite a bit, frequently making them more shred oriented. I won’t necessarily say I think the changed solos are better than the studio versions, but they’re still awesome, and it’s interesting to here some different work.

    This album definitely isn’t ideal, but it actually turned out fairly well considering the circumstances of it’s creation and release. And,we’re not gonna get anything better than this, obviously, so it’ll have to do. People who don’t like live albums certainly won’t be converted by this, and relatively casual Death fans would probably either find a live album from them rather redundant, or consider the production to rough to be worth listening to. Personally, however, I think Death were as good a nominee for the title of ‘Best Metal Band Ever’ as any, and that makes this album more than worth owning and listening to, for me. So, I guess this all comes down to the same bottom line as pretty much all live albums: If you don’t think live albums are always a waste of time, and really, really like the band, check it out. If no to either of those, don’t bother.

    Posted on December 7, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • first off, the people who reviewed this below who said the drums sound bad are out of their minds. get rid of your 1980’s boombox that has 2 inch tweeters in it. sure, its “raw” but thats the name of the album. its not some over-produced thing that sounds like a studio recording (with faded in “cheers”… woooo!) but it doesnt sound like a bootleg either. second, richard christy shines when he plays with Death. just flat out beautiful brass work. you can listen to this thing just for the drumwork and be blown away. some of the fills he adds into the older songs like “suicide machine” with the double ride/double bass stuff is flat out disgusting. third, this is chuck. hes a metal deity basically. all you have to say is “chuck” and everyone knows who youre talking about. if you cant enjoy this guys work, seriously, just stop listening to metal altogether.

    Posted on December 7, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Death is a great band and one of my favorites.This live album is more of a greatist hits album and a live album at the same time which most live albums are not.This album has great sound quality they play every song perfectly and Chuck screams and squeals so well.The songs on here are amazing I mean you have ”Scavenger Of Human Sorrow”, ”Symbolic”, The Philosopher”, ”Pull The Plug”, I mean it doesn’t get any better than this I recoomend this for any Death fan or any metal fan because this is truly a great album and a great band that will be miss.Chuck Schuldiner was a brilliant guitarist/songwriter/singer his work and his passion will be missed forever he is truly and inspiration to me with the music he makes.R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner.

    Posted on December 7, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • There originally weren’t plans to release a Death live CD at all. But due to the deterioration of the condition of mainman Chuck Schuldiner (after a mild recovery), and the need for very expensive surgery, it was decided to release the recordings of the TSOP tour to collect some money. Live in L.A. belongs in every metalhead’s collection and will hopefully contribute to Chuck’s healing process. The vanguard in technical death metal, bar none, Death– setting the original standard for those who can appreciate an odd time signature– always had the keen insight and ability to make songs listenable as well as complex. And translated live and well, raw, Death sounds just fine, if not admirable in all its intense ‘n complex glory. The fact that Live in L.A. comes off as a veritable Best Of package doesn’t hurt either, as all of the signature staples (“Pull The Plug”, “Empty Words”) and fan favorites (“The Philosopher”, “Scavenger Of Human Sorrow”) are here. The production is crisp and clear, and thankfully not the murky bass-heavy monitor sound we’ve been hearing on live records as of late. Word is that not a note was changed from the original L.A. performance, and that this is the last Death album.

    Posted on December 7, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now