Review: Live in L.A.
Magazine: Kondemned / UK
Written by: Ray Westland
Published: 2003

When the tragic news came that Chuck Schuldiner was diagnosed with a potential lethal form of cancer and he could hardly pay his medical bills, many bands and organisations rushed to his aide and organised several benefit concerts in order to raise money. Despite all the good efforts he sadly passed away in December 2001 and with him Death and Control Denied. Death’s final home, German based label Nuclear Blast, released one final Death-album, called “Live in L.A (Death and Raw)”. This album is on the review bench now.

Giving a track by track description of a live album is quite futile, so I’m going to review the album as a whole. Starting with the track list you’ll notice that most tracks come from the last three Death albums. This may upset fans of the early Death era, but it’s a well known fact Chuck was never a big fan of his early output, that’s explains there are only two songs from the first three albums.

On this album you hear a tight band in great shape playing their guts out. I can’t help to be blown away by the sheer skill and musicianship of the final line-up. Just listen to the guitars and the drums and you know what I mean. The band values the message of letting the music do the talking, because Chuck doesn’t seek much contact with the audience, besides introducing a few songs and thanking them.

One can argue that may be a minor point, but not being a fan of too talkative singers I don’t care much. Moreover the sheer quality of the performance and the staggering musicianship make more than up for that. The sound quality is raw and unpolished, but that doesn’t bother at all and it adds to the live feel of this album.

Verdict: Buy or die!


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Edited for Empty©Words 03-02-05