Reviews: Live in L.A. (CD+DVD+VHS)
Magazine: The Metal Observer / Germany
Written by: Mark McKenna (CD)
Wes Jaques (DVD)
Bram van Cauter (VHS)
Published: Nov. 2002 / July 2003




Typically I find live albums to be as worthwhile as a corporate created holiday. Although we're all led to believe that they have something to offer to the consumer, in actuality its sole purpose is to make money off of the unsuspecting (or like me, stupid) consumer. Every once and a while though, a record label will do something right, and release a quality live album, one in which the songs are played with the feeling and intensity that the studio cannot capture, but can only be witnessed in a live setting.

"Live In L.A." finds itself along side other great live albums, but it does have one flaw. The best part of this disc is the fact that, as the title indicates, it's raw. Apparently not a single note was changed from the original live recording, and there's nothing on this disc that would indicate otherwise. The sound itself is crisp and clear, leaving enough room to hear all the instruments properly. The performance is, of course, fantastic, and it's great to hear Chuck talking to the crowd between songs. Not just for the fact that it adds to the live feeling of the disc, but just to hear his voice. It's obvious just from the few words that you hear that he was close to his fans, that he really loved what he did, and that he was a genuinely kind person.

The only real problem with this is, as good as it is, it's still an above average 'best-of' compilation. Something like this needs a little spice in the packaging and booklet to make it really worthwhile to the casual fan, and this is where they fail. A blurry picture of each band member, a group shot, tour dates and a track list, that's it. Something like this needs a whole group of pictures, group shots with fans, liner notes, stuff like that. Without them, the CD seems rushed.

As a final testament in DEATH's history, a live album is ideal. It shows Chuck in the environment he loved, doing what he did best.

Mark McKenna





Maybe at one point in time I would not have the same opinion, but this DVD should have had some sort of packaging, that's all.

DEATH had been cranking out quality fucking metal for a long time and when they get their DVD out, the record label slaps it together in a lame black and white box with zero extra features. That's right, nothing - no packaging, no features for a band who has been going the extra mile for how long? DEATH deserves more.

I bet Nuclear Blast felt like a piece of shit after Chuck passed, but we do have the show, chock full of great songs. It was recorded at he world famous Whisky A Go-Go in L.A., a small yet suitable club for the legendary death metal-outfit to slay.

Playing pieces all the way from the classic "Scream Bloody Gore" to the last piece of magic we got from Chuck "The Sound Of Perseverance", they throw in some killers, even Chuck’s fave, "Pull The Plug". The final lineup had some big shoes to fill with the previous lineups including Andy LaRoque, Steve DiGiorgio and Gene Hoglan, to name a few, but they handled it with grace and class.

A first-class performance but unfortunately not a single stretch toward the miles that Chuck deserved. Will the metal world miss this genius? One watch and you will understand.

Wes Jacques





Well, I can keep this review quite short. This video kicks some major ass! Forgive me starting to sound like a fucken' US redneck but I can't stop being in total awe of this monster metal feast!

DEATH fans should already have this one in his/her collection, but those who don't: go kill yourself you poser! Anyway take a look at the track list, songs range from all the way back to the cult "Scream Bloody Gore" days to the more sophisticated work of the "The Sound Of Perseverance" album. The sound quality is nearly perfect (the drums being very loud in the mix, which honestly doesn't bother me since Richard Christy is one fucking amazing octopus!): a dry as fuck drum sound, the trademark crisp guitar sound and the bass nicely audible.

The image quality is pretty good (I've seen better), the filming is quite sober. All in all this is a very honest and rewarding 72 minutes of one of the best metal bands out there...

Get it, DEATH will never die!

Bram van Cauter


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Edited for Empty©Words 01-16-05