Review: Live in L.A.
Webzine: Metal Judgment
Written by: Hel

Published: December 2001


I am a terrible procrastinator. There have been things that I have sworn up and down that I will do, and finally accomplished six months later. I intended to write a review of this record since the moment it arrived. I never dreamed, however, that I would end up writing it posthumously.

When I first learned of Chuck's death a couple of weeks ago, I went to my CD changer and filled it with Death. It only holds five, so I couldn't put them all in, but I listened to those five on random shuffle for hours that day. I suppose I was hoping that it would help console me somehow, yet as I write this, I cannot help but grow teary-eyed. In a year that carried so much loss and death, it should seem odd to me that one of the people I mourn most is one I never even met.

Chuck was the sort of personality that you felt close to, without even needing to meet him. Mostly, I'm sure, because he was a kindred metal spirit. But it may have also been partially because I was fortunate enough to see Death live on the Sound of Perseverance tour. I have witnessed a lot of live metal, particularly since I moved to NYC a few years ago, and Chuck's stage presence was one of the most memorable and impressive that I have ever experienced. I felt privileged to be in the audience at the time, and looking back, I had no idea how lucky I truly was.

This album is an opportunity to experience Chuck live, for those who were not so fortunate. Additionally, it is a nice collection of some of Death's most notable songs (including classics like "Zombie Ritual" and, of course, "Pull the Plug"), and could act as a "greatest hits" of sorts for the curious. It is not precisely an accurate depiction of the skill and perfection of performance captured by the original releases, and I urge anyone truly serious about embracing Death for the very first time to seek those out, and realize that this collection is not a substitution for their studio work.

I urge all Death fans who do not already own Live in L.A. to seek it out. For those of us lucky enough to have attended a live performance by this legendary band, it allows us to close our eyes and be there once again. His minimalist banter between songs and the appreciative sounds of the audience are comforting somehow.

Above all, I think it is important for us to remember at this time, that while Chuck is now gone, his legacy lives on, and we all owe him for all he has done for the metal community. I would encourage anyone who can to contribute to his medical fund. Though the man is gone, his medical bills surely remain, and certainly his family could use the support now more than ever. The donation information is still available at the official Death site,, and they have also set up a nice memorial page. Long live Death, Chuck's memory will never die.

5 out of 5


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EmptyWords-Published on February 8 2002