Chuck Schuldiner is without doubt a death metal pioneer. He has
consistently expanded the boundaries of the genre while never
giving up and ounce of integrality. For me, Death has always been
a top-notch band and one that I have been a fan of since I first
heard the band in 1991 with the release of the monumental album
HUMAN. So here I am 10 years later reflecting back upon a band's
career that has touched and influenced many. As everyone knows,
Chuck was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer on his 31st birthday.
Since the US healthcare system is fucked, especially for someone
without healthcare insurance, Chuck turned to friends, family
and fans for support. He is still fighting his battle with cancer
to this very day. If you want more information on Chuck's current
condition drop by the Death / Control Denied website at emptywords.org.
To help Chuck's financial
situation, his label decided to release the first ever Death live
album - LIVE IN L.A.. The album was recorded at the legendary
Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles on Death's 1998 North American tour
with Hammerfall. Backing up Chuck on this tour was Richard Christy
(drums), Scott Clendenin (bass) and Shannon Hamm (guitar). The
recording of this gig was never meant to be released to the world.
As such it was a soundboard recording. That said, the recording
is VERY good and I speak in all honestly here to tell you this
is now one of my favorite live albums! The band sounds in top
shape - raw, energetic, ripping, pure DEATH! Richard Christy's
drumming is phenomenal and the leads are nailed. There is very
little stage banter, I kind of like a bit more stage banter on
a live album, but that's not crucial because it's the music that
counts! I could not of picked a better song selection myself because
the focus is on my favorite Death albums, namely: HUMAN (1991),
INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT PATTERNS (1993), SYMBOLIC (1995) and the seventh
and final Death studio album from 1998, THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE.
The only song not on here that came to mind is "Lack of Comprehension."
Not a big deal, this is still awesome stuff. I won't bother giving
a description of the songs on here, all fans of extreme metal
should already know it inside out! On the introduction of the
last song, "Pull The Plug", Chuck announces that they
have to cut out a few songs because they were running out of time,
too bad!! Clocking in at just over 70mins, this is still and excellent
live performance and one which was a long time in coming.
LIVE IN L.A. will
be out this month (October 2001) on the 16th. Accompanying` this
CD will be a DVD release of the same concert. I can't wait to
get my hands on that one!!! Lets hope that this is not the last
chapter in the career of the metal god Chuck Schuldiner. Hopefully
he will persevere, Death will one day return and that his new
band, Control Denied, will be kicking asses in the very near future!
Long Live DEATH!
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