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Death: Vivus!

When all is said and done, the band Death will be looked at as one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time. Strong statement you say? Well, for one, the late Chuck Schuldiner & crew basically helped create the 'death metal' genre back in the late 80's. In addition, the band helped form what is now known as 'technical & progressive melodic extreme metal' with their fabulous output of the mid-late 90s through albums such as Human, Individual Thought Patterns, Symbolic and The Sound of Perserverance. Vivus! is a new 2 CD live set containing both the 'Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998' show at the Whisky a Go Go and the 'Live In Eindhoven - 1998' show from the Dynamo Open Air festival. The band at the time was the final incarnation of the group, consisting of Schuldiner on guitar and vocals, guitarist Shannon Hamm , Scott Clendenin on bass, and drummer Richard Christy.

While both these shows have been available previously (Live in L.A. officially, and Eindhoven on bootlegs), having each of them with improved sound quality in one set is a real sweet deal. Yes, the sound quality is still far from perfect, but that's what kind of gives these recordings a certain charm. This is raw, intense, and powerful Death at the height of their powers. Plenty of classic songs to be found on both CDs, and while there is a bit of overlap from each show (both were recorded on the same tour of The Sound of Perserverance), you do get a couple of variations on each. Highlights? Well, there are many, namely the crushing "Crystal Mountain", "Zero Tolerance", the death metal classic "Zombie Ritual", and the lethal "Spirit Crusher" just to name a few. The guitar work of both Schuldiner & Hamm is rock solid, heavy, and technical, while Christy's drum work stellar throughout. If a song like "Pull the Plug", or "Symbolic" for that matter, doesn't grab you and show you why this band was so important to the world of metal, then I'm afraid there's no hope for you.

Plain and simple, Vivus! is a must have for Death fans and those into technical, progressive extreme metal. It's Death at the apex of their career, and sadly, near the end as well.

Track Listing
Disc 1:
1. The Philosopher (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 3:40
2. Spirit Crusher (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 6:26
3. Trapped In A Corner (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 4:25
4. Scavenger Of Human Sorrow (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 6:39
5. Crystal Mountain (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 4:47
6. Flesh And The Power It Holds (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 8:01
7. Zero Tolerance (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 5:00
8. Zombie Ritual (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 4:41
9. Suicide Machine (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 4:14
10. Together As One (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 4:11
11. Empty Words (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 7:03
12. Symbolic (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 6:16
13. Pull The Plug (Live In L.A. Death & Raw - 1998) 6:22

Disc 2:
1. The Philosopher (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 4:21
2. Trapped In A Corner (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 4:39
3. Crystal Mountain (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 5:01
4. Suicide Machine (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 4:19
5. Together As One (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 4:04
6. Zero Tolerance (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 4:50
7. Lack Of Comprehension (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 3:46
8. Flesh And The Power It Holds (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 8:40
9. Flattening Of Emotions (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 4:26
10. Spirit Crusher (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 6:55
11. Pull The Plug (Live In Eindhoven - 1998) 5:21

Added: March 10th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Chuck Schuldiner Website
Hits: 2157
Language: english

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