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Alive in Death - 39%

MacMoney, December 23rd, 2005

One of a pair of live CD/DVDs released to alleviate Chuck's money problems due to his cancer. A live album certainly was warranted after seven commercially succesful releases but two, with the same line-up and an almost identical setlist? I personally would've wanted to hear some older live material with varied sets and a different line-up. One aspect that I also sorely missed on Live in Eindhoven - and on Death & Raw too for that matter - is Chuck's death vocals. The vocals are the same kind, albeit rawer, as heard on, The Sound of Perseverance i.e. very high compared to what he used on say Leprosy or Human. The instruments too sound like they are mixed higher than usual and perhaps more digital than would be preferable.

Concentrating on the instrumentalists performances, Scott Clendenin is consistently decent. Nothing remarkable but his technical prowess is noteworthy. Shannon Hamm's feats aren't up to his predecessors. His guitaring on the songs from Symbolic and The Sound of Perseverance are good but when he tries to play Larocque's or Malone's parts he just falls flat in his face. Richard Christy performs similarly with Hamm. He does well on Symbolic and TSOP-songs but the drum parts on Human and Individual Thought Patterns songs are remarkably duller.

These facts combined make the listening of this album a cringe-worthy effort. The new production and lacking performance leaves the best part of the album a travesty. Later Death albums are such finesse works that they require more optimal working environment than this. The songs from Symbolic and The Sound of Perseverance work better due to Chuck's and the band's recent acquaintance with them and the albums' presence being closer to the sound of the band on this release. Only persons fond of latter era Death should perceive the requisite to procure.