without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
I got this DVD as part of a box set from Earache with Morbid Angel, Municipal Waste and At The Gates live sets. I decided to watch this one first because Deicide are one band i've wanted to see live for ages. It's not a great release. The camera work is a bit shoddy and the sound quality isn't excellent, but for what it is, it's very enjoyable.
The setlist is missing a few greats (only one song from Legion on the entire thing), but it does contain some Deicide classics, including Sacrificial Suicide, Lunatic of God's Creation, Dead But Dreaming and some of the highlights of the newest album (at the time) The Stench of Redemption. Homage For Satan, Desecration, but oddly no Crucified For The Innocence.
This is the first live release with guitarists Jack Owen and Ralph Santolla, and they give a fresh feel to the older songs, modernizing them almost. Glen Benton is still a great vocalist, his growls and screams both sounding as good as they ever have. His bass is noticeably absent. During Homage For Satan he stops playing his bass altogether, then starts playing it again, but there's no obvious change to the sound. Santolla and Owen's solos are top notch, sounding exactly as they do on the studio versions, but the riffs are a bit too quiet in the mix, drowned out by Steve's loud drums, which are played expertly, as one would expect from Steve Asheim.
There's one more person on this DVD that makes it all that more enjoyable to watch. The security guard in the Exhumed t-shirt, who spends the set sat on a stool behind Owen, occasionally jumping up to shove crowd surfers back into the pit.
The bonus features consist of interviews, which is mainly Steve Asheim praising Jack Owen to the high heavens, and Glen and Ralph discussing religion and stupid kids who take Deicide too seriously. The interview isn't essential viewing, but it's worth watching if you're a fan. The other bonus features are music videos for Homage For Satan and Desecration. The Desecration video is just live clips set to the studio version, whereas the Homage For Satan video has a group of zombies spreading disease, before infecting a priest who spreads the disease through preaching. It looks like a horror b-movie, but it's still a decent video, and a nice extra.
This DVD is mainly for the fans. People who think the band stopped being good after the self-titled won't be interested at all. Everyone else, get it, but don't spend too much on it.
With one DVD release already under their belt, and a bandwagon of controversy left in their wake, Floridian death metal band, Deicide, set off to release their second DVD with some anticipation from fans to see more of what made their first DVD, When London Burns, so well- done. The second attempt, though failed miserably. In concept, another Deicide DVD would be welcomed by many fans, especially after the great turn-around of the band with their release of The Stench of Redemption and prior evidence from their first DVD. In execution, the DVD did not work.
Deicide had a very good set list, their best lineup that they could muster, but nothing could bring the band out of the pit that they had dug with the horror (bad horror not good) that this DVD became. Their show consisted of mainly older favorites with their newest songs put in at different intervals. The band seemed to put in a great effort, though the sound was absolutely horrendous with the, as always, inaudible bass, the guitars were tuned way too high and the drums were almost as inaudible as the bass at points. The production was alright consisting of some different camera angles, but little view of the crowd or any mosh pits whatsoever.
The worst part of this whole sordid dilemma was the extra features section of the disc. This features interviews with Glen Benton and Jack Owen on one camera and Ralph Stantolla and Steve Asheim on another. These interviews include Asheim speaking seriously about the band and the other three screwing around. At one point a person actually falls into the camera in front of the interview waking up Jack Owen for a few seconds as he drifts back into his peaceful inebriated slumber.
There are two other extra features on this disc as well which include music videos for their singles Desecration and Homage for Satan. Desecration is a clip from a live performance set to the studio version of the song whereas Homage for Satan is a full music video featuring satanic zombies infecting the pathetic religious that they come across. The zombies eventually find a priest, infect him and he overturns his Babble to rouse the denizens of Hell circled about him with prayer to Satan. This music video is really the only redeeming part of this whole debacle, but with my copy of this disc, the clip did not burn onto the disc in the factory.
To conclude, Doomsday L.A. is a very flawed, very cheap Deicide release that, though holding their best work so far, is done in a horrible way. When London Burns is of more value than this release though it does not feature the great songs of the aforementioned DVD, but there is at least some work put into When London Burns.
Less than a year ago Deicide released the live DVD When London Burns (WLB). Despite the Hoffman brothers quitting and the guitarists filling in had mere days to prepare, they put on a great show. It wasn't perfect but very good under the circumstances. A few months later they release The Stench of Redemption (TSR), one of the top albums of 2006 and one the best of their career as well. They appear in all the metal magazines stating how much better Deicide is now without the Hoffmans. Now armed with two full-time guitarists and a new album full of instant classics, they release Doomsday L.A. (DLA). With all the combined factors it's guaranteed to be even better than the last one, right?
The production values are horrific. The audio is mono and almost sounds as if it was recorded through-the-air. Guitars are a wash of noise with the only definition appearing during the slow parts but Deicide isn't known for having many slow pieces. The songs from TSR have the most clarity, especially the solos, making for another nail in the Hoffmans' coffin. Santolla has some trouble during Desecration and has to change guitars. It's honest of the band to leave it in and not resort to overdubbing but I don't want to watch technical difficulties. The song should have been removed from the track list. The bass is inaudible. When Benton takes a break playing during Homage for Satan and starts up again there is no difference. Vocals are a constant indecipherable mass. The drums actually have fairly good sound. Asheim's relentless assault is the only thing holding everything together. He truly looks possessed, twitching like a madman the whole show.
The song selection is good. With so many classics it's not possible to play them all but the chosen ones should please any Deicide fan. There are three tracks from Deicide, one from Legion, five from Once Upon the Cross, two from Serpents of the Light, two from Scars of the Crucifix, and five from TSR. They have wisely focused on the best part of their career and mostly ignored the later day failures.
The camera work is very amateur. There are two stationary cameras, one at the back of the venue and one on Asheim but they never change their view throughout the entire show. There are also two hand held cameras in the crowd which give a feeling of being at the show but ultimately were a bad idea. When they try to get a shot of the solos there is usually heads or hands blocking the view. There was not enough attention given to the solos in general, but there where a handful of good shots which saved it from being a total disaster.
Very little effort put into the interview. The picture quality is low and the band goes out of frame every time they move in their chairs. There's people screaming in the background and someone even walks into the shot just as they were talking about stupid roadies. "Oh? Sorry boys." It's all very unprofessional. Benton and Santolla appear to be wasted. Benton's favorite part of the interview is ripping farts while others are talking. Owen is bored with the whole thing and nearly falls asleep at one point. Asheim is enthusiastic and the only one concerned with doing the interview. As the years go by it becomes more evident that he is the real driving force behind Deicide.
There are two promo videos from TSR. The Desecration video is simply some live shots set to the studio version. Homage for Satan is by far the best part of DLA, an excellent mini horror film. It features blood puking zombies terrorizing a city until one of them spies a priest, chases him down and converts him. The priest then goes on to infect his followers. They look absolutely sick. This is how to do a metal video. It has been banned by at least one station so far, which is proof to how great it truly is.
In the end, the bootleg quality of DLA is a major disappointment. It's an unprofessional effort reminiscent of the In Torment In Hell era. WLB was a superior release.