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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.