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This is Deicide's first DVD and you immediately notice that the Hoffman brothers ain't on it. Instead you get Dave Suzuki and Jack Owen of Vital Remains and Cannibal Corpse respectively. Surprisingly they're able to put on a great performance in such a short time (I think the documentary says that the Hoffman brothers quit just before Deicide started touring). Then again they're already big names in death metal, so I guess it wasn't a problem.
Over all performance? Again, surprisingly well-played. The guitars are sharp, and precise. The drums kill. fucking. everything. (hehehe). Steve Asheim is a fantastic drummer and this DVD shows him at his best. Glen bassplaying, however, doesn't seem to be very useful. You can't hear it AT ALL most of the time and when you can hear it it's pretty similar to the guitar. His vox are great and damn brutal.
The songs are great, pretty diverse selection here. Starting with the new stuff while heavy on the classics near the end. The crowd is pretty rowdy when the classics are played and that is definitely a plus.
The main reason I like this DVD is because of the documentary. It really takes you inside the band. The documentary features the Hoffman brothers before they left and there's a lot of footage of them, they mainly discuss the band's history. Glen Benton is hilarious, he talks about an e-mail he received from some kid, he plays with a lizard before kicking it(!). Steve Asheim is a crazy bastard, he shows off his gun collection and goes to the shooting range to take pot-shots at some Osama targets. Overall, I like the documentary more than the concert. I don't know why, I just do.
Get it? Sure. It's better than most DVDs (Rising in the East comes to mind). And the documentary alone is worth three-fourths the price (to me).
Whilst being one of the most notorious bands of their genre (for better or for worse), death metal band Deicide has begun a new step forward with their first DVD release. Deicide’s DVD release, When London Burns, though not being the quality of such DVD releases as Lamb of God’s Killadelphia, is a well filmed and executed release encompassing everything that Deicide has been for close to two decades and what we may have seen in the future if the Hoffman brothers had stayed on with the band. The absence of the Hoffman brothers also is noticeable in the live show portion of the DVD as guitarists Jack Owen (ex Cannibal Corpse) and Dave Suzuki (Vital Remains).
The sound of the DVD is the downfall of it. The songs obviously aren’t supposed to sound like they were recorded in studio, but the guitars are still too loud to be able to hear the vocals at points, the drums do not make the effect that is needed in most death metal and sounds rather flat, Benton’s dulcet vocal tones are, mainly from extensive touring, very raspy, and the bass is, as is heard very often nonexistent. At one point, Benton even leaves his post on bass and there is no difference between the earlier and latter sound. There is a good mix, though, in choice of songs fusing the older stuff with their newest releases at that time in Scars of the Crucifix. Even some of their not-so great songs do sound good, and there is some good effort put into the project as a whole.
The production is top notch, especially for such an underground band, and with the four cameras placed at different vantage points, the action is all caught, cut, and well spliced to make the viewer feel as though they are really at the concert rather than other DVDs where it is only from the back of the crowd or only on the band. This release puts all the best parts of a Deicide concert together flawlessly.
Throughout the DVD, also, it is obvious that all members of the band have a passion for the music that they play. Through every song, every member of the band is absolutely freaking out on their instruments, except for the calm cool, and collected Jack Owen who, aside from head banging a little at times, shreds his guitar with perfect precision. The band also clicks as they all have a great energy and that coupled with the camera work makes for a very entertaining release.
The special features include a thirty minute behind the scenes documentary into Deicide’s history, interviews with the band; namely the Hoffman Brothers who had left the band before the taping of the live portion, which is explained at the end of the DVD before the credits, and some of the recording of the Scars of the Crucifix record. This is another well-done portion of the DVD, and it gives the listeners a glimpse into the lives of the band members and also how Benton records his vocals in Deicide’s releases.
In all, this is a very solid DVD release from notorious death metal band, Deicide. The production is good, the band sounds top notch, and the extra features go very well with the rest of the release. I suggest this release for any fan of Deicide, even if the songs may not be favorites of the fans, this DVD is a nice in depth glimpse into the history of Deicide, and their status at that time.
Things do not bode well it seems. Glen walks on stage - very clearly pissed out of his skull - introduces himself (somehow) and with 2 completely new guitarists at the reigns I was tempted to turn the DVD off right there and get my money back! I was glad I didn't though, as when the band kicks off with Scars Of The Crucifix, you can tell this is not going to be bad gig, oh hell no.
From start to finish, Deicide are on top form, regardless of the absence of the Hoffman brothers. In fact it seems Glen is performing better without them (or maybe that's just the alcohol talking). Throughout the whole gig, every song is brought to life, and regardless of which Deicide album is your favorite, there's something here for you. From thrash-like classics such as "Dead By Dawn" to newer, darker songs like "When Heaven Burns" each one is done very well, although the new songs are slightly off due to them having just been written by now ex members. Also the guitar solo's aren't 100% perfect, but for a mostly improvisational job, Jack and Dave pull their spots off rather well.
I don't know how Dave Suzuki and Jack Owen managed to pull off their sheer ferocity and tightness after only being with Deicide for LESS THAN A WEEK but maybe being in other, roughly as large death metal bands with the same tuning for over 10 years beforehand did help the matter.
There is also plenty of extras on this DVD too which will keep any Deicide fan happy, however there is no real explanation as to why the Hoffman brothers left on it. They are even in the documentary! I was extremely confused as to why members who just left Deicide as well as royaly pissing off Glen and Steve are even included on this DVD which they did not play on! Ah well, they were heavily involved in writing Scars Of The Crucifix so I suppose they deserve a spot.
My closing comments: if you a Deicide fan buy this DVD. If you are a fan of Florida death metal buy this DVD. If you are a fan of death metal in general this DVD would not be a bad purchase. However if you don't like death metal than don't bother with this as there's not gonna be anything to change your mind in it.