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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.