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Committing Suicide to Tape - 69%

feratu, November 8th, 2007

ZnoWhite's Live Suicide documents the band's raw and incredibly energetic mid-80's live show. The sound quality leaves something to be desired, but dammit if I'm not wishing I could go back in time and be a part of it. Sure, you could say the band is kind of sloppy, and the vocals are far from perfect, but something about the party atmosphere the band produces is irresistable. I wish more of today's bands would play with half as much heart live.

The album opens with "Hellbent", an uptempo scorcher with a classic Priest-like hook previously only available on the Metal Massacre III comp. Its a great opener with Debbie Gunn wailing her lungs out, but its a shame this song never was included on any of their earlier studio albums. Next up is "Bringin' the Hammer Down" from the All Hail to Thee LP. Practically unrecognizable at first with its frenetic opening riff, the band stumbles and lurches toward the song's unstoppable hook. ZnoWhite also bring some new material, most notably the slower more melodic "There's no Tomorrow", and "Rest in Peace" which would later show up on the band's amazing follow-up, Act of God.

The album's sound is pretty rough, much more crude than their first two albums (which hardly feature great production). Although there is a fairly good mix between the instruments and vocals, there are lots of biting high frequencies and little bass, with occasional bursts of distortion that seem to be coming from the P.A. The band's performance more than makes up for these sonic shortcomings, channelling their pure energy into the listener.

The bottom line is this album is FUN, an element lacking in much of today's metal. If early 80's speed metal with glam overtones and punkish energy is your thing, or if you are a fan of the band's other output, this short LP is definitely worth tracking down. If live albums generally bother you because of their inferior sound quality, avoid.