After reading all these good things about the "Live in L.A." DVD I have to say I was quite looking forward to the "Live in Eindhoven '98" package, ordered direct from Nuclear Blast, which included a DVD.

I like the initiative to release two cheap products (25 German marks for the DVD, 15 for the CD I seem to recall) with the profit going to the rather unfortunate Chuck Schuldiner. I would really loved to have told you it's a superb package and that no fan of Death should be without it. However, I am afraid that's just not the case.

Let's start with the CD, which is the good news. You get almost an hour of Death, with some variation when compared to the "Live in L.A." release. Instead of "Scavenger of Human Sorrow", "Zombie Ritual", "Empty Words" and "Symbolic" you get "Lack of Comprehension" and "Flattening of Emotions". The sound quality is quite good, almost at a par with "Live in L.A.". The drums have some echo here and there, specifically during "Lack of Comprehension", but other than that it's basically good music being made by good musicians (with an excellent drummer :-).

Next up, the most anticipated item, the DVD. You get the same tracks with the same audio quality, so that's good. No 5.1 track (you get PCM Linear), but that's no problem. The big problem is sound sync. Apart from during most of "Flattening of Emotions" the visuals are mostly noticably behind the sound. That bugs me no end, in fact it comes across as very amateuristic. Also, drummer Richard Christy gets virtually no screen time. Only during "Spirit Crusher" (and that's the last song but one...) do you really get to see him do his thing. That's a shame. Just because it's a benefit product, which, I hope and suppose, many people helped produce free of charge, doesn't mean it should be amateuristic. Sound sync is the most basic of things.

Concluding: If you like Death and if you really think Chuck ought to get as much donations as possible (which I do), get them both. The rather more cold-hearted conclusion, however: Don't get the DVD, or contact me to get mine. The CD is good, especially if you thought "Lack of Comprehension" and "Flattening of Emotions" were missing on "Live in L.A.".

Added 15 December: I found out that Chuck died on December 13, which is the day I wrote this review. Eerie and very sad coincidence...



Written December 2001


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