Released: 2007, Earache Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
It’s amazing to think that Earache Records has done more for Deicide over the course of three years than Roadrunner Records seemed to do in over half a decade before mercifully severing ties with the band. Since signing with Earache in 2004, Deicide fans have been treated to two full-length CDs (and a third coming in May 2008) and a pair of live DVDs from the band, the latest being DOOMSDAY L.A.. What is even more amazing is that of the four releases, three feature different lineups! DOOMSDAY L.A. was recorded November 10th, 2006 at L.A.’s Knitting Factory and this lineup is so wickedly talented and cohesive as a unit, it’s a wonder they haven’t been together for years. Ralph Santolla (Iced Earth, Death) and Jack Owen (Cannibal Corpse) fill the spots of departed brothers Eric and Brian Hoffman perfectly while Benton’s thinly-veiled happiness is nice to see after years of misery. The seventy-minute show is buffered with a half-hour interview with the band as well as a pair of promo videos from THE STENCH OF REDEMPTION album.
Wasting no time by tearing through eighteen tracks (and an intro) in seventy minutes, the between song banter is minimized and the music does the talking. Utilizing a combination of fixed and handheld cameras from right in the crowd, the viewer really gets the feel of being at the show. A small, sweaty club is the perfect setting for Deicide’s music. Benton is his usual gruff self on stage while Owen keeps a low profile. Santolla handles most of the leads and what an incredible player he is, never faulting on the complex solos, either. “Dead By Dawn,” “Once Upon The Cross,” “Scars of The Crucifix,” “Serpents of The Light,” “When Heaven Burns,” “Homage For Satan” and “Kill The Christian” are all delivered ruthlessly and flawlessly, Benton’s caustic delivery matched with Asheim’s frantic blasting. “Walk With The Devil In Dreams You Behold” really got a shot in the arm for me based on this performance, too. What a great song! Benton’s quip about the youthful crowd prior to “Lunatic of God’s Creation” was a real hoot, too (“You might remember this from when you were coming out of your Mom’s vaginal hole?!”).
Just as enjoyable as the main gig, the 27-minute band interview is extensive and interesting. Topics covered include Benton’s plight of killing himself at 33, Santolla’s Christian beliefs, Asheim’s gun fetish, the band’s cover of Deep Purple’s “Black Night,” problems with organized religious groups and many other things.
For anyone thinking DOOMSDAY L.A. is pointless after the WHEN LONDON BURNS DVD that was released in 2006, they are sorely mistaken. Admittedly, the two titles are similar in presentation but this DVD is vastly superior by all accounts. The two music videos for “Homage For Satan” and “Desecration” are just the icing on the cake here. A tremendously tight band running through almost twenty years of material coupled with a killer interview really makes DOOMSDAY L.A. an easy recommendation and a solid stop-gap release before TILL DEATH DO US PART comes out in 2008.