Released: 2009, Candlelight
I’ll only say a few words about this release since I’ve already technically reviewed it. That’s right, I was at the Damnation Festival in Leeds on 22nd November 2008 where this live recording was made! You can read my live review of the festival (with Sigh, My Dying Bride and Carcass) if you look through the Live Reviews for 2008.
I remember their set being troubled by sound problems, with ear-piercing feedback and one of the guitars going on and off intermittently, which is why I was quite surprised when this live album sounds absolutely stellar. The recording equipment must have been hooked up directly to the sound board instead of recording what’s coming out of the PA – which is probably the reason why LIVE DAMNATION doesn’t sound like a live album at all. The sound is crystal clear, everything is fantastically balanced and you can’t hear the crowd at all. That’s quite a pity, because I clearly remember the crowd being in top voice for one of the best loved thrash bands in the UK. It’s just my opinion, but a live recording should sound like a live recording, and that includes mistakes, fuck-ups, and you should be able to hear the crowd! Even through the ear-plugs which I wear in the photo pit, I could still hear the front row going berserk behind me, and afterwards, watching from the balcony, I could hear them singing along to the words and over the band. That at least should be acknowledged by the people mixing the live recording.
It goes without saying that the songs are performed almost flawlessly. Sy Keeler’s intensity on stage has to be seen to be believed, but if they’re not coming anywhere near you for a while, this live album really highlights what a fantastic vocalist he is. The chorus to ‘Destroyer of Worlds’ is pretty darn difficult but he pulls it off with no problem. Second guitarist Andy Rosser-Davies, who stepped in for Alan Jordan, and stalwart Nige Rockett do justice to the songs, the bulk of which were taken from their 2006 album KILLING PEACE.
My only complaint really is that this doesn’t sound like a live album at all, but you the reader must decide whether this is a good or bad thing. For me personally, it brings back memories of that cold night in Leeds where we partied, drank and rocked out to some of the best bands at one of the truest one-day metal festivals in the UK.