Formed in 1983, Death are probably most well known for being started and formed by the late Chuck Schuldiner who unfortunately passes away in 2001 due to cancer of the brain. Their untarnished legacy still lives on and now in 2012, Relapse Records have dug through the vaults and found the mother of all Death live albums. Presenting Vivus!, the 2 disk live extravaganza that contains two Death concerts one at the Whisky A Go Go in L.A and the other at Dynamo Open Air Festival in Eindhoven. This is the best of Death and it’s all live (which makes it even better). If you have never listened to Death, seen Death live or have lived under a rock for the past one hundred years, then Vivus! Is an album you need to go and buy right this minute.
CD 1 [8/10] is Death live at the famous, legendary venue, Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles, featuring thirteen classic Death hits that total one mind-blowing set that is just over an hour and twenty minutes long. Death are at their peak on this CD and it’s such a shame, because even as big as Death where in those days you can tell from the moment tracks such as ‘Crystal Mountain’, ‘Together As One’ and ‘Flesh and the Power it Holds’ kick in that these guys could have made it huge. Sure, the production may be very poor and the sound rather bad at points, but the fact of the matter is that this CD’s captures a Death show when the band where on top form and they are sounding freaking amazing!
We then move onto the CD 2 [9/10], which although may have less tracks than the first CD on it, has a much clearer sound quality and this makes the Death sound all the more accessible and in crisp, clean digital quality. Both live shows where recorded in 1998, but there is a real difference in tracks such as ‘Zombie Ritual’, ‘Suicide Machine’ and ‘Symbolic’, as these tracks on this CD sound professionally recorded and massive appose to the bootleg sounding material on CD 1. It’s also good to hear that Mr Schuldiner sounds like he is having the time of his life as he engages with the audience between each song and shreds his stuff like there is no tomorrow in each of these genre defying songs.
This is a dedication to Chuck and it is clear from his proud stature on the front of the album, clutching his BC Rich passionately as he plays a frenzy of metal fury that it has always been about Chuck. He is an icon in the metal world and through his dedication, talent and friendly personality is a world renowned guitarist and vocalist. If he could look back at the legacy he has left behind I am sure he would be one proud metal head.
It is your duty as a metal fan to go out and buy this live onslaught from one of the greatest death metal bands to grace this planet. If you wanted to know what Death sounded like in their finest hour then Vivus! is the album you need to have in your collection.