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Review: Deicide - When London Burns
When London Burns

Label: Earache Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 95 min.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: October 22, 2006
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
When London Burns

Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (12 Votes)

I ran into this at a local store shorthly after getting my ass kicked by Deicide's new album, "The Stench of Redemption", so I only hesitated about a half second before picking it up. That was money well spent. Let's call it a "fat-free DVD"; "When London Burns" contains a 60 minute show filmed in London in 2004, plus some extras totalling about 35 minutes. I'm one who can get bored very quickly while watching a live DVD. That didn't happen here. Glen Benton talks a little between songs, but never long enough to drag on for too long - hell, I'm not even sure you'll see him talking over a minute in a row on this. And unlike the usual "you guys are the best" and other similar crowd ass-kissing, Benton doesn't hesitate to insult the audience (with a bizarre emphasis on their mothers.) As for the performance itself, it is top notch. The Hoffman brothers had left the band shorthly before the tour, so they are replaced by Jack Owen (Cannibal Corpse) and Dave Suzuky (Vital Remains.) Still you'd think the guys have been playing together for years, delivering a tight and energetic performance on each and every song. I always wonder how replacement musicians can learn the songs so quickly (let's face it, I doubt these two guys played Deicide songs as a hobby.) Four cameras were used to film the show, and the cameramen and procucers did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the show to make you feel like you were there. Very clean image, zooms on guitar solos, the works. Only a few times was the "magic" broken by splitting the screen in two to show two different images at the same time. That just breaks the momentum and doesn't add anything. But hey, that's the only complaint I have for a 60 minute show, so I'll live with it.

Behind the scenes extras are often boring, but here again they managed to make this almost completely interesting - save for a few minutes of the guys hanging out at a house. I guess they had to show Glen harrass a little lizard, but I think they could have put those few minutes to better use. Other than that, lots of interesting candid interviews with the members (including the Hoffman brothers this time.) Among other things - Glen being interview outside Morrisound Studio, the Hoffman's interviewed in their hotel room, explaining how they got into death metal and the formation of Deicide. Drummer Steve Asheim shows off some of his guns and they even make a little stop at a local shooting range for a demonstration. A Deicide DVD wouldn't be complete without Glen explaining his infamous forehead branding.

Overall, an excellent DVD with very little room for boredom, which is a nice change. :) Not only for Deicide fans, but for death metal fans in general.

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