Style: Death Metal
Release date: 28 February, 2012
Playing time: 2,2 hours

Listen, I lost my dad to the cancer ghost almost twenty years ago now. My granny went the same way six years ago. And one of my close uni buddies, also - he was four years younger than me, for fuck's sake! "It's a part of nature," the rationalist in me says; some of us disintegrate and that's just the way it is, but still, cancer is such a bitch!

One of my dear friends sent me a message earlier today. We've known for a while that his mom suffers from cancer, but until now there's been a hope that she'd make it through the disease. Apparently, this is not the case - it's terminal and it's just a matter of time. I wish I could do something for him other than tell him to be strong and rest assured that we're a few who're always ready to listen.

You know, every time I listen to Death, I'm reminded not only of the universally great music this band came up with, but also of the dreaded cancer ghost which also haunted the Schuldiner family and took away Chuck. Therein lies automatically a tint of sadness and emotions that, somehow, makes his music even stronger for me. If that makes sense?

The present release from Relapse is really old news. On the table next to me are two CD's, 'Live in L.A. (Death & Raw)' and 'Live in Eindhoven '98' as well as the DVD 'Live in L.A.'. I bought them right after their release, not only because I wanted to have a live testament of this great band, but also because I hoped that some of the money would help Chuck's family paying the astronomical medical bills.

'Vivus' is really just these two CD's put together into a double album. For old fans, there is therefore little new here, but for newer fans who never had the opportunity to get hold of the original releases, this a where to strike a deal. Admittedly, for the true fanatic, there are also new liner notes by drummer Richard as well as new pictures of Chuck and Death. I can't deny that I'll probably go out and buy a copy rather than sticking with this mp3 promo version...

What you get to hear is the testimony of one of the greatest metal bands to have existed. Not as perfectly and flawlessly played as their studio releases, naturally, and of course marked by a live mix, but still stunning to hear how well Death's brand of technical death metal was translated into the live setting by this final line-up of the band.

The music is simply crushing, the performance likewise, and for someone like myself who never actually got to see Death live, it makes me regret bitterly once more that I didn't head over to Copenhagen that one time when I had the opportunity to see these death metal gods.

Do yourself the favour of checking this out if you don't already know it.

To those out there who lost family or friends to the cancer ghost. Be strong.

Disc 1 - Live In L.A. – 1998
01. The Philosopher
02. Spirit Crusher
03. Trapped In A Corner
04. Scavenger Of Human Sorrow
05. Crystal Mountain
06. Flesh And The Power It Holds
07. Zero Tolerance
08. Zombie Ritual
09. Suicide Machine
10. Together As One
11. Empty Words
12. Symbolic
13. Pull The Plug

Disc 2 - Live In Eindhoven – 1998
01. The Philosopher
02. Trapped in a Corner
03. Crystal Mountain
04. Suicide Machine
05. Together As One
06. Zero Tolerance
07. Lack Of Comprehension
08. Flesh and the Power It Holds
09. Flattening of Emotions
10. Spirit Crusher
11. Pull the Plug
Label: Relapse Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 65/100
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen
Date: 28 February, 2012