More often than not, I view live albums as a way for a band to tide over fans as they go about other things rather than writing a new album. Whether its getting out of a contract, finding a reason to continue to tour, or just bide time for more writing, live albums tend to have this aura of ‘here fans, please don’t forget about us!’ that doesn’t always sit well with me. Not to mention that true fans will purchase it without much hesitation.
“The Curse Of The Antichrist – Life In Agony” is somewhat of a different story though. Perhaps not in the reasoning for the release, but in the release itself. Most bands will just haphazardly throw together some solid sounding live tracks and call it good, but I’ll be damned if this release doesn’t just sound like a straight up ‘greatest hits’ from the Teutonic Thrash Gods. “The Curse Of The Antichrist” is top of the stock quality sounding recordings and ambitiously played live material if I have ever heard any.
I think that the best part of this release is that is isn’t just thrown together. There are two solid discs of live tracks that not only incorporate all of their classics but some of the best new tracks off of their latest album too. Of course, it’s a compilation of tracks from various live settings (one being their anniversary performance at Wacken where they had a ton of their previous members come up and play with them), but despite the fact of being a ‘compilation’ of sorts, the quality of the recording is quite even throughout. Even the times when Schmier is talking to the audience there is a consistent feeling and sound. Not having to fiddle with the volume switch between tracks is a good reason this is a great live release.
There’s not much else to say about “The Curse Of The Antichrist”. If you are a fan, then this is a must have addition to your collection, and even for those new to the DESTRUCTION catalog, this is a pretty easy way to hear some great quality example tracks to delve into the band. The quality is top notch in recording, the song selection is also of high caliber, and the packaging (especially its kick ass cover) is by far worth the physical purchase. One of the best live releases I’ve ever heard.
(Online March 1, 2010)