Album Details

RELEASE
1985
LABEL
Metal Blade
GENRES
Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal

Album Review

Recorded and released as a follow-up to the Haunting the Chapel EP, specifically during the tour for that effort (though apparently actually in a studio with a few hypercharged fans in audible attendance), Live Undead shows the band still coming together in ways. Hell Awaits was around the corner and Reign in Blood further off yet, so the set relies on their earliest material, sometimes striking but formative nonetheless. But if nothing else Tom Araya's part snarling and part merry way around death, doom, and destruction was already nearly settled -- only one or two Rob Halford-level shrieks sneak through here and there ("The Antichrist" cartoonishly so) -- while the full quartet's Judas Priest/Iron Maiden in absolute overdrive approach was already paying off. Dave Lombardo's drumming handled the steadier stomp of songs like "Die by the Sword" solidly while going to town on "Captor of Sin" and particularly "Evil Has No Boundaries," the best performance of the seven songs. Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King -- the latter featuring a slightly unfortunate hairdo on the back cover -- strike just enough of a balance, however unexpectedly, between technical skill and flailing chaos. Hell Awaits eventually brought all the newer changes out in fuller force, even with subpar production, so Live Undead isn't really necessary except for the hardest of hardcore fans in the end, especially in comparison to Decade of Aggression. Still, it does have its "it could only be Slayer" moments -- including Araya's almost casual way of rudely introducing "Captor of Sin." [Some early CD versions include the original version of "Chemical Warfare" from Haunting the Chapel as a mighty fine bonus.]
Ned Raggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Black Magic
  2. Die By the Sword
  3. Captor of Sin
  4. The Antichrist
  5. Evil Has No Boundaries
  6. Show No Mercy
  7. Aggressive Perfector
  8. Chemical Warfare
  9. Captor of Sin
  10. Haunting the Chapel
  11. Aggressive Perfector