DIES IRAE
"The Art of an Endless Creation"

(Metal Mind Productions)

Live at Metalmania 2005:

01. Intro/Beyond All Dimensions
02. The Hunger
03. Comrade of Death
04. Incarnation of Evil
05. The Art of an Endless Creation
06. Zohak
07. Infinity
08. The Truth

Sculpture of Stone:

09. Beyond All Dimensions
10. The Hunger
11. Unrevealed by Words
12. The Art of an Endless Creation
13. Trapped in the Emptiness
14. The Plague
15. The Oceans of Filth
16. The Beginning of Sin
17. Sculpture of Stone

RATING: 8.5/10

Originally released in 2008 as a partial tribute to DIES IRAE/VADER drummer extraordinaire Krzysztof "Doc" Raczkowski, Metal Mind Productions resurrects "The Art of an Endless Creation" live package. There's a DVD companion to this eight-song live set recorded at the 2005 Metalmania fest in Spodek, Katowice, Poland which includes bonus video clips and a live bootleg. The CD version of "The Art of an Endless Creation" once again contains DIES IRAE's excellent final album from 2004, "Sculpture of Stone".

The live portion of the CD features three tracks from "Sculpture of Stone", those being "Beyond All Dimensions", "The Hunger" and "The Art of an Endless Creation" with a heavy lean on selections from "The Sin War", comprised of "Infinity", "The Truth", "Comrade of Death" and "Incarnation of Evil". "Zohak" is the only track from "Immolated" appearing in the set.

The rolling tribal samples serving as an expanded intro to "Beyond All Dimensions" gets the pulse rate spiking with expectancy as Doc takes over with trouncing precision. By all means, "The Art of an Endless Creation" is his show, so much the live mix carries a heavy emphasis on him. Doc's parts are turned up just above the rest of the band to give DIES IRAE fans one last sampling of his finest chops. Doc's rocketing mayhem on "Comrade of Death" is one of the set's most awesome moments, smacked out to smithereens before he assumes a steady crash leading off "Incarnation of Evil". Expect that one to fly even faster than "Comrade of Death".

As expeditiously as Doc could serve up his patterns in life, what was more impressive to his work in DIES IRAE was his outstanding knack for groove. All you need do is zip over to "Infinity" in this live set or "Unrevealed by Words", "The Plague", "Beyond All Dimensions" and "The Art of an Endless Creation" on "Sculpture of Stone" to dive into Doc's pounding furrows and bopping rhythms.

The sound quality of "The Art of an Endless Creation" is pretty good, though tinny in spots from Doc's clattering cymbal rides. Marcin "Novy" Nowak's bass lines are also prominent in the finish aside from his punishing yelps. His bass rumbles with tons of reverb and as ever, Novy plunks a few stray funky bars on "Infinity" for fun. In close quarters, Jacek Hiro and Maurycy "Mauser" Stefanowicz shred like maniacs next to him. Together, Mauser, Hiro and Novy summon hurricanes before their audience in the middle section of "Incarnation of Evil" and "Zohak" while remaining vigilant to coat Doc's thrashing beats with sharply-strummed accentuation. The band saves their best performance for last with "The Truth", delivered with slammed-down exactitude and spectacular shred solos galore.

Though only a half hour set, "The Art of an Endless Creation" is compact brutality for death metal freaks to get their fix with while witnessing a lost legend crush the snot out of his kit before the Polish faithful at Metalmania 2005. For those who haven't had a chance to hear DIES IRAE's studio work, here's a chance to dive into their best with "Sculptures of Stone", which reveals why "Doc" Rackzkowski was considered at the top of his class here and in VADER. This bundle is a must-buy if you missed it the first time.

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