The Black Parade is Dead

My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade was a rich concept album full ofcomplicated arrangements and string-section accents — material that doesn't translate easily on the band's new live set. Recorded last year during tourstops in Mexico City and New Jersey, The Black Parade is Dead! finds MyChemical Romance stripping their emo epic down to its basic elements, whichrobs the music of some depth. Frontman Gerard Way's voice sounds a littlefatigued, and many of the songs are undone by the vanilla mix, especially on"Welcome To the Black Parade," where Way comes off as way too shouty. Theaccompanying DVD shows off the band's sharp visual style and Way's manicstage presence, highlighted by his goth-Jagger strut. But for all of thetheatrical flourishes, the songs remain slightly lost in translation, asthough the band isn't yet comfortable with its recent material ­ during hisperformance of "Cancer," Way almost sounds apologetic. The band'shard-hitting rendition of 'Dead!' complete with a jagged Van Halen-esqueguitar solo and some stadium-sized "Na na na"'s, makes for a thrillinghighlight, but the album's most invigorating sounds are still the screams ofelation from the die-hard crowd.