Mayhem are a Norwegian black metal band, but do they really need any introduction?
In case the cave that you inhabit doesn’t get wifi, this is the live incarnation of the band’s 1994 landmark debut album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. This is a black metal must-have, of course, so you already know that the songs on this live version are absolute classics, so all that remains to discuss, really, is the band’s performance and the quality of the live recording.
Recorded in Sweden in 2015, this album captures the first time that the band have ever played De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in its entirety. In most respects this doesn’t show at all, as the entire thing is dragged out in full with such glorious devotion and attention to detail it’s kind of hard to credit.
Starting with no fanfare, the performance levels are extremely high from the very beginning, with all members of the band at the top of their game, especially their iconic singer who sounds as inhuman and otherworldly as he ever does. I’m told, (never having actually caught them live myself, unfortunately), that Mayhem can sometimes be a bit hit or miss live, but on this recording they’re very definitely a hit.
As for the sound quality, (which is the main downfall of many live albums), there’s no cause for complaint at all. Quite the opposite in fact. The recording manages to capture the texture and feel of the original album, reproduce it authentically live and even add a bit of polish here and there which works surprisingly well on the ancient tracks.
I must confess that in general I’m not a huge fan of live albums. Occasionally you get one that’s truly special, but most of the time I view them as an interesting curiosity more than anything else. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive is closer towards the former end of this scale rather than the latter, which makes it quite a rare beast indeed.
One of things I have particular enjoyed about listening to this live album is that it has somewhat refreshed songs that I’ve listened to so many times down the years.
Listen and worship.
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