MAYHEM – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive
Recorded on December 18th, 2015 in Norrköping, Sweden, «De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive» consists solely of the 1994 debut album by Mayhem entitled «De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas» performed live in its entirety. I know that some of you out there might question and wonder whether a Mayhem live offering containing renditions of their greatest ever classics is somehow relevant, but I can tell you that you utterly suck if you think that this is an ordinary live album. After all, "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" is a genre-defining and monumental work of art that still stands tall and proud as one of the greatest albums ever conceived. So many adjectives seem to pile up whenever I think about that particular classic. Any stereotypical words and phrases that I can think of hardly do the brilliance of the album any justice. But what about this 2016 "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive" opus, then? Where the fuck do we stand on that? I will tell you exactly where we stand! It is a stunning performance from start to finish. Trying to detect any flaws on this disc is a useless endeavor as it is a relentless blast of majestic and unique black metal performed with passion and intensity by a bunch of truly creative and pioneering individuals.
The sound of this album is simply wonderful. Raw, organic, and vibrant, but sharp and punchy as well. The whole thing reeks of every morbid thing you can possibly think of. Destructive, dark, and sickeningly beautiful. I could go on and throw in words such as "epic" and "malevolent", but I think you know where I am headed. This is pure magic transferred to the stage, if you will. While Varg Vikernes did a great job when he laid down the bass tracks on "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" back in the early 90s, it is a musical orgasm to listen to Necrobutcher’s rumbling and devastating bass lines on these live tracks. Attila sounds as sinister and otherworldly as ever while Hellhammer once again proves why he is considered one of the greatest drummers of all time. Guitarists Teloch and Ghul are inhuman, and I do mean that in a most positive and constructive sense. Those guys rule and pay attention to every tiny nuance and subtle detail. Amazing!
If you ask me, «De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas» is the greatest black metal album of all time. Perhaps not surprisingly then, I consider "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive" one of the greatest black metal live albums to ever see the light of day. When a truly timeless masterpiece is performed in its entirety and the resulting live album defies pretty much any description that I can come up with, I think it is fair to say that we are talking about a circle that cannot be broken, a most perfect and logical circle. The thing is that the albums share the same musical DNA, or the same core material, if one will, and they both offer the listener something that is truly transcendental. In addition, the fact that this live ritual consists solely of songs off "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" works in its favor. The focus is solely on those songs and nothing else. There is nothing to detract from them, if that makes sense. It captures a perfect moment in time and an historical event that those ugly fuckers who were fortunate enough to witness will surely remember for the rest of their measly days. Those of us who were not there to attend that godforsaken black mass in December 2015 must contend ourselves with this hauntingly awesome live document, but when said live document oozes class and quality, what is there to complain about? Like I said earlier on, this is a stunning release that remains true to the source material while simultaneously adding another dimension to it. Different formats of this damn near flawless album exist, so head on over to the official Mayhem website and order your copy, or check the album out on Bandcamp.