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I must admit that Live Albums are quintessencially cheap due to their purpose; to buy artists more time and more money. However, there is little point in debating why bands release them. Especially in this case, there are few (or at least not as many as there should be) bands that sound just as good as they do live, as in studio. With this perspective, Dimmu Borgir can hold there own against the likes of Cannibal Corpse for stellar live perofrmances.
The extraordinarily funny aspect of "Alive in Torment" is that Dimmu Borgir performs songs that were written and released much earlier in their career (before Galder and Nicholas Barker joined) that are performed better than the studio releases. This is espected however, mainly thanks to the departure of the sloppy Lead Guitars of Astennu, the unimportant bass element performed by Nagash, and the horrible percussion of Tjodalv. "Spiritual Black Demensions" had the potential to exceed "Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia", but this was never achieved for reasons previously mentioned. It is in "Alive in Torment" that we become aware of this. Tracks one and two were both originally written for SBD, and after adopting Galder and Nicholas, these songs skyrocket in musicianship to become possibly the best two songs Dimmu Borgir have ever written.
Not to mention the inclusion the first track "Tormentor of Christian Souls", that was originally written for "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant" that also sounds much more evolved compared to the studio version! One unfortunate truth to this album is the poorly performed "Puritania", that (due to its length) one would assume is the easiest song for Dimmu to pull off. This is not true. The blast beats were horribly rendered on this track, and the Guitars were panned out (seemingly). Of course, this Live Album picks up again as the final track is "The Maelstrom Mephisto" which is played beautifully for a song of its speed.
One could argue that this was a particularly cocky release by Dimmu Borgir, as if the whole point was to say "Look how far we've come." Which they have, making this album extremely enjoyable. Enjoyable songs were played, enjoyable musicianship was heard, and the production on this cd was excellent (for a live performance).
For those of you who wish to have a broken down description of the musicians, all you need to know is that they are same musicians from PEM, playing older songs. This is an absolute must buy for Dimmu fans, that will sell quickly with the uniquely shaped cd!