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Once a bootleg, always a bootleg - 40%

autothrall, January 30th, 2010

This would be the 'other' Entombed release of note after the band departed from Earache Records, with a rather interesting story behind it. In short, this was a bootleg floating about the scene which Earache snapped up and decided to give an 'official' release, padding their pockets and filling out a residual obligation they had with the Swedish tyrants, who were at this point already a pair of albums deep into their Threeman Recordings/Music for Nations deal. The performances captured here were taken from a 1992 London tour, so at least you were getting the amazing Entombed of their first two albums, and not the forgettable death rock & roll the band were in the process of puking out of their systems.

One of the reasons it was chosen for release (on both album and VHS formats) was the purported quality of the sound, which I guess is basically true here. This sounds like any vibrant Entombed live performance of the day, with the chunky guitars even chunkier than their studio album counterparts, and Lars-Goran Petrov sounding a lot sloppier, like he's drunk on something he shouldn't have mixed with his medications. It's definitely not bad, but I'd never recommend any of these versions over the studio work, as they lack a little of the subtlety and mood found in their proper forms. The drums also feel as if they might fall off track during at least a few of the songs, but quickly fixed so it's not a major distraction.

As for the material appearing on the live, it's exactly 50/50 between the two albums, which makes sense; Clandestine was the album being touted and toured upon when the recording was taken, but the band's buzz was still fresh on the ears and most fans were probably still getting into Left Hand Path. We've got "Living Dead", "Stranger Aeons", "Crawl", "Sinners Bleed", and "Evilyn", all good choices from Clandestine; and "Drowned", "Revel in Flesh", "But Life Goes On", "The Truth Beyond" and "Left Hand Path" from the debut. Some of the older material sounds a little careless here, in particular "Revel in Flesh" which sounded slightly downtrodden and out of tune, even moreso than it should with the down-tuning. The opening riff to "Evilyn" also sounds pretty weak here, losing a little of the pumping mute sensation that makes it so great on the studio version. A few of the songs do sound adequate, like "Crawl" and "Left Hand Path".

Monkey Puss (stupid title, by the way) is the sort of bootleg that probably should have remained a bootleg. It's great to capture Entombed in their raw, live environment, and much of the tone here is loyal, the guitars crunchy, and the bass throbbing, but there is no benefit to hearing this over the studio side, and having caught one of their performances since, I can say that the band has certainly improved in leaps and bounds. In other words, this was pretty much bound for the bargain bins; it's like a weak little smear of Zima in your vodka & tonic, quickly absorbed and distilled by the superior quality of everything else. Very easily forgotten or ignored.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

“LEFT HAND!” * “PATH!” * - 71%

OzzyApu, May 21st, 2009

“LEFT HAND!” * “PATH!” *

“YEAAH!”

I’m sorry, that reminded me so much of Maniac’s horrible impersonation at Wacken 2004. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go check out the video on Youtube, it’s embarrassing.

Fuck yeah, what a killer album. Earache was in their right mind officially releasing this bootleg. Honestly, the sound is gorgeous – almost to the point where it’s hard to tell that it’s a live recording. Even the bass – the mother fucking bass – can be heard like its Bob Daisley on the thing. Hellid and Cederlund are crazy with the riffs, trying out different styles than the original songs themselves while still retaining that signature edge. This comes as no surprise, since this was recorded back in 1992.

I do have a couple complaints to point out before I dig deeper. One can be the solos, which are sloppy, screechy, and really detract from the chuggy, muddy guitar tone. Even the bass sounds grumpy because the solos sound so out of place. Another issue I have is that “Chaos Breed” doesn’t make an appearance on here… for real? C’mon! That curbstomping break in the middle would be perfect for a live concert – could have even killed a poseur or two. Otherwise, let’s get on with the show!

The drums are what I’ll give the biggest praise, since the live sound really brings out the resonance and energy. Andersson is also the only one that doesn’t joke around – what I mean by this is that while the guitarists are obviously having way to much fun to play completely in sync, the rhythm is still met by the drumming. Even Lars starts to lose breath sometimes and can’t even growl properly. This comes off as unpleasant and lazy, although I bet he was really trying to keep up. You could tell that the crowd didn’t care, though, since they’re probably busy desecrating dead body props or something. I’m super serial, you’ll have as much fun jumping around with this as you would the first two full-lengths.

The ones I feel the guys capitalized on were “Sinners Bleed” and “Left Hand Path.” They pretty much came to the realization with those two that they were in a live setting, so they could experiment a little and make more of an effort to play with their own creations. For instance, the darker bridge at 3:40 of “Left Hand Path” just screamed to make it on the original recording. What we lack however is the epic outro to the song that sounds as though it’d be impossible to replicate.

Now the real question is “do you need this?” When it comes down to it, no, but if you’re a big Entombed fan, I’d say check it out. It’s not that you have to hear Entombed live, but if you didn’t get the chance to hear them all those years ago, then this’ll be a good pick-up, cause I can guarantee they won’t be going back to this style for a long time. However, if they do, then I can do you double and say they probably won’t sound as good.