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Raw Mayhem - 88%

minorthreat665, January 19th, 2007

This live album is the prime example of the "true" Mayhem in their heyday. Although they never recorded a studio album with the "classic" lineup, this live release, albeit very rough, shows the greatness of Mayhem's lineup during the early '90s. The album contains nine tracks of classic Mayhem, everything from the beginning (Pure Fucking Armageddon, Deathcrush) up to what would later become De Mysteriis classics (Funeral Fog, Freezing Moon).

Dead's vocals are second-to-none in terms of setting the mood for the music. His painful growls, combined with the rough atmosphere of the straight, raw live recording (no post-production or noise editing here), make this an amazing black metal listen. It isn't beautifully polished, it's like a live black metal album should be: raw and exactly as it was heard live.

This, however, brings criticism, even from me. In a couple songs it's apparent they haven't practiced enough, because several times Euronymous misses chords or Hellhammer misses beats. Each time they improvise and attempt to make it work (like any band playing live should) but it sort of ruins the mood and atmosphere created somewhat, especially if one is a musician himself or herself.

Despite these shortcomings, however, Live in Leipzig is an amazing bootleg turned live black metal album. If this album were polished, with Dead's vocals, it would be the ultimate Mayhem release. On its own it still stands as a raw black classic.