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Dawn Of The Poorly-Produced Hearts. - 84%

Minion, February 1st, 2004

You've probably heard the story behind this recording, so I'll spare you a history lesson and move right on to the music. Now then, this is the best lineup the band has ever had, performing ltheir classics live in concert. It's an eerie thing, knowing that two of these guys would be dead soon. Except for Dead, who was already Dead.

Okay, that was really lame. But it is a good performance. The guitars are raw and brutal, and Dead's tortured shrieks fill the gloomy air, making for a spine-chilling experience. The performance is not the problem. It's the mix. In short, worst production ever. Actually, the production on the first eight songs, being recorded four years later than tracks nine through twelve, are a lot better than the last few tracks, recorded in 1986. The guitars on tracks one through eight tend to be obscurred by distortion at times, especially on Funeral Fog and Carnage, but overall it's not bad. It's the cover songs that blow the proverbial cock. THESE have the absolute worst production I have ever heard. The only thing audible is the vocals, and everything else is a muddy, dirty, muffled, wet ball of feces. You can't even come close to discerning anything from anything else, including the crowd noise. Totally unlistenable. But the 1990 performance more than makes up for it.

The setlist is fantastic. They play virtually everything they had at that point, including a few songs from De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Dead's vocals really add something to these songs - just listen to the way he introduces Freezing Moon. "When it's cold...and when it's dark...the freezing moon will obsess you!" Badass. The Deathcrush songs are given a better treatment with a good singer, too.

All things considered, this is not De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. This is better. Fuck the lame production, this is heavy fucking METAL the way it should have been done on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Listen to this, bang your fucking head, and disregard the covers. This is Mayhem the way Mayhem should always be heard.