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Another generic "Live in [X]" release - 10%

_Life_Eternal_, October 20th, 2018

Live in Jessheim is another one of Mayhem's bootlegs-turned-official releases - it's the fourth "Live in" release - that cashes in, yet again, on the prospect of Dead being the vocalist. At this point, Dead's history with Mayhem is an open secret among the band itself; it seems as if they pay tribute to his minor existence with these awful recordings.

You're getting what is expected of any old live black metal release. And, since this was originally a bootleg, a myriad of problems plague Live in Jessheim, too. Commonplace in this album is crackling, distortion, and cutting out. Live in Jessheim's darkest past as an illegal release makes listening turn into a game of deciphering. I don't want to decipher! I want to listen to this purported legendary Mayhem lineup, where Euronymous is ripping on his guitar, Hellhammer lays waste with his drum ensemble, and Dead pukes his legendary, martyred vocals. Instead, all I got was this stinkin' lo-fi bootleg to appease me, and to further the circle-jerk around Dead.

Live in Jessheim is a little bit of a black sheep among the "Live in" series, though. For starters, Hellhammer's drums are drowned out by everything else. They're so quiet, they effectively cease to exist throughout much of the recording. You can hear bumping, but that's it. And the bass gets it worse, too. The bass isn't present in any capacity. Euronymous gets it good, but it still sounds horrible. It's speedy white noise. But you can still make out some of the riffs, which is better than nothing.

With all that out of the way, we can talk about Dead. Live in Jessheim gives Dead the best treatment out of any other band member. His singing competes with Euronymous' playing, but the near lack of drums does a damn fine job in actually giving you something that you can understand.

You're going to need to listen closely, but you can actually hear Dead sing the same exact songs from the past three "Live in" albums. Isn't that exciting? In fact, Live in Jessheim shares the same exact set list as Dawn of the Black Hearts/Live in Sarpsborg, and a near identical set list to both Live in Zeitz and Live in Leipzig. If you have listened to any other "Live in" release that features Dead as vocalist, you have listened to a debatably better version of Live in Jessheim.

Oh, but maybe you're content with hearing Dead introduce The Freezing Moon with the same sentence ("When it's cold, and when it's dark, the freezing moon will obsess you!") for the fifth, maybe sixth time? And maybe you enjoy hearing the same songs for the sixth time, too? Live in Jessheim is just for you. This album is masturbatory fodder for the obsessive Mayhem militant - no more, no less.

Many years have passed since the funeral - 70%

lamb666, November 27th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, 12" vinyl, Peaceville Records (Limited edition, Green)

To be clear I am reviewing a bootleg. The sound on the record is dull throughout. The record has a layer of fuzz and an almost perpetual ringing noise throughout (possibly cymbals). Still, I didn't get the LP for the fantastic production job.

Dead's vocals are plainly audible which is not always the case on Mayhem recordings from this era. Hellhammer's drumming does not overpower proceedings either which is also not in keeping with other recordings of this era. This leaves some room to hear the guitar and bass better. For anyone obsessed by classic era Mayhem this is a worthy addition to any collection, for those who aren't Live In Leipzig would be a better place to start.

The band sound sloppy for the first few songs. Not necessarily a bad thing for a black metal band except Deathcrush and Funeral Fog suffer greatly in parts. According to the booklet this was their first show with Dead at the front. This may give a reason for the less than perfect start. They begin to recover with Freezing Moon and the subsequent tracks sound suitably intense and no more chaotic than when they were written. Carnage and Chainsaw Gutsfuck sound much as they were intended.

This concert's place in history is undisputed. It is to black metal what Woodstock was to hippies. To have been in attendance was surely a moment to treasure for those who were lucky enough to have been there. Its place on my turntable however is a little more contested. Although I love this era of the band there are already significantly better quality releases to catalogue those early years when they brought black metal kicking and screaming into existence. For completions sake the LP is worth it, and is entertaining, but I can see why it was not made in larger runs like the recent Live In Leipzig or Live in Zeitz reissues.