While in a way it feels somewhat strange to be reviewing this album on Christmas Eve, the truth of the matter is that Norwegian black metal legends Mayhem played their classic album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas for the first time in its entirety live last year at Sweden's Black Christmass Festival, so perhaps it's fitting that a review of this live recording appears on SoT on this very special day. Long considered one of the most important and influential black metal albums of all time, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is as 'anti-christian' as it gets, an album steeped in horrific lyrical themes, with music as relentless and brutal as it gets. Considering the time it was originally recorded, the metal world was thrown on its collected ass by this extreme assault, and a brand new sub-genre was created in its wake.
Of course, the band who recorded the original album back in 1994 is quite different from the current version of Mayhem, which consists of Attila (vocals), Necrobutcher (Bass), Hellhammer (Drums),
Teloch (Guitar), and Ghul (Guitar). Only Attila and Hellhammer remain from that original line-up, but the current formation have been a stable unit for a while, and together they have given these songs an even heavier feel, modernizing things somewhat with a thunderous twin guitar attack and crushing rhythms. Hellhammer's insane blast beats are ever present, and Attila's unique vocal style ghastly as always. "Cursed in Eternity" just pummels from start to finish, as does the brutal "From the Dark Past", while the more atmospheric numbers "Funeral Fog" and "Freezing Moon" ooze eeriness in true black metal fashion. As live albums go, this one is top of the line, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive just misses making the cut on my Best of 2016 list because, well, it just came out too late. Black metal fans rejoice!
1. Funeral Fog 05:27
2. Freezing Moon 06:14
3. Cursed In Eternity 05:00
4. Pagan Fears 05:36
5. Life Eternal 06:32
6. From the Dark Past 04:48
7. Buried by Time and Dust 03:16
8. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas