I’ve listened to Mayhem since I was 14. I bought this album around the same time ‘Wrath Of The Tyrant’, ‘Transilvanian Hunger’, and ‘Hvis Lyset Tar Oss’ came into my posession. I’d sit for hours obsessing over the fuzzy, hissing, grinding noise coming from my headphones. I lived for trve, kult, grim, nekro, frostbitten Black Metal hatred. Before long, I discovered the wonders of technical riffs, odd time signatures, and the music of Sweden (amongst other non-Norwegian countries), and off I went into the vast wastelands of Extreme music.
I spent all the years between then and now searching for the most volatile, explosive, eardrum-mutilating sounds ever laid to tape. Faster, slower, heavier, lower, higher, longer, shorter, from the deafening quiet of extreme minimalism to the speaker blowing nails-on-chalkboard extremist sound manipulators (Thanks for the pain, Merzbow.)
Along the way I’ve experienced some pretty stunning displays of sonic violence, things the average Headbanger’s Ball viewer would refer to as ‘What the f**k is that noise?’. And yet listening to it years later, I realize there are still precious few recordings that do for my self-destructive inner child what Live In Leipzig can. This is it. The greatest. This is the end of extreme.
The sound is perfect. Don’t let anyone fool you. Triggers and Pro-Tools don’t equal good production, and I wouldn’t love this recording as much if every instrument wasn’t peaking out the mix in all it’s ugliest glory. Aarseth’s guitar tone is one of the most unlistenably beautiful sounds I’ve ever gritted my teeth over. And the vocals… there’s just nothing like this. The rage, the bile, the hate, just listening to Dead’s acid howl was enough to make one realize that he really didn’t like you, and more than anything in the world he’d probably like to stab you with something.
Own this album. There’s nothing else to say. An unprecedented work of youthful aggression and the pure devotion to making music that only the truly fearless could ever call their own.