The sound, the feel, the look of black metal; never has it been captured in a more perfect light than on Mayhem’s ‘Live in Leipzig’ release. Though originally released in 1993, two years before the original black metal scene reached its pinnacle, its place as a classic album (live or otherwise) still stands to this very day, having been matched by few and topped by none. The production is raw and primitive (two words vastly over-used to describe subsequent black metal albums) allowing Dead’s tortured vocals and Euronymous’s thrashing and nihilistic riffs to flow from your speakers with such a jagged flair that only a live performance could give. Said production sound is necessary to fully get a feel for the album, simply to hear all of the little nuances in the performances (see Hellhammer’s near perfect drum fills that permeate the whole of the album). The exact definition of the genre that Mayhem helped push to the forefront of the metal scene can be found on this album in the form of “Freezing Moon” (my personal pick for greatest black metal song ever recorded, ever). One listen to the lyrics, the riffs, and the chill inducing guitar solo and you will fully understand exactly what the genre is. ‘Live in Leipzig’ is easily the pinnacle of the early black metal scene and definitely a true metal masterpiece.
10 / 10