Review Summary: One of the most infamous bootleged performances in history end up an enjoyable live performance for the first 8 songs. Sadly the last 4 dont offer as much.
I am sure many of you know the story of Mayhems Dawn of the Blackhearts
. For those of you who do not know I will recap. Mayhem vocalist Dead committed suicide, after doing so they put a depiction of the scene of his death on this album cover. Whatever the reason is for doing so, the album cover certainly has made it famous and raised all kinds of controversy for Mayhem. Original the performance was released as an LP and only 300 copies at the time were. Later in time it was re-released, although still very hard to find.
Dawn of the Blackhearts
was made when Mayhem had its most well known and legendary line up. With the deceased vocalist Dead and the extremely skilled Hellhammer on drums the band was at their prime. After releasing De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
the band had acquired a large fan base. Throughout the performance just by listening you can tell the crowd is really getting into it. After all the atmosphere this album provides is unlike any I have ever heard. The poor production quality seems to fit in with the dark music making everything sound very dark and evil.
Performance wise Mayhem does not disappoint. Dead’s brutal vocals sound even more raw and brutal then they ever did in past performances. Hellhammer’s drumming is also extremely impressive, despite being a bit overdone due to the poor production quality. The set list for this show is also extremely good. There are many Mayhem classics such as “Freezing Moon”, “Funeral Fog” and “Pure ***ing Armageddon”. All these songs are performed very well despite the very bad production quality.
Like I said before, the performers play very well together. Dead’s vocals fit together very well with guitarist Euronymus and the rest of the band. Many of the songs played were taken from earlier released EP’s and demos from the band. Despite these songs not being as well known most of them are still very decent tracks. One thing I found on Dawn of the Blackhearts
was the bass was not very audible. Not including a few parts on this album like “Freezing Moon” Necrobutcher’s bass playing is hard to decipher.
Unlike the first 8 tracks on Dawn of the Blackhearts
the last 4 are all cover songs played in a completely separate performance. Unfortunately these cover songs have even worse production quality then the first 8. The final songs include 2 Venom covers and 2 Celtic Frost covers. Songs are very inaudible at times only hearing the vocalist who has not yet utilized the famous rasp in his voice. These songs I don’t like to look at as part of the album due to them being completely separate performances and the shear low quality of them.
Dawn of the Blackhearts
is an album that will most likely be enjoyed only by hardcore black metal heads. There is nothing really accessible about this performance; the production is bad, the music is very raw and heavy, and the music never really lightens up. If you really wish to add this to your collection of black metal I say go ahead but be forewarned that this will cost you a lot of money when you find it, and finding it will also be a very hard task. On the other hand if you are not about owning this for collecting you can download it like I did and enjoy the great atmospheric music Dawn of the Blackhearts
What I liked about this album
+The music is enjoyable especially if you are a black metal head.
+Atmospherically this album is amazing, the fact that your listening to two dead people in the band even adds more to the ambiance.
+The set list is very good in the first 8 songs, including some great Mayhem classics.
+The band members play very well together and are all very talented live.
What I did not like about this album
-The Production in the last 4 tracks is so bad it makes the music nearly impossible to enjoy.
-There aren’t very many accessible features, if you are not a true black metal fan you will probably not enjoy this.
-The album is not very long and is only about 36 minutes of the good performance.
Final Rating 4.2/5