I can’t think of a more perfect way for reunited/reformed Death Metal legends Entombed to return than a live version of one of their most revered albums. Yeah sure Wolverine Blues and Left Hand Path a classics, but I think Clandestine Live (Threeman Recordings) is even better and serves as a timely reminder of just how influential this band is.
This live offering was recorded back in 2017 and what is immediately apparent is that the band have simply never missed a step and continue to prove to be one of the genre’s best.
Live albums by their very nature can be a mixed bag and with so many factors and variables involved it is quite a hard task to truly harness a band’s sound live and then have it translate onto a CD. Thankfully there are no gremlins or obvious blemishes apparent on this recording. ‘Living Dead’ is the first track proper and after the moody intro that signature death n’ roll sound of Entombed is laid out in all its glory. The drums are like audio whiplash making you sit bolt upright and man oh man that bass sound should come with its own health warning. It has always underpinned everything the band does but in a live setting it’s true power can flourish.
‘Sinners Bleed’ and ‘Evilyn’ follow and are no less potent the former is a brooding measured surgical incision of a song, like a slow death grip, it burns in such a methodically brutal way it’s something to reckon with. The latter has a way more different feel than the studio version, more of a thrash metal vibe is present mainly in the way the guitars are sounding.
The dueling guitar solo’s on ‘Blessed Be’ have always been a highlight of the album for me and the live version of the song only increases that feeling. Further to that ‘Chaos Breed’ has one of the best bass lines in death metal, the crunch and rumble are all there in spades the drums whip crack in joyful harmony, a rhythm section that is a true force of nature.
Truly a classic death metal album in every sense, from a band that will go down as one of the godfathers of the genre. A live album which will give every die-hard fan that sense of nostalgia that everyone loves but also as any such release should do to make those older songs that much more vibrant.
7 / 10