Nov 112019
 

 

(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by Mayhem, which is out now via Century Media Records.)

Mayhem is one of Black Metal’s most storied names.  They were pioneers — a lot of modern stylistic conventions of black metal are owed to them, and you can hear their influence even today in much of what you listen to.  A lot of my personal favorite black metal is definitely influenced by Mayhem in significant ways, and I’m a huge fan of the band’s diverse yet admittedly hit-or-miss discography.

Although not all of their albums have hit the mark, they’ve never failed to live up to the inherently rebellious ethos of black metal, always trying something different and attempting (sometimes desperately) not to pander to expectations from release to release.  Mayhem have also often displayed a leaning toward more eccentric quirks, and kind of a flare for technical guitar work before a lot of other bands of their era did that.

So it may seem peculiar that my two favorite Mayhem records are Grand Declaration Of War and Esoteric Warfare, both which pursued really weird or chaotic tangents from black metal convention.  Grand Declaration… was almost a spoken-word recording with black metal accompaniment, and Esoteric Warfare seems to explore every extreme metal style in a black metal framework with a lot of interesting noise elements, and it really spoke to me. Continue reading »

Sep 012019
 

 

I usually don’t include new songs by the truly “big name” bands in these columns, because anyone who cares about black metal will have already discovered them, and often because there’s better stuff churning deeper in the underground. But I made an exception today, for reasons to be explained, and then moved on from there deeper into subterranean recesses. I’m kind of proud about the way the music flows in this collection. You can decide for yourselves whether, as a playlist, these selections work well together.

MAYHEM

The Internet loves “best of” lists, especially in genres of entertainment. If you peruse any of the many web lists of the best black metal of all time it’s inevitable that you will see De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. That release happened 25 years ago, but even if Mayhem had never recorded anything else they probably would have already assured themselves an important place in the history of black metal.

But of course they went on to release four more albums of (it must be said) uneven quality, along with a slew of compilations, live recordings, and other scattered short things, all of which together demonstrate that from humble beginnings Mayhem has mutated into a formidable business enterprise. Continue reading »

Jul 182019
 

 

(Our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum scored a coup with this interview of Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen at the recent Tons of Rock festival in Oslo, where Blasphemer performed with his band Vltimas, which also includes David Vincent and Flo Mounier (their debut album Something Wicked Marches In was released by Season of Mist this past March). Blasphemer has left his mark on the history of metal through the music of such bands as Mayhem and Aura Noir, and more recently with Vltimas and Earth Electric. This interview touches on all these experiences, and what the future holds for him. All photos accompanying this interview were made by Andrea Chirulescu.)

 

How did the idea of forming Vltimas originate?

I’ve been playing so much extreme metal for so many years that it was always a mission of mine to form a band that I could call my little baby. Something that I created from the start, because with Mayhem, I didn’t start it; I joined Mayhem. The same with Aura Noir, I just joined them.

So it was something that was on my to-do list, you know. Starting something from scratch and building something up from the ground. So when I quit Mayhem I was thinking about it, but at the time I just thought I had to take a break from extreme metal, from Black Metal, so I did not pursue it. I did other styles within metal instead. Continue reading »

Jul 082019
 

 

(Our Norway-based writer Karina Noctum had the good fortune of interviewing Mayhem drummer Hellhammer recently, following a Mayhem festival performance in Oslo, and we present the conversation here.)

This interview with Hellhammer was conducted after the gig at Tons of Rock in Oslo on June 28. I will have the opportunity to see them yet again at Beyond the Gates festival in Bergen, which has an incredible line-up and has not sold out yet. In addition, there is going to be a European tour by Mayhem (with support by Gaahls WYRD and Gost) in late October-November as well.

I think it was a pretty good timing for this interview, as I got some tidings about what to expect when it comes to the new Mayhem album that is currently in the making at the renowned Necromorbus Studio in Stockholm. Continue reading »

Feb 092017
 

 

Editor’s Introduction: For years I’ve been an admirer of the photography of L.A.-based magician Levan TK. In my humble opinion, there is no better concert photographer to be found. And so we feel fortunate indeed to present his photographs from the performance of the legendary Mayhem in southern California on February 7, 2017, along with Levan TK’s thoughts about the show. To view more of his photographic art, go HERE.

And by the way, to hear the first time De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas was ever performed live in its entirety (in Norrkjöping, Sweden, on Dec. 18, 2015, at the Black Christmass Festival), it’s available on Bandcamp HERE.

******

Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas US tour hit LA — well, Santa Ana, which is part of the greater Los Angeles area to be precise. Though the band had performed the album in its entirety last year at Maryland Deathfest, as well as a few European fests and shows, they have never before attempted a full stateside tour for the pivotal album. Continue reading »

Jul 202015
 

Black Metal Warfare Pt II

 

I’m just going to put that flyer up there and bow out pretty quickly so I can go back to moping about the fact that the just-announced Black Metal Warfare Pt. II tour is skipping the Pacific Northwest region of these United States. I have sympathy for all Canadians, too. And for people in the other 34 states besides Washington and Oregon whom the tour is passing by. Continue reading »

Feb 272015
 

 

(In this post BadWolf reviews the live performances by Mayhem, Watain, and Revenge at El Corazon in Seattle on January 27, 2015, with photos by Madison Lieren.)

For a minute there I was so inundated with European black metal, its tropes, and its lyrical hullabaloo, that I forgot about the genre’s troubled, violent, church-burning past, and in a sense that’s where I wanted to be from the get-go, since unlike some people I actually found the genre’s flirtations with homicide and terrorism to be a turn-off before I actually listened to the music.

Leave it to Norway’s Mayhem, original purveyors of quote-unquote dangerous black metal to drag me back into my discomfort zone by headlining the Black Metal Warfare tour, a nationwide trek wherein the second generation provocateurs, alongside Watain and Revenge, inspired mosh pits, threw blood on the crowd, and peddled tee shirts lionizing “Panic, Terror, Arson, Metal, Chaos.”

“Oh yeah, that’s right,” I thought to myself, looking at the merch rack hobbled in the corner of Seattle’s El Corazon, “I fucking love blowing stuff up. Silly me, where *did* my balls go?” A prescient thought, as the night wound up being a testament to testicular fortitude. Continue reading »

Oct 132014
 

 

Today Norway’s Mayhem and Sweden’s Watain announced that they will be mounting a co-headlining North American tour together this winter. Named Black Metal Warfare, the tour will also include support from the Canadian black/death band Revenge.

Mayhem are touring in support of their new album, Esoteric Warfare, while Watain are touring in support of their most recent full-length, The Wild Hunt. I really enjoyed the live performances of both bands the last time they separately ventured to our shores, and I have high hopes for this tour. I’m also very interested to see Revenge.

The full schedule appears right after the jump (it neglects the South and Southwest, among other regions): Continue reading »

Apr 132014
 

John Martin: “The Deluge” (1834)

As I mentioned yesterday, the past week brought good song and video premieres in a flood, which was unfortunate only in the sense that I didn’t have time to write about all those discoveries day-by-day as they happened. So this weekend I decided to just flood you with them, leaving behind all but some short snippets of my own sparkling prose and mainly delivering the streams, along with release info.

Yesterday I collected 11 (!) new songs and videos, plus a couple of tantalizing news items, and today I’ve got 12 more, plus a few more news items. Once again, I present them in alphabetical order:

AMBIENT DEATH

The Song: “Apotheosis of the Hangman”
From: Dismembering the Image of God
Release info: self-released by the band on April 7; below is a new video for the opening track
www.ambientdeath.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/ambientdeath

Vicious melodic death metal with flying fretwork that gets more interesting and seductive as the song progresses. Punches pretty damned hard, too. Continue reading »

Feb 182014
 

Are you sitting down? You should sit down for this: Seven years after the release of Ordo Ad Chao, Norway’s legendary Mayhem have recorded a new album due near the end of May from Season of Mist. This morning the band premiered the first advance track, named “Psywar”, through a lyric video with very cool artwork by the very talented Costin Chioreanu. It appears that “Psywar” will be released as a 7″ vinyl EP in advance of the album; it’s already available for pre-order here.

The song is very much worth hearing, wholly apart from the fact that it comes from Mayhem (whose ranks now include Attila Csihar, Necrobutcher, Hellhammer, and new member Teloch). It combines black metal venom, death metal might, and a fog of alien atmospherics.

If for some reason you’re unable to access the video below, Mayhem have provided links on their FB page to other locations around the world where it can be streamed: Continue reading »