Record Label: Century Media Records
When thinking about Black Metal Mayhem are definitely one of the first bands to come to mind, as they are the reason that Black Metal exploded worldwide. The band with the most notorious history, having overcome numerous obstacles including murder and suicide, continue to exist now stronger than ever. Mayhem have been the cornerstone for the Second Wave of Black Metal to shape its sound, creating perhaps the best album in the genre, “De Mysteriis dom Sathanas”, with many of the greats, including Darkthrone and Emperor, paying tribute to them many times.
With their latest release “Daemon” they have managed to reassert themselves on the top of the mountain, with most of their tour being sold out and everyone talking about them once again. This time around they take a back-the roots approach blending with innovative parts to make their sound stand out from the classic 90’s era. All the elements that made the band great are present in this album with a “DMDS” atmosphere, but not being a copy of their older stuff. The album as a whole is very cohesive but each song has its own identity. Ghul’s and Teloch’s high compositional skills come along very well with Attila’s absolutely stunning vocal performance and Hellhammer’s very intricate drumming skills.
The album opens up with blast beats from “The Dying False King” to make our blood boil from the very beginning. A classic Black Metal track with various tempos and dynamics concluding with amazing chanting vocals. “Agenda Ignis” gives a newfound groove to the band. Thunderous riffs and blast beats leave their place to a slower part built upon very stable drumming and heavy bass line. Coming up next, “Bad Blood” brings back memories from Mayhem’s thirty-year chaotic run with amazing guitar work. “Malum” is my personal favorite and the album’s highlight. Attila takes the track to an otherworldly dimension, adding layer upon layer with his voice as the off-beat selection of vocal placing creates an eerie atmosphere, making the whole room around you freeze.
“Falsified and Hated” is another strong point of the album with ferocious blast beats and a haunting synth, adding variety in the mix. High intensity transits to low growls and then back to full-on attack with the keyboards in the midway section leaving a “Dunkelheit” flavor. “Aeon Daemonium” creates an ominous atmosphere with evil sounding vocals and the drums capturing my attention. Moving on, “Worthless Abominations Destroyed” causes seer chaos with hellish riffs and operatic vocals, turning to a shrieking onslaught to reach the song’s climax. “Daemon Spawn” is a bit Post-Black Metal sounding, enhancing the album’s variety with a handful of riffs. “Of Worms and Ruins” showcases the whole spirit of the album, being fast-paced, chaotic but under control with demon-like vocals. “Invoke the Oath” gives us a satanic epilogue with demons captivating your soul.
The two bonus tracks could very well have been part of the original tracklist, as they are exceptional compositions. “Everlasting Dying Flame” has great leads with intricate bass lines and “Black Glass Communion” is the most vicious song. The production is very well balanced and the drumming more organic, enabling us to appreciate every aspect of Hellhammer’s talent. Teloch and Ghul were definitely influenced by the “DMDS” tour, living the album every day and that’s reflected in their writing. They make us see the true horrible face of hell from the view of a demon, experience the torture and pain with the nightmarish riffs and agonizing screams, serving as our vessel to this journey. Mystical melodies make their presence felt throughout incorporating a modern kind of sound but still remaining raw, evil and reminiscent of the 90’s.
“Daemon” contains no fillers with every song having something to add to the album. Mayhem have revived the True Norwegian Black Metal sound, with a memorable creation and their best one since “DMDS”. As a die-hard Mayhem fan, I was blown away by the outcome and they have taken the center stage of the Black Metal world for us to enjoy.
Mayhem – Daemon (Full Album)