Black Metal uber lords Mayhem is in the fuckin house! Hide your bibles, guns, knives, false metal iconography and without question any Stryper albums. Now on a more serious note the name Mayhem is probably more famous than any of their music that’s for sure and with the recent interest in the band following the movie ‘The Lords Of Chaos’ its fair to say Mayhem has been many things over the last thirty-five plus years and not all of it good but some of it great. I’ll admit right here that I was always intrigued as an impressionable schoolboy in the whole Venom, Hellhammer first wave of Black Metal and then when I heard ‘DeathCrush’ I was blown away and for me (remember this is pre-internet) there wasn’t a great deal of information about Norway and what was going on over there it was hard to keep up and by the time I had a better idea two of them were dead they’d been through several singers (if singers is the correct term) and by the time the mid 90s had passed I was done occasionally dipping back in from time to time and usually when there was a book out covering the church burnings or a documentary then I’d dip back in to find out what the hell happened to the likes of Bathory, Hellhammer, Venom and Mayhem. Id’ say in the last few years I rediscovered ‘Deathcrush’ and latterly ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ I’m afraid to say it was a gradual decline downhill for me as a lot of Black Metal had turned into some classical technical jizzfest and it had lost its spark for me.
With the exception of a few albums here and there the scene was done and then I heard a Darkthrone album and watched a few Mayhem clips on youtube and I was back in and when I read that Mayhem was recording a new album and the band had been listening to live tapes of them playing that ‘Mysteriis’ album and using the sounds to write the new album I was intrigued. Then when I heard some of the new tracks and they were a little slower and more experimental and more akin to old school Mayhem I was pleased, there is an energy about this record that hasn’t been there for a while.
It’s easy to say it’s just a rehash of that first album would be unfair It’s fair to say its more in keeping with it and maybe that’s why I’m excited to hear it. sure Attila’s vocals are an acquired taste at times terrifying and other times so guttural and indistinguishable it would be fair to say scratch some nails down a pane of glass would be more preferable. This is the extreme end of extreme music no question about it and from the exceptional artwork you know you are in the company of the darkest shade of darkness Mayhem dance only to their own tune they do what they want when they want to do it and this album as a complete piece of work is going to make fellow black metallers sit up and pay attention ‘Daemon’ begins with ‘The Dying False King’ with no spooky intro or long winding lead up – Bosch! they’re off like a salivating three-headed dog barking like fuck until the breakdown halfway through and already this pisses over anything they’ve done for over a decade and a half – make no mistake Mayhem are on fire! ‘Agenda Ignis’ is like shit off a stick as it meanders its way out of Hell poor old Hellhammer he’s drumming like his backside is on fire but again there is a twist after about a minute but worry not you mega paradiddlers its momentary and the thunderous noise continues.
The production is suitably hellish as you’d expect and with headphones, it’s another experience altogether. In an hour-long bombardment I think I need a lie-down but leave the lights on please I don’t want any more darkness but I do know I’m going back in for some more. ‘Malum’ twists and turns and goes from breakneck to a slower more evil tempo and back and forth we fight.
‘Falsified And Hated’ is almost six minutes of pure darkness its as bleak as the album gets oh no it isn’t ‘Aeon Daemonium’ builds up like a waking Beelzebub before the double bass sparks up I must admit that I’ll have to listen to the middle songs a lot more because currently, they’re blending into one great big dark ball of Metallic noise as Attila growls and belches out his lyrics and the songs meander back and fore in epic fashion but flow over my head a little but I feel they’re dragging me in slooooowly.
I know they’re never going to write a love song or play a soft ballad nor would I want them to but at times the intensity is too much right up to the kettle drums on ‘Invoke the Oath’ along with the military snare beats it’s like a call to satanic arms and the dead are rising to the call. Cramming so much into five minutes is like ‘At War With Satan’ on double speed but I don’t know what the fucks going on here.
There are bonus tracks but they’re long and repetitive and complex-sounding but saying that the final one ‘Black Glass Communion’ sounds fuckin’ thunderous on the headphones a real sonic kick to the temple. ‘Daemon’ is the blackest shade of Black and if anyone tells you that Black Metal is long done then throw this on the stereo and tell them to fuck off. Mayhem is black metal and ‘Daemon’ is Mayhem job done!
Buy Daemon Here
Author:Dom ‘Daemon’ Daley