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MAYHEM - Deathcrush cover
3.23 | 25 ratings | 4 reviews
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EP · 1987

Filed under Black Metal


1. Silvester Anfang (1:56)
2. Deathcrush (3:33)
3. Chainsaw Gutsfuck (3:32)
4. Witching Hour (Venom cover) (1:49)
5. Necrolust (3:37)
6. (Weird) Manheim (0:48)
7. Pure Fucking Armageddon (2:09)
8. Outro (1:09)

Total Time 18:33


- Necrobutcher / Bass
- Manheim / Piano (track 6), Drums
- Maniac / Vocals (tracks 2, 3, 5)
- Euronymous / Guitars

Guest/session musicians:
- Messiah / Vocals (tracks 4, 7, 8)

About this release

Format: 12" vinyl (33⅓ RPM)
Label: Posercorpse Music
Release date: August 1987

First vinyl press. Printed wrong so the cover is pink rather than red. The recording is essentially the same as the earlier Deathcrush cassette demo, but was retconned to an EP for this release.

Track 1, Silverster Anfang, by Conrad Schnitzler (Tangerine Dream).

Track 6, (Weird) Manheim, and track 7, Pure Fucking Armageddon, are combined into a single track on some reissues.

Track 8, Outro, is omitted on reissues, though bootleg versions may include it.

Thanks to The Angry Scotsman, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

As my revived interest in extreme metal had me looking at what I had missed over the last 30 years and a book of photographs of the Norwegian black metal scene aroused my curiosity in the culture behind the music, I sat there before the computer with my finger hovering over the mouse, trying to decide between two Mayhem albums in my Amazon shopping cart. Which would be my first purchase: Deathcrush or De Mysteriis dom Sathanas? One more visit to YouTube confirmed it. That riff at the beginning of "Deathcrush" had to be in my music collection!

I'll admit that I am not a fan of lo-fi albums. There's lo-fi that's passable and then there's just low, very low fidelity. It's so low that it might as well be called infidelity. And that's a conundrum I was facing in deciding to bring home some Norwegian black metal. Would I be able to accept the lower quality in sound production? The answer was a resounding yes. I mean that's what the scene was all about, and as I soon found out, there were a lot of awesome guitar riffs coming out of the culture that sounded quite alright in all the scratchy scrunchy sound, the riff in "Deathcrush" being the best one I had heard yet.

The vocalist, Maniac, is pretty much that: a maniac screaming with a bleeding throat like he doesn't care, scaring children and old ladies, like a madman in a complete rage. Pretty cool, huh-huh. Add to that Necrobutcher's buzzing bass guitar and the chaos on drums that is Manheim, and of course Euronymous's thrash-influenced speedy riffing and you have a recipe for Mayhem indeed.

The album is madness and sounds like madness. They mess with your head opening the album with that weirdo instrumental composed by Conrad Schnitzler and seems to serve no comprehensible reason for being on the album and that warped piano bit by Manhein that preludes "Pure Fucking Armageddon". Then there's "Chainsaw Gutsfuck" which was at sometime credited with being the most gory song of whatever period before gorier songs came out (always trying to one up on the last one), and a cover of Venom's "Witching Hour" which I failed to recognize until I read that it was a cover of that song.

I'll say this: the band's mission statement seems to have been established within these meagre 18 minutes or so. It's either that you get it and think positively of the result or you think it's utter rubbish. Personally, I rather like it. After watching a few documentaries with Necrobutcher speaking about Mayhem and death metal, I don't think they plan to change their sound much either.
siLLy puPPy
Here it is – the unpolished sloppy muddy first EP from the legendary MAYHEM but it still sounds like a major improvement from the horrendous production of the demo that emerged the year before. This came out in 1987, several years before the second wave of Norwegian black metal had taken off and a good few years before contemporaries like Darkthrone, Immortal or Emperor would release their first black metal. They basically took the most aggressive music of the 80s by Venom, Bathory, Motorhead and Celtic Frost as their inspiration and ramped it up significantly.

I am not sure who exactly is considered the first second wavers to kick off the revolution but I can't think of any other band who sounded like this at this time however some of this sounds like it is borderline death metal or grindcore. They also wouldn't adopt the Satanic imagery and lyrics until Dead joined the crew the next year but they sure have a good head start on the sound that would really take off in the 90s.

This album is kind of funny in a way. It starts off with some strange electronic drumming thing that doesn't sound the least bit evil or black but once the next track begins it is clear that the aggression and brutality of early second wavers has already taken hold. At times Maniac sounds like he's being strangled while he's screaming out his unintelligible lyrics. Overall not a bad first release for one of the greats of the scene but we all know that better things would come.
The debut EP by Mayhem is an epoch-defining statement of intent for the Norwegian black metal scene, with many elements of the second-wave black metal sound already in place. The production job is sloppy but the band use that to their advantage, creating a howling wall of sound from which furious blast beats and jagged riffs emerge, with Maniac's vocals sounding like a crazed howling almost lost in the midst of this storm of sound.

I could do without the opening Silvester Anfang, a tedious bit of martial drumming which serves no purpose beyond establishing that the band could have applied less lo-fi production to the demos had they wanted to, though the other quieter and more reflective moment on the album, (Weird) Manheim, serves quite effectively as an intro for Pure Fucking Armageddon. And the songs themselves represent some of the most extreme metal recorded to that date; perhaps some of the work of Bathory, Hellhammer or Sodom had come close in the past, but it must be said that it was Mayhem who took this particular strand of black metal to the next level.
The Angry Scotsman
The first big release by the notorious Mayhem.

It really is a fitting name for the band, as this release is quite literally mayhem. An extreme metal record with extremely low fi production, this album is a wall of guitar sounding noise, blast beats and (honestly) impossible to understand shouted vocals, buried in that wall of noise. To go along with it, some truly twisted lyrics.

Sometimes the guitar is barely heard, thundering double bass is more "felt" then heard, the music really has no structure to it whatsoever. The only way to describe this album is mayhem. Pure mayhem.

If Mayhem went out seeking to create utterly violent and chaotic music, they succeeded. This album sounds like they turned on a recorder, and just started playing. The only reason I am not giving this album half a star is because of the slight intrigue there is on this album: It begins with "Silvester Anfang" which is entirely a militaristic drum cadence. "(Weird) Manheim" is a melodic, keyboard intro. The infamous "Chainsaw Gutsf**k" is quite slow and reminiscent of doom metal.

An extremely low fi, extreme metal album that is only for completionists.

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