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Not to be confused with the NWoBHM band of the same name, Mayhem is a black metal band from Oslo, Norway which was originally formed in 1983, taking strong influence especially from Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Venom and from earlier Bathory. The name "Mayhem" was taken from the title of the Venom song "Mayhem with Mercy". Much controversy has surrounded the band regarding various murders, suicides, and other forms of violence. Mayhem have moved through a variety of black metal styles, even going so far as delving into the areas of dark avant-garde industrial and electronica. The group (in its earliest, and most accepted and popular incarnation; 1983-1993) are widely considered to be one of the cornerstone bands in the movement often labelled "the second wave" of black metal. In the years since, their influence has only grown.

The band's initial line-up consisted of Manheim on drums, Necrobutcher on bass guitar, Euronymous
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MAYHEM Discography

MAYHEM albums / top albums

MAYHEM De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album cover 3.89 | 51 ratings
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Black Metal 1994
MAYHEM Grand Declaration of War album cover 3.10 | 22 ratings
Grand Declaration of War
Black Metal 2000
MAYHEM Chimera album cover 3.90 | 27 ratings
Black Metal 2004
MAYHEM Ordo Ad Chao album cover 3.96 | 25 ratings
Ordo Ad Chao
Black Metal 2007
MAYHEM Esoteric Warfare album cover 3.70 | 14 ratings
Esoteric Warfare
Black Metal 2014
MAYHEM Daemon album cover 4.07 | 8 ratings
Black Metal 2019

MAYHEM EPs & splits

MAYHEM Deathcrush album cover 3.23 | 25 ratings
Black Metal 1987
MAYHEM Wolf's Lair Abyss album cover 2.88 | 10 ratings
Wolf's Lair Abyss
Black Metal 1997
MAYHEM Necrolust / Total Warfare album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Necrolust / Total Warfare
Black Metal 1999
MAYHEM Life Eternal album cover 3.25 | 4 ratings
Life Eternal
Black Metal 2009
MAYHEM Sathanas / Luciferi Tour EP album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sathanas / Luciferi Tour EP
Black Metal 2016
MAYHEM Atavistic Black Disorder / Kommando album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Atavistic Black Disorder / Kommando
Black Metal 2021

MAYHEM live albums

MAYHEM Live in Leipzig album cover 4.00 | 12 ratings
Live in Leipzig
Black Metal 1993
MAYHEM Mediolanum Capta Est album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Mediolanum Capta Est
Black Metal 1999
MAYHEM Live in Marseille 2000 album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Live in Marseille 2000
Black Metal 2001
MAYHEM Live in Zeitz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Zeitz
Black Metal 2016
MAYHEM De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive
Black Metal 2016
MAYHEM Live in Sarpsborg album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Sarpsborg
Black Metal 2017

MAYHEM demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MAYHEM Pure Fucking Armageddon album cover 3.28 | 5 ratings
Pure Fucking Armageddon
Black Metal 1986
MAYHEM Deathrehearsal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Metal 1987
MAYHEM Deathcrush album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Metal 1987
MAYHEM Studio Tracks album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Studio Tracks
Black Metal 1990
MAYHEM Live - Only Death Is Real album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live - Only Death Is Real
Black Metal 1991

MAYHEM re-issues & compilations

MAYHEM Out From the Dark album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Out From the Dark
Black Metal 1996
MAYHEM U.S. Legions album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
U.S. Legions
Black Metal 2001
MAYHEM European Legions album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
European Legions
Black Metal 2001
MAYHEM A Season in Blasphemy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Season in Blasphemy
Black Metal 2015
MAYHEM The Analog Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Analog Collection
Black Metal 2016

MAYHEM singles (3)

.. Album Cover
3.00 | 1 ratings
Freezing Moon
Black Metal 1996
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ancient Skin / Necrolust
Black Metal 1997
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Metal 2014

MAYHEM movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Bischofswerda
Black Metal 1998

MAYHEM Reviews

MAYHEM De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas

Album · 1994 · Black Metal
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Review #1

I avoided Metal music for many years because I always thought it was just weird vocal noises, unstoppable drums and weird distorted guitar riffs, I didn't know what the different types of Metal are and the only metal artists that I used to listen to (very scarcely) were the ones that were someway related to Progressive Rock (Tool, Dream Theater, Opeth, Devin Townsend and Agalloch to name a few).

Sometimes I get tired of Progressive Rock and that's where I start to discover different kinds of Bands and musical genres, so, about a year ago I discovered a Black Metal playlist on Spotify and I listened to it merely for curiosity, now I regret for all the time I wasted: I found out a lot of excellent Black Metal recordings from the 90's but it was particularly "De Mysteriis dom Sathanas" by Mayhem the one that really captured my attention. Further than the whole suicide, murdering and burning churches crap that the members of this chaotic band were involved in, the music on this album was something absolutely different to anything that I've ever heard.

I've been listening to several (well, maybe not several but various) Black Metal bands lately and it's easy to know what the music is about: weird vocal noises, unstoppable drums and weird distorted guitar riffs, the exact same stuff that I always avoided Metal Music for is what made me get really interested in it, but after getting some info about Mayhem I can get that this was (and still is) one of the most iconic and representative bands of the whole Norwegian Black Metal scene and they were actually pioneers on the style: even when their album was released until 1994 when both Dead and Euronymous were already death, the band was extremely popular in the underwolrd of Norway since the late eighties.

Even when Mayhem is not the only Black Metal band and it is probably not the best one, the most prolific or the most popular one, its relevance and influence in the development of this particular musical style is undeniable. As I said before: this album was released after Dead and Euronymous deaths so this is not only a debut album: it is a very important historical archive that should be recognized as one of those pillar albums in the creation of a whole new style of music.

I hope to keep discovering more and more albums like this in the journey that I'm starting through the universe of Black Metal, from now on, I have a lot of research to do, but I couldn't choose a better record to start.


Album · 2019 · Black Metal
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Daemon feels like something of a back to basics album for Mayhem - rather than trying the sort of production experiments or thematic weirdness which characterised albums like Grand Declaration of War, Ordo ad Chao, and Esoteric Warfare, they produce some straight-ahead no-nonsense black metal. You could sort of see this as the third of a triptych of Mayhem's "pure" black metal studio albums, along with De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas and Chimera.

Of those three, I don't think it quite reaches the consistently high quality of Chimera, and it certainly isn't as groundbreaking as De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, but it's a fun outing which proves that Mayhem are still no slouches, even if they risk going through the motions at this point.


Album · 2019 · Black Metal
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Kev Rowland
There are few metal bands which force me to jump my self-imposed lead time when I am sent a new album and push it to the top of the queue, but I was there when Mayhem played New Zealand the first time in their history, and they ripped the country a new one. It is more than five years since their last studio album, ‘Esoteric Warfare’, and it is indeed strange to think that this is only their sixth album. But given their debut ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ is one of the most important black metal albums of all time they always have a lot to live up to. The line-up these days is Necrobutcher (bass), Hellhammer (drums), Attila (vocals), Teloch (guitars) and Ghul (guitars), and while only Hellhammer was the only full member at the time of the debut, both Necrobutcher and Attila were involved and all five of these guys were on the last album together so they have been touring and playing for quite some time.

It shows on this, as this is unrepentant black metal with no frills, atmospheric weirdness or ambient trickery. Here are five guys intent on painting the walls with your blood and offering a sacrifice to Satan. This album reeks of evil, it is full of minor chords and dischords, deliberately unsettling and pushing the genre to show who the real masters are these days. When Mayhem are in this sort of mood there really is no-one who can live with them. They have always been challenging what is acceptable since the days of Dead and Euronymous, while the actions of Varg Vikernes also did much to put an air of mystery around the band (I highly recommend ‘Lords of Chaos’ as the definitive account of those days of the early BM scene, the stave church burnings and murders). Musically Necrobutcher, Hellhammer and Attila have refused to rest on their reputation and have continued to push themselves and their music, and ‘Daemon’ is yet another example of that. While it isn’t a follow-up to the last album, neither is it a sequel to that debut, which must have been a danger/option given they have been playing all of it live in concert over the last few years. It is Mayhem doing what they have always done, gone into a studio and coming out with gentle melodious ditties. Or not.

Mayhem are back guys and girls, with walls of sounds, riffing guitars, a rhythm section underpinning everything, and a pervasive nastiness which infects everything it touches. I love it.

MAYHEM De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive

Live album · 2016 · Black Metal
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Kev Rowland

There is no doubt that ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ is one of the most important black metal albums ever released, and was awarded the #40 spot on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Metal Albums Of All Time, where it stated “…Mysteriis… remains a singularly potent document, its expressions of alienation and nihilism lent an icy severity by Aarseth’s lacerating guitar buzz, session vocalist Attila Csihar’s arcane croak and presentation of Dead’s lyrical gothic terror and the pummelling drums of Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg).”

Captured in Norrköping, Sweden in 2015 during the band’s headlining set at the Black Christmass Festival, the show marked Mayhem’s first time ever playing ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ in full, and luckily even if we weren’t there we can now share the experience. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Tore Stjerna and NBS Audio and produced by vocalist Attila Csihar and guitarist Teloch. I was lucky enough to catch Mayhem at their first ever NZ gig a few years ago, and Attila has lost none of his power to shock and control an audience, and that is very much in evidence here. The album has not been over-produced, so it is still full of the raw and bleak sound that has made them so many fans. Available in digital and streaming formats as well as vinyl, this is a truly essential release for any fans of the genre.

MAYHEM Deathcrush

EP · 1987 · Black Metal
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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.

MAYHEM Movies Reviews

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