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Bewitching - 90%

Anzuhan, June 4th, 2004

When Mayhem's newest album, Chimera's release date was announced, I had some suspicions about it... I thought that it would be a general failure, like many ”come-back” -albums. But, when I
got it in my hands, I instantly saw that I was wrong. Chimera is a great return to standard black metal, unlike GDW.

The first thing I took in note in this album was it perfectionist production quality – all the songs are mixed with great skill, which makes the song lose a bit of the underground-feeling. Some may like it, some may not. To me, it doesn't make any difference. ;) A friend of mine, before listening the album, said ”Bah, Mayhem sux, they can't play, even though they're COOL!” and after hearing the first song, his opinion was the opposite (they were still cool, however) Hellhammer's, Blasphemer's and Necrobutcher's work is at it's best in this album. Maniac's growling (or call it snarling) is something between enthraling and hypnotic.

The album starts with Whore, which is a great beginning song, aggressive yet not too fast. I tend to detest too fast, I mean fast, black metal songs. Don't know why, perhaps I'm not a real black metal fan... who knows. Hellhammer's work on this song is great as usual, especially in the beginning.

Then comes Dark Night of The Soul, which in my opinion is the best song in the whole album, it has a great riff and drumming. Then comes Rape Humanity with Pride, also a good song but not as notable as DNTS, great verses though. Then comes My Death, with aggressive drumming and nice riffs. You Must Fall and Slaughter of Dreams are also good songs, but in my opinion not special.
Instead, the ending tracks, Impious Devious Leper Lord and Chimera belong to the album highlights, both with intense guitar and drumming work.

I suggest that you either buy or steal this album, as it is most certainly worth listening to!