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Not Mayhem? You decide - 76%

Black_Metal_Bastard, August 19th, 2004

Mayhem is one of the most well known bands in Black Metal and with this album they have returned to a more hateful and aggressive style. Grand Dec was experimental, but they go back to the old style with this so to say. Is it good? Yes and no. It's good in the fact that the musicians themselves are incredible. Production is good, lyrics are alright, and the vocals are better than previous works with Maniac. It's not good in the fact that the songs can all sound the same after a while. They are mostly constant blasts with Hellhammer doing his "all over the kit" style as usual. There are a few songs that slow down, such as Impious Devious Leper Lord and Dark Night of the Soul, both of which have some good riffs. ...Leper Lord has a nice bass riff going during the verses and Dark Night... has a nice crunchy guitar riff.

Maniac's vocals have improved a lot in this album. Instead of that screechy indecipherable rasp, he utilizes more of a traditional rasp with a low end screech. Not what we're all used to with him, and he has greatly improved.

It's sad really what has happened to Mayhem. I won't call them "The True Mayhem" since they aren't, but what I will call them is very capable musicians and originators of Norwegian Black Metal. For a band that has been around since 1984, they can still put out decent material, but of course nothing will ever match the Euronymous era works.