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Masterpiece? No. But good nonetheless - 82%

Shadow0fDeath, August 9th, 2004

In the cold depths of oslo, norway during the years of the early nineties spawned a revolution in black metal. A small cult scene influenced by early works of Bathory, Hellhammer, Venom, and Holocausto a generation of new bands spawned. Creating blasphemy and art that was more than just music. One of the leaders during the black metal revolution was Mayhem. A norwegian band that had been around since the early 80's. Known for releasing some of the most famous extreme metal releases, mainly noting "Deathcrush" and the infamous "Pure fucking armageddon" demo Mayhem's cult fanbase kept drooling for the time to happen when the band would release their first full-length LP.

after nearly a decade of line-up changes and history within the band include the suicide of singer, Dead, the graphic horrid live performances featuring the crazy vocalist mutilating himself on stage; Mayhem finally had the ability to write the long awaited LP. Mayhem frontman and final existing member of the original line-up, Euronymous, was killed shortly after finishing the recording. His guitar work featured on the album is timeless. Featuring some really dark and evilest riffs even in the time of black metal. Due to the suicide of Dead, Mayhem required a new vocalist who is known as Attlia Csihar, an operatic vocalist at the time a member of a hungarian group known as Tormentor, was asked to do vocals on this album as a session musician. What would be the work of this session musician ends up being some of the most diverse, and original vocals at the time in black metal. These vocals really stick out as an amazing tool in the aid of this album to make it more powerful and striking than imagined at the time. From the long howls of "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuneral fog" on the first track of the album to the graveland-esque snarls. Along with Attlia and Euronymous drummer Hellhammer adds to kettle with some amazing drum work. Though lost in the traditional horrid black metal production the drumming itself makes your heart skip a beat each time and continues pummeling itself into your ears. Also we cannot forget the infamous bassist Varg, Known for burning churches and finally killing Euronymous back in 1993. Who's basslines are found to be almost inaudible but the very backbone of the heavy sound that is mayhem.

Despite all the things that make this album a black metal classic this album does have a bunch of filler within the mix which is a bit depressing to see on a debut LP, but nonetheless a masterpiece that should be owned by anybody interested in the black metal scene!