Release Date: Jun 10, 2014
Record label: Season of Mist
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
The music of Mayhem has rarely, if ever, been able to scream for itself. As much a brand as a band, they epitomize the intersection of fame and infamy in black metal. They are co-architects of a sound and style, yes, but they’ve been so beset by the trail of their actions and attitudes that the substance of that sound has often been a secondary concern.
Review Summary: Mayhem go through the motions, yet their craft remains unmatched.During an interview for the promotion of Grand Declaration of War in 2000, bassist Jorn Stubberud (aka Necrobutcher) argued that a prolonged time of absence (ca. 4 years) was mandatory, in order to fully harness a new style and realize it in detail. Of course, that album was further delayed for reasons other than music.
Let’s face it, everything dies. A body’s energy gets transferred to other bodies or objects, in a process which sees the decaying matter’s fate slowly morph into its legacy. The later stage of this body’s life is sometimes the brightest and, for some of them, it coincides with a creative, desperate apex. It is gravity against fusion.
?Despite having formed in 1984, and releasing their first album ten years later, this is only Mayhem’s fifth studio album. It seems unfathomable, especially when considering their influence on black metal and the very idea of metal itself, that they should have so few recorded releases with which to gauge their artistic qualities. Esoteric Warfare is Mayhem’s third album with Attila Csihar, a vocalist who has transcended black metal, and can be found on releases by artists as diverse (but equally frightening) as Jarboe, Sunn O))) and Anaal Nathrakh.