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Mayhem (N)
    Sunday February 19, 2012 1:00am - 2:30am @ Sentrum scene
    When it comes to the definitive history of black metal, only one name has survived all the sensationalism. Through the church burnings, murder, imprisonments and myopic nationalism, only MAYHEM has been able to channel the circus like atmosphere, which surrounded a core of fanatical bands, into a sustained musical career, in the studio and more importantly, on stage. In ’84 in the cold darkness of sunless winters, MAYHEM was born! The unholy trinity of Euronymous (guitar/vox), Manheim (drums) and Necrobutcher (bass/vox) perfected their black art away from prying eyes of metal scrutiny. In ’86, after a single demo, the modestly entitled “Pure Fucking Armageddon”, the band enlisted Maniac as a full time vocalist. His debut was a re-working of the demo material, christened “Deathcrush”. What should have been a triumphant time, directly after that first recording as a quartet, turned into a dark chapter, not only for the band, but for the burgeoning underground scene as well. A series of events from which many have never completely recovered. Following the release, Manheim and Maniac left the band, to be replaced by Dead on vocals and the band’s current drum deity, Hellhammer. While that line-up could only muster a pair of studio compilations, Dead does appear on “Live in Leipzig”, regarded by many as the first live black metal recording ever. It heralded something of a new era, as many of the fledging Norwegian artists disdained live performances, let alone an actual tour outside the homeland. After the tour Dead commits suicide. As a twosome, Euronymous and Hellhammer recruited the infamous Count Grishnackh (Burzum) to play bass and Atilla to handle the tortured vocals on the debut, “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, which was unleashed on an unsuspecting world in 1993. After the murder of Euronymous and the subsequent arrest of Count Grishnackh, the details of which remain sketchy to this day, Hellhammer decided to continue MAYHEM. Both Necrobutcher and Maniac rejoin the band, and Blasphemer was chosen as the new guitarist. After several years of silence, a follow-up studio album was finally recorded. In 1997 the five tracks “Wolf Lair Abyss” hits the market. The MCD was the answer to “Deathcrush”, Raw, Brutal and Evil. In 1999, “Mediolanum Capta Est”, the second live CD, albeit the first with the new and current line-up, was released. While “De Mysteriis Dom Santhanas” is seen as an album that set new standards in the world of metal, unlike many contemporaries, MAYHEM weren’t content to rest on their laurels. The band sought to usher in the new millennium with a bold step, “Grand Declaration of War”. The album picks up where “Wolf’s Lair Abyss” left off, hence it starts with the paradoxically entitled, “Part II.” The destruction continues through the fifth track. Thereafter, the recreation of MAYHEM, if not the entire black metal genre, takes off, devoid of instruments, like the emptiness of a battlefield without warriors. 2001 sees the release of the third live platter entitled “Legions”. (“European Legions” in Europe and “U.S. Legions” in the States) The two CDs feature slightly different track listings and both feature raw studio tracks and outtakes from the GDOW sessions. These records and a subsequent DVD (recorded in SOM’s homeland of Marseille, France) is a whirlwind of psychotic energy and punishing rhythms, MAYHEM live is a special sight and the DVD bears witness to that. 2004’s Chimera was a more conventional affair, although it still incorporates progressive elements on tracks like “Slaughter of Dreams.” It was embraced by many of the fans who denounced Grand Declaration of War. After Chimera was released, Maniac was fired from the band. His replacement was Attila Csihar. The band completed work on Ordo ad Chao, its fourth album, in early 2007. Ordo ad Chao featured a much rawer and more traditional black metal sound than the rest of the band’s releases. Nonetheless, it continued the band’s exploration of more progressive songwriting, with “Illuminate Eliminate” being the band’s second longest track ever at 9’40”. Ordo ad Chao was exceptionally well-received both commercially and critically, and was the band’s first album to reach the charts (in Norway and elsewhere). Blasphemer left the group I 2008, to focus on his other project, Ava Inferi, which led to the recruitment of guitarists Morfeus and Silmaeth as live musicians. Mayhem will continue to evolve as a 5 piece band for the foreseeing future.
    Type Live

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