Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

May 8, 2010

Mayhem ~ Deathcrush (EP)

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: death metal, black metal, Norway
Label: Posercorpse Music
Year: 1987
Home: Norway

Members: Euronymous ~ guitar
Necrobutcher ~ bass
Manheim ~ drums
Maniac ~ vocals

Messiah ~ vocals

Additional: Conrad Schnitzer ~ drum programming

One can't honestly look at the spectrum or history of metal without mentioning the infamous Mayhem. I'll confess to liking some of their current stuff, but the music they make now is not the music that solidified their reputation as metal legends. Further, no mention of Satanism in music is complete without a mention of Mayhem, one of the pioneers in creating the Norwegian death metal movement. Albeit, that has more to do with their actions outside the band then the music, in all honesty. There's books written about them & the movement, but in brief it was Mayhem that featured the infamous cast of Necrobutcher, Euronymous, Hellhammer & Dead among others. Dead committed suicide leaving a goodbye note apologizing for all the blood, while Hellhammer kept parts of his skull for a necklace & photographed the body before calling the police, while the photo was stolen & would appear on a bootleg, while rumors also add that Euronymous, owner of a record store named 'Hell', ate part of the brain only to be eventually stabbed to death by church burning Satanist & bassist Count Grishnackh of rival band Burzum, who supposedly was jealous because Euronymous had a more evil reputation ... all of which had it's literal flames fed by the media & overnight the death metal scene was born. It's said that before the media took a hold of it all there were only a few church burnings a year & now there's countless. Today Mayhem, led by lone original member Hellhammer, is almost boring with their decapitation sheep heads as stage pieces & forays into industrial music. How can you compare sheep heads to church burnings & murder? As for the music? Who needs music when you've got this history! That's the least interesting thing. It's a bit much to say that Mayhem, in their heyday, were as grizzly & dark as the lives of it's participants, but in this early pre-Dead/Hellhammer second demo they were definetly trying & were on the right path. When the rest of the world was enjoying Metallica these guys were running their riffs as fast as possible at the extreme edge of distortion while shrieking like Mr. Hyde on reverb. It's actually far better than the many of the later bands that came along in imitation. These guys are too raw to be imitated properly. Albeit, Mayhem in their later industrial-slanted incarnation is actually musically more dynamic & interesting. But, this is raw metal insanity like Metallica didn't even dare do but dreamed about. This is not about excellent musicianship, as the playing is pretty sloppy, which production values to match, & it's almost amazing that something good might musicially happen as the odds are against it, but the songs do rock in their own way ... just don't compare this to Metallica. It's fast, furious, messy, brutal, dark. That's Mayhem. End of story. You can all go home now. Though, if there hadn't been the deaths & controversy, one wonders what the death metal scene would have looked like today cause this music is pretty limited, in the same way that disco had a limited life. Cradle of Filth fans apply within.

(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interviews podcast: episode 4 "Black Metal", October 2010, click here to listen)

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