Release date: October 25th 2019
Genre: Black Metal
Record Label: Century Media
It has been 5 year since Mayhem released their album Esoteric Warfare. And finally, this time, the vacuum is filled with another brilliant album – Daemon which is going to be released on October 25th (digital version) but we will have to wait for the the physical copy of the album until November 8th. We were lucky enough to get the promo version of this album. And this is our shot on Mayhem’s Daemon!
First of all, the album consists of 10 tracks + 2 bonus tracks. Total runtime is 49 minutes (59 minutes with bonus tracks). So basically, you will get a ride through hell and back while listening to this record. Interestingly enough, the Mayhem lineup hasn’t changed since 2014 Esoteric Warfare album, meaning that you have Attila Csihar on vocals, Necrobutcher on bass, Hellhammer on the drums + Teloch & Ghul on guitars. Having said that, you shouldn’t have any doubt about the quality of this release.
The album is opened by The Dying False King – a feverish black metal with full force. While the guitars riffs are piercing through your ears a 1000 miles per hour, Necrobutcher’s bass lines are way slower, simplistic in its nature. This kind of dichotomy creates an ambience of the final hour and you’ll enjoy every second of it. Hellhammer is bashing those drums nonstop. His cymbal slicing is so damn brutal! Csihar sounds wicked to say the least! What I like about his singing is that he’s undergoing vocal shifts throughout the whole record. in this song, he performs deathlike operatic singing that will create an image of Christopher Lee in your head! The next song, Agenda Ignis starts as an unstoppable black metal assault, but all at once, things get slowed down. That’s when the catchy riff takes over! The song breaks with Necrobutcher’s bass pounding. Then, he makes the way for Csihar to recite his hellish poetry. It seems that Hellhammer is carrying the song, no matter what tempo is involved. The song itself becomes more and more melodic as the time goes by. And once again riff A kicks in. Those mantric riffs will stay in your ears for a while! Superb! The next tune, Bad Blood starts with a black metal chord followed by some evil-sounding guitar riff played on top of it. Csihar is regurgitating his blasphemy all over the track. This time, Teloch and Ghul are bringing forth some head crushing riffs! For a moment, the song is then cut in half by a Hellhammer/Necrobutcher part. I must admit, Csihar delivered one of his most haunting screams on this album! The rest of the track is closed by some melancholic-sounding riffs and with a meaningful solo!
Photo by: Stefan Raduta
Malum starts slow with a neat chord and Csihar’s hellish chants. In this track, he certainly plays the role of a messenger of the apocalypse. And let’s face it, you should know that by looking at the song title. Latin lyrics demand some evil priest to spew some wickedness around. The riffs that follow these eerie chants are pretty simple & catchy to say the least! The next riff, however, is the essence of evil! Gotta love the way Mayhem transcends from one sonic dimension to another! Then, the song breaks with a dissonant sounding chord. And of course, you can hear the bells chime. Out of nowhere, Csihar goes Pavarotti! Let’s face it, this guy’s talent transcends the black metal genre!
Falsified and Hated is by far one of the best songs on this album! And you could make sure of that yourself in that if you take a listen at it since it was released as a single. The vibe of this song is so good! Those riffs are the embodiment of some devil’s dance! Hands down for that! I mean, those riffs are like a giant whirlwind that’s about to devour your pesky little souls! Then, things get darker as Necrobutcher delivers some haunting bass line! No matter how fast the guitar chords are shredding, he plays his bass slowly! Gotta love that juncture! And not to mention that catchy “DIII DUUU DIII” keyboards. The way everything’s wrapped in this song is just astonishing! Aeon Daemonium starts slowly with this devil’s tritone chord & Hellhammer’s drum pounding. Mayhem boys keep it slow for a while and then the song speeds up a bit! You can definitely hear that double bass perfectly! Once again, Csihar shows his majestic vocal versatility. The emphasis on this song is put on its simplicity and catchiness. You can also hear some exotic, Eastern-sounding riffs for a few seconds and right after, these slow, black metal chords kick in. Worthless Abominations Destroyed is another stellar track. It’s one of the strongest actually, no doubt about it. The guys handpicked the eeeeeviiiileest of the riffs for this one! Gotta give credit to Hellhammer’s drumming here! The way he attacks these cymbals is breathtaking! While Ghul and Teloch are delivering these implosive riffs, Attila once again delivers his Saruman sounding vocals. Just like in the Lord of the Rings movie, in a scene where Saruman speaks from the tower to his legions of Uruk Hai! Absolutely brilliant! Man! Just can’t get enough of these riffs! PURE FUCKING ARMAGEDDON!
Daemon Spawn is the real deal. In term of singing, this track reminds of Malum a bit. We are talking about slow, melancholic tune. So, what you get here are catchy riffs and some sampled, orcish, eerie screams that repeat over and over on top of the riff. Once again, Attila delivers some operatic singing by the end of the song. Of Worms and Ruins is another single that you can hear already on YouTube. As you can hear yourself, we are talking about straight-forward, head-chopping black metal riffage! Invoke the Oath is the final track of Daemon. It starts with a more-than-evil guitar riff and Attila’s death poetry. This one also includes hell’s bells in the background and it sounds as if you are descending down to Tartarus. Attila brings forth his screams of a madman that leave no one indifferent. Bonus tracks Everlasting Dying Flame and Black Glass Communion will be available on Ltd. CD Mediabook and in the Ltd. Deluxe LP Box set. Everlasting Dying Flame is a full on, merciless black metal invasion that aims for your heads! Hellhammer beats the living shit out of these drums, I tell you that! This track is one of the faster ones and it includes a very well executed chord progressions that gets consumed by over-the-top drumming. Black Glas Communion is another terrific track! Prepare for some merciless life-leeching riffs! Sadly, we didn’t get to hear a few covers that will be available in the Ltd. Deluxe LP Box set only: Death – Evil Dead; Death Strike – The Truth; Morbid – Disgusting Semla.
Mayhem’s Daemon puts Norwegian black metal masters back on their rightful throne! Let’s face it, if this was a bad album, we wouldn’t write 2 pages of review for it! With this album, Mayhem have proven that they are still more than relevant in the black metal genre. Not only that, but they are still on top of their game! What I really liked about this album is the fact that incorporates all the bandmembers’ creative input. When it comes to the downsides to this album, there’s only one minor thing: bass could be a bit louder, especially when the whole band is in an assault mode. Production-wise, Daemon sounds way better than Esoteric Warfare and Ordo ad Chao. Both of these albums are masterpieces, but their production is kinda strange...Of course, for some of you, neat production may be a bad thing, especially for the trve kvlt black metal kids…but anyway, who cares? Daemon is more of a straightforward album when compared with its mystic sounding predecessor - Esoteric Warfare. In the end, Daemon is one of the best black metal releases. I guess Satan is burning corpses in Hell while listening to this grandiose masterpiece! Fuckin’ A!
Photo by: Ester Segarra
Rating: PURE FUCKING ARMAGEDDON/10
01. The Dying False King (03:45)
02. Agenda Ignis (04:34)
03. Bad Blood (04:58)
04. Malum (05:05)
05. Falsified And Hated (05:48)
06. Aeon Daemonium (06:03)
07. Worthless Abominations Destroyed (03:48)
08. Daemon Spawn (06:02)
09. Of Worms And Ruins (03:48)
10. Invoke The Oath (05:33)
11. Everlasting Dying Flame (Bonus Track)* (05:52)
12. Black Glass Communion (Bonus Track)* (04:25)
13. Evil Dead (Death Cover, Bonus Track)** (02:59)
14. The Truth (Death Strike Cover, Bonus Track)** (03:03)
15. Disgusting Semla (Morbid Cover, Bonus Track)** (03:06)
(*) available on the Ltd. CD Mediabook and in the Ltd.
Deluxe LP Box Set as well as on streaming platforms
(**) available in the Ltd. Deluxe LP Box Set only
Necrobutcher – Bass
Hellhammer – Drums
Attila – Vocals
Teloch – Guitars
Ghul - Guitars
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