Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare review




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Reviewer:
9.0

230 users:
7.88
Band: Mayhem
Album: Esoteric Warfare
Release date: June 2014


01. Watchers
02. Psywar
03. Trinity
04. Pandaemon
05. MILAB
06. VI.Sec.
07. Throne Of Time
08. Corpse Of Care
09. Posthuman
10. Aion Suntalia
11. From Beyond The Event Horizon [Japanese bonus]
12. Into The Lifeless [LP & CD Collector's Box bonus]


Seven long years passed since the game-changer that was Ordo Ad Chao got released. It was an extremely complex album with a sound so different from what Mayhem (or any other band for that matter) had done before, that a somewhat mixed reaction was to be expected. I gladly put my tent on the fan camp though. This is why Blasphemer's departure worried me as it turned more difficult to guess how the final product would sound like…

…But as "Watcher" started, doubts were erased and expectations were met. Esoteric Warfare takes up nicely where Ordo Ad Chao left off. Most of the classic elements that justifies the band's name can be found here: The penetrating and disorienting riffs with their beloved dissonance, a disturbing tension that rarely lets go, the band's clever use of quiet moments to further elevate the presence of chaos. It's clear that Mayhem kept that precious attention to detail that was found in their previous album in order to make once again intriguing structures and give each song its identity.

While the guitars and bass are performed in a fantastic manner, the most astounding factors of this album have to be the drums and vocals. Hellhammer shows once again why he's one of the most renowned drummers in the genre. The incredible versatility, speed and order in what at first just appears chaotic make his delivering almost frightening, serving as a good element of tension throughout the album. Attila… Well, what more can we say about him by now? He provides with more than just vocals. His voice serves as another instrument and layer for the band. Deep lows, glass-crushing screeches, commanding screams and disturbing whispers. He does it all and so much more. From now on there shouldn't be any doubts regarding which vocalist truly owns Mayhem's voice.

So let's recap and look at the big picture. This is a band that has been around for three friggin decades. They are veterans and a huge part of the black metal culture in general. Everyone can say what they want about Mayhem's five full-lengths but it's worth remembering that all of them cover so many different elements, so many different styles of black metal over the years. Despite all of that, they still retain what can only be called their own sound while reinventing themselves and what black metal can be over and over again. They remain not only unique but also relevant to the scene. How many pioneers can say the same thing?


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


 



Written on 17.06.2014 by An extremely lazy reviewer but he's so cute you'd forgive him for it.


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 37   Visited by: 369 users
21.06.2014 - 17:24
Erik M.
Written by Guest on 21.06.2014 at 16:13

Srs bsns. DMDS is easily the most overrated piece of mediocrity in black metal. Gripe all you want, but that album cannot stand to the greatness that is Ordo Ad Chao. Even this new one's already proved itself better.


"DMDS is easily the most overrated piece of mediocrity in black metal".

And that's where you lose your credibility. I can give multiple reasons as to why that album isn't overrated and why it's certainly not mediocre. In the end it's a matter of opinions, but at the very least it's a highly original and influential album.
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21.06.2014 - 18:32
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by mz on 21.06.2014 at 13:38
drunk posing

Hey, my opinion still stands.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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11.08.2014 - 18:33
Zaph
The Nothingth
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.06.2014 at 13:38

I have seen Mayhem about ten times live now and only twice were they any good the other times they ranged from bad to truly atrocious. Yes they are theatrical that's not the problem. If they deliver their own music totally shitty than the concert is shitty no matter how grand the theatrics are.

Unfortunately I have to agree here, I was totally underwhelmed when I saw them live, and there were even a lot of people leaving.
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Wubba Lubba Dub Dub
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25.10.2016 - 16:27
Maco
Handbanana
Written by Zaph on 11.08.2014 at 18:33

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.06.2014 at 13:38

I have seen Mayhem about ten times live now and only twice were they any good the other times they ranged from bad to truly atrocious. Yes they are theatrical that's not the problem. If they deliver their own music totally shitty than the concert is shitty no matter how grand the theatrics are.

Unfortunately I have to agree here, I was totally underwhelmed when I saw them live, and there were even a lot of people leaving.

Let me agree too :/
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I'm derp.
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25.10.2016 - 21:03
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
Surprised to hear that tons of great and awful studio bands sound so much better live while these insanely talented guys flop it on stage. Not speaking from personal experience though but from what I've seen others say and seen in concert videos.
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26.10.2016 - 03:11
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by 3rdWorld on 25.10.2016 at 21:03

Surprised to hear that tons of great and awful studio bands sound so much better live while these insanely talented guys flop it on stage. Not speaking from personal experience though but from what I've read and seen in concert videos.


Mayhem seems to be a sink or swim band when it comes live. I've heard many great and awful stories about their performance from friends. I had an amazing time when I saw them. I guess I was lucky!
It's worth the gamble.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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26.10.2016 - 19:15
Zaph
The Nothingth
I actually saw them again at Brutal Assault last year and they were much better then. Still, they mostly played stuff from Deathcrush which is not my cup of tea.
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Wubba Lubba Dub Dub
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