Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare review
|Release date:||June 2014|
07. Throne Of Time
08. Corpse Of Care
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?
||Written on 17.06.2014 by An extremely lazy reviewer but he's so cute you'd forgive him for it.|
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