Mayhem - Daemon review



Reviewer:
7.8

127 users:
8.18
Band: Mayhem
Album: Daemon
Release date: October 2019


Disc I
01. The Dying False King
02. Agenda Ignis
03. Bad Blood
04. Malum
05. Falsified And Hated
06. Aeon Daemonium
07. Worthless Abomination Destroyed
08. Daemon Spawn
09. Of Worms And Ruins
10. Invoke The Oath
11. Everlasting Dying Flame [Limited edition CD bonus]
12. Black Glass Communion [Limited edition CD bonus]

Disc II [limited edition bonus vinyl]
01. Everlasting Dying Flame
02. Black Glass Communion
03. Evil Dead [Death cover]
04. The Truth [Death Strike cover]
05. Disgusting Semla [Morbid cover]


One may have all kinds of opinions regarding Mayhem's varied discography in terms of quality. But one thing has always been a fact to yours truly: They never released an unnecessary album in 35 fucking years.

Daemon marks a shift in gears for Mayhem as they leave behind the experimental and dissonant nature of their past two releases. I'm a massive fan of those, with Ordo Ad Chao being my favorite from their discography. Instead of flipping my desk I decided to bid my expectations farewell and blasted De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Is their new album just as good? Of course not, don't be stupid. That being said, there's far more to Daemon than meets the eye and it took me a while to figure it out.

With their sixth full length, Mayhem approached the sound of their grand debut through modern lenses. There are plenty of elements, sometimes well hidden, in Daemon that couldn't exist if it weren't for their previous albums. In structure and production, I'd say Chimera can be a valid comparison. Both albums put major focus on bombastic, fast-paced and riff-heavy compositions but less on experimentation. The bass in particular has also a more refined role in both albums with Daemon having what is most likely the best bass sound they've ever had. In the riff department it is now clear that Teloch and Ghul are more than capable to deliver the Mayhem sound with gusto. You can clearly feel a rejuvenating sense of groove the band is usually not associated with. "Agenda Ignis" is the perfect example of this sound. After a typical shock of blastbeats and a wall of riffs, Mayhem go for catchy, slower riffs with solid, muscular drumming that should not leave anyone indifferent.

With Mayhem, people usually analyze two factors: Attila and Hellhammer. While not being nearly as experimental as he was on previous albums, Attila is still the man. The operatic chants are as chilling as ever and his shrieks and growls remain the most poisonous in the business. My major gripe with this album is Hellhammer. He has always been more than stellar in all his previous performances and I don't know if it is due to the more orthodox songwriting, but this is probably his least original performance to date. In every other album I said to myself "only Hellhammer can do this". This time? Not so sure. He certainly does the job well enough, I simply was not in awe. The unflattering production on the drums also left a bit to be desired. It's hard to properly describe them but it feels like the drums are just kind of there at times, awkwardly. Perhaps a more bassy sound on them could have matched the overall groove the album carries.

I usually don't think much of bonus tracks but both songs here are considerably above some of the tracks in Daemon. "Everlasting Dying Flame" delivers some amazing leads and bass lines and "Black Glass Communion" is among the most bombastic and intense songs on the album. Which songs I'd like to swap them with is an opinion that changes every time I listen to this album though.

Friends, mark my words, this album will be a total banger live given the bombastic and groovy nature of it (I smile while imagining the ominous marching sound of "Aeon Daemonium" in a live setting). Daemon carries a vital sense of celebration and pride. It is not surprising given the numerous live performances of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas that clearly left a mark on the band. Mayhem reunites with their old school sound but this is by no means an unnecessary album nor does it feel like it was safe or easy to make. Daemon does bring another sound to their discography. It is a specific entity in their career.

Death awaits for simple minded
Lying kind, assassinated
The fellow man, obliterated
Daemon spawn, underrated


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 7


 



Written on 03.11.2019 by An extremely lazy reviewer but he's so cute you'd forgive him for it.


Comments

Comments: 21   Visited by: 187 users
03.11.2019 - 21:15
Zaph
Phlegmish
Hooray, someone else who wasn't totally let down by the album. I personally didn't have a problem with the drums but they don't stand out, that's true. Totally agreed on the bass shining here, though.
Interesting that you find it most similar to Chimera, I should give that one another spin, it has been a while.
----
And the tears that we will weep today
Will all be washed away
By the tears that we will weep again tomorrow
Loading...
03.11.2019 - 21:27
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Zaph on 03.11.2019 at 21:15
Interesting that you find it most similar to Chimera, I should give that one another spin, it has been a while.


Perhaps I should have clarified that the sound of this album borrows from DMDS AND Chimera. The first more in terms of overall sound, warmth and presence but Chimera definitely with production aspects and on which factors it focuses on. Those two albums are the most traditional in their discography that's why I decided to comment on Chimera as well and draw some parallels
----
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.
Loading...
03.11.2019 - 21:46
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
I feel pretty much the same about this album as I do the new BAN one: not necessarily as experimental as I was expecting, but it's still pretty good for what it is. I admittedly haven't listened to this since we listened to it together a few weeks ago but I remember Attila's vocals and the bass being particularly good. Excellent review!
----
Life was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed.
Nothing changed, it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze.
Loading...
03.11.2019 - 23:33
Bad English
Masterchief
Not fan of b tracks as well, maybe cover versions,
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 00:40
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Written by Apothecary on 03.11.2019 at 21:46

but I remember Attila's vocals and the bass being particularly good.

Pretty good, but not Attila good
----
2016 - 2017
2018 - 2019
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 09:57
Daniell
_爱情_
Quote:
They never released an unnecessary album in 35 fucking years.

What is an unnecessary album? The one that one does not like?
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 10:06
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Daniell on 04.11.2019 at 09:57

Quote:
They never released an unnecessary album in 35 fucking years.

What is an unnecessary album? The one that one does not like?

In hindsight, i should have worked it better. Blame it on my lack of proper english adjectives. But no. I dont mean an album you dont like. Just an album that Adds little to nothing new to a Bands discography and that lacks a voice of its own compared to the rest of the works of said band.
----
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.
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 11:24
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Mr. Doctor on 04.11.2019 at 10:06

In hindsight, i should have worked it better. Blame it on my lack of proper english adjectives. But no. I dont mean an album you dont like. Just an album that Adds little to nothing new to a Bands discography and that lacks a voice of its own compared to the rest of the works of said band.

I get your point now. I welcomed "Daemon" as something logical in Mayhem's discography. Each and every album was different from others, and that makes the band quite unique. A return to their debut, which "Daemon" essentially is, makes perfect sense. Also because this return is quite great, a solid 8 from me.
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 15:50
I managed to find the remaster of Grand Declaration of War at a local FYE. Bought it even though I've never heard it.

I can tell you right now that is gonna be getting way more spins than this album is.
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 15:55
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by The Witchfinder on 04.11.2019 at 15:50

I managed to find the remaster of Grand Declaration of War at a local FYE. Bought it even though I've never heard it.

I can tell you right now that is gonna be getting way more spins than this album is.


I found that remaster to be missing completely the point of the cold, clinical war concept of the album.
----
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.
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 16:33
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Mr. Doctor on 04.11.2019 at 15:55

I found that remaster to be missing completely the point of the cold, clinical war concept of the album.

Sometines bad production is just bad production. It's us, the listeners, who are prone to ascribe the production to albums' themes.
To prove my point, let me ask you one question: if the cold, clinical sound was intended on GDoW, and was supposed to reflect the album's overall theme, why would the band re-mix it at all?
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 18:17
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Daniell on 04.11.2019 at 16:33

Written by Mr. Doctor on 04.11.2019 at 15:55

I found that remaster to be missing completely the point of the cold, clinical war concept of the album.

Sometines bad production is just bad production. It's us, the listeners, who are prone to ascribe the production to albums' themes.
To prove my point, let me ask you one question: if the cold, clinical sound was intended on GDoW, and was supposed to reflect the album's overall theme, why would the band re-mix it at all?


Not the first time I mistrust the judgement of the band members themselves when it comes to remasters or remixes. It goes without saying that this falls under personal opinion and I never stated otherwise. In my opinion they did ruin the feeling of the album and it became less unique and interesting with the more orthodox mix.
----
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.
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 21:19
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Mr. Doctor on 04.11.2019 at 18:17

Not the first time I mistrust the judgement of the band members themselves when it comes to remasters or remixes. It goes without saying that this falls under personal opinion and I never stated otherwise. In my opinion they did ruin the feeling of the album and it became less unique and interesting with the more orthodox mix.

When it comes to GDoW I agree with you. The new remix sounds really great, but I still prefer the original version. I simply find it interesting to listen to new remixes of albums I like. It adds another dimension to my reception of those albums.
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 21:25
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Daniell on 04.11.2019 at 21:19
When it comes to GDoW I agree with you. The new remix sounds really great, but I still prefer the original version. I simply find it interesting to listen to new remixes of albums I like. It adds another dimension to my reception of those albums.

Oh, in that I can absolutely agree with you. I may not like it but I was obviously deeply curious about it when it came out and it's always fascinating for a research perspective about the bands that I love. It's definitely not bad and I understand the appeal. Just not what I had in mind for the album.

Going a bit back on topic:
Quote:
I welcomed "Daemon" as something logical in Mayhem's discography. Each and every album was different from others, and that makes the band quite unique. A return to their debut, which "Daemon" essentially is, makes perfect sense. Also because this return is quite great, a solid 8 from me.

That's my takeaway too in the long run. It's a return to roots (plus some extra groove and modern production) and it's a logical move considering what the band has being doing in the live concert department.
----
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.
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 21:35
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Mr. Doctor on 04.11.2019 at 21:25

That's my takeaway too in the long run. It's a return to roots (plus some extra groove and modern production) and it's a logical move considering what the band has being doing in the live concert department.

I listened to Daemon today in my car. I think it gets better after numerous listens. I'll listen to it again tomorrow during my run.
Loading...
04.11.2019 - 21:53
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Daniell on 04.11.2019 at 21:35
I listened to Daemon today in my car. I think it gets better after numerous listens. I'll listen to it again tomorrow during my run.


It does get better. And one thing I don't understand is that I've read quite a few times about the second half losing steam. Man, i thought the first song of the second half "Aeon Daemonium" was one of the strongest. Same with "Daemon Spawn" and "Of Worms And Ruins"
----
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.
Loading...
05.11.2019 - 05:26
Lord Slothrop
I like their experimental output better, but this is another solid release in a solid catalogue.
Loading...
05.11.2019 - 06:31
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
This is an incredibly fair review. I'd personally score it closer to the lower end of 7 but you provided some solid reasoning for the high 7. If there ever was an unneccessary Mayhem album, this is it, but it's still worth listening to. Their greatest strength is in their experimentation though. Other bands do the more traditional and conventional black metal style with more gravitas.
----
I have no memory of this place.
Loading...
05.11.2019 - 07:46
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Troy Killjoy on 05.11.2019 at 06:31
Other bands do the more traditional and conventional black metal style with more gravitas.

Man, remember Infestus? Hmmmmmmmm. <3

Thank you for the kind words, from a reviewer like you it means a lot. Took me a while to gather all my thoughts on this album and I still feel like there was more to say (although I can't say what exactly, just a feeling). Had a discussion with myself of at least 10 minutes regarding 7,7 or 7,8, which is one of the reasons I was in favor of ditching ratings haha but now might coming back for. Not that there's much difference between the numbers, both represent the mid-to-high level I was looking for to explain.

And yeah, their experimental stuff is way better. the rating and text could have gone to another route of I wanted to solely compare it to those works which feels unfair.
----
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.
Loading...
05.11.2019 - 08:22
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Incredibly great review.

My exact thoughts when I spun this last night journeying from one cold station of North to the central part of India.
----
Loading...
05.11.2019 - 22:30
3rdWorld
China was a neat
Written by Troy Killjoy on 05.11.2019 at 06:31

If there ever was an unneccessary Mayhem album, this is it, but it's still worth listening to.

This. Exact reason why I'm not rushing to listen to it. Whereas when the single Psywar was released in 2014, I couldn't even wait to get to listen to the full thing.
Loading...

Hits total: 1996 | This month: 1996