Mayhem - Chimera review




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Reviewer:
7.3

260 users:
7.70
Band: Mayhem
Album: Chimera
Release date: March 2004


01. Whore
02. Dark Night Of The Soul
03. Rape Humanity With Pride
04. My Death
05. You Must Fall
06. Slaughter Of Dreams
07. Impious Devious Leper Lord
08. Chimera


As you are reading this I take it you have some prior knowledge on the phenomenon that is Mayhem, therefore no introduction is needed here. Mayhem's previous release, Grand Declaration of War, was received with a ton of negative criticism (most of which was justifiable) which left hope among fans for future albums at an all-time low. Four years later, Maniac and his three fellow Norsemen came back on the scene and proved them all wrong with the release of 2004's album Chimera.

Mayhem has chosen to step away from their experimental stuff and return to the ear-aching black metal we have come to known them for.First thing one will notice when listening to the album is the production: it's excellent for black metal standards. Yet is this what I want to hear on a Mayhem record? For me, it isn't. The initial low-end production of early-90's black metal records used to help the music tremendously by adding a certain rawness to an already very grim atmosphere. This is something which is missing on Chimera.

Music-wise, though, the album is great. Blasphemer always had a tough job following in the footsteps of the great Euronymous, yet he still manages to play great chilling riffs throughout the album. Various tempos in the songs and the layering of two or sometimes even three guitars also greatly contributes to the overall atmosphere of the album. Something which Blasphemer really has to be credited for. Throughout some parts of the album, however, things can get a little repetitive which is something I found a problem throughout this record. A pleasant surprise came on tracks such as "Dark Night of the Soul" and "Impious Devious Leper Lord" where the bass guitar work of Necrobutcher can actually be heard! Hellhammer's drumming is excellent as always and even Maniac put forth a good performance on vocals.

Lyrically, I have to say, this album is not far behind De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, which was of course was written by lyrical mastermind Dead. All the lyrics (maybe except for "Whore") are very mature and are much more focused on the topics of hate and misanthropic thoughts towards mankind as a whole rather than the cheesy 'I HATE U CHRISTIANS!!!' we saw in Grand Declaration of War. That said, where does this leave us?

Well, we're left with an album which is obviously far better than its precursor but which lacks a certain raw-factor which black metal is renowned for. We're left with an album which is musically and especially lyrically very mature, but can get a bit boring at times. Although not even comparable (and one should not compare it) to De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Mayhem has provided us here with a more than decent black metal record which is certainly much more enjoyable than Grand Declaration of War.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 7

Written by Veil of Maya | 22.09.2011


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 127 users
22.09.2011 - 21:42
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Grand Declaration of War > Chimera
Just saying But I won't hold that against anyone, it's mayhem's least accessible album and its true lyrical meaning is far more difficult to grasp.

That being said, this album is good as well. I would give it at least 0,5 points more but that's just personal of course. You got the songwriting part right, Blasphemer sure as hell know how to do his black metal riffing. Thanks for bringing up the bass, it's something I really enjoyed as well.
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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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22.09.2011 - 22:32
Metal George
I really liked this album. Its progressive musically. The production appropriate for black metal. "Whore" is my favorite song on this album. I do not care for the lyrics. Vocals are really good. Very pissed off. The next Mayhem album is just as good.
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22.09.2011 - 23:19
sundogs
I never bothered to get this release because I was so disappointed with Grand Declaration. Thanks to this review I'm listening to (and liking) this album.

Edit: Yeah, this album rips. I'm listening through it again and it's just so relentless.
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23.09.2011 - 01:15
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
Written by Mr. Doctor on 22.09.2011 at 21:42

Grand Declaration of War > Chimera
Just saying But I won't hold that against anyone, it's mayhem's least accessible album and its true lyrical meaning is far more difficult to grasp.


Glad someone said it, that album gets a lot of hate but it really is very solid, much better and more unique than Chimera.
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23.09.2011 - 14:35
Slayer666
Written by Mr. Doctor on 22.09.2011 at 21:42

Thanks for bringing up the bass, it's something I really enjoyed as well.


I think that the only people on this planet that would notice and comment on bass in a Mayhem album are bassists themselves.

And damn you, Veil of Maya, I was going to review this myself. Oh well, you said pretty much all I wanted to, solid review.
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23.09.2011 - 15:17
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Slayer666 on 23.09.2011 at 14:35

I think that the only people on this planet that would notice and comment on bass in a Mayhem album are bassists themselves.


That means that all the bassists have perfectly good ears because the bass on tracks like Dark Night Of The Soul and Impious Devious Leper Lord couldn't be more in your face.
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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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23.09.2011 - 15:19
Slayer666
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.09.2011 at 15:17

That means that all the bassists have perfectly good ears because the bass on tracks like Dark Night Of The Soul and Impious Devious Leper Lord couldn't be more in your face.


Oh, I though you meant the bass in other songs, not those specific bass lines.
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23.09.2011 - 15:22
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Slayer666 on 23.09.2011 at 15:19

Oh, I though you meant the bass in other songs, not those specific bass lines.


Well I DO hear the bass a lot and clear during pretty much the entire album but I would say that part of it is because I'm (trying to be) a bassist but yeah, there are many moments in most of the songs were the bass is very clear (specially compared to the rest of their discography)
I was feeling like writing a review for this album as well but fuck it. Aside from the classic bashing against GDOW, the review is solid indeed and my rating and overall comments wouldn't be soooo different.
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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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23.09.2011 - 18:01
BudDa
Yeah, the bass is pretty much audible on this album. Thats why i love it(Oh, am a bassist too). I also actually noticed Blasphemer is a really good guitarist. I just started appreciating him after he left this band; and on the stuff he did with Aura Noir and Ava Inferi
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Freeze! Step away from the hubris.
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23.09.2011 - 23:25
AXA
Written by AXA on 23.09.2011 at 23:22

Hells yeah i like this album very much ,,sound drummer Hellhammer Amazing and Maniac is very good performance on vocals.
i like to be Maniac on the vocals always \../
thanks for the review .

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