Few other bands in black metal are so famous (and infamous) as Mayhem. With a troubled and chaotic past going back to 1984, Oslo-based Mayhem has survived the suicide of one band member, the murder of another and the passing of thirty five years in time. Somehow still an extant entity, Mayhem are back with 'Daemon”, which comes five years after 2014's “Esoteric Warfare”. A stalwart of the original late 80s and early 90s black metal scene in Norway, any new Mayhem material is always highly anticipated, especially considering how infrequently they turn out full-length releases. Daemon will only be Mayhem's sixth album since their inception. A perpetual and stubborn force, like a rock that will weather any storm unmoved, Mayhem can be relied upon to never submit to any trend or dilute their music in any way, staying true to their roots, unapologetic and unrelenting, and Daemon is an undeniable testament to this fact.
Opening salvo “The Dying False King” cuts through any doubts like a knife in the dark, announcing Mayhem's triumphant return, icy-cold riffs freezing the blood and Attila Csihar's unique and otherworldly vocals chilling the mind.
“Falsified and Hated” is malevolent and truly evil sounding black metal track, scything its way through the album's midsection, cleaving all asunder, taking no prisoners.
“Aeon Daemonium” sees Mayhem briefly take the pace down a few notches, creating eerie and hypnotic atmospheres, dark, brooding and menacing tones, all finished off perfectly with Attila Csihar's incredible and inimitable vocal performance.
“Worthless Abominations Destroyed” is a sonic tidal wave, blisteringly fast and relentlessly punishing, pure aural violence unleashed.
Daemon is Mayhem's strongest album in twenty five years, and second only to the seminal and legendary “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” in this writer's opinion. Daemon proves that despite all the band has been through, the countless Mayhem imitators and the evolution of black metal since the early 1990s, Mayhem are still a vital and powerful force, still able to cut through the crowd with their razor-sharp riffs, Attila Csihar's eerie vocals and the band's overall outstanding songwriting ability. Daemon contains some of the most venomous and deadly sounding black metal produced this century, and is definitely not one to miss out on. Daemon is the crown upon this (still) living, still reigning true king's head, the one and only, The True Mayhem.