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Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare Classic Review

Released by: Season of Mist
Genre: Black Metal
Release date: Out Now!!!


Line up:

Attila Csihar ­ vocals
Necrobutcher ­ bass guitar
Hellhammer ­ drums
Teloch ­ guitar
Ghul ­ guitar (live)



1. Watchers
2. Psywar
3. Trinity
4. Pandæmon
6. VI Sec.
7. Throne of Time
8. Corpse of Care
9. Posthuman
10. Aion Suntelia


Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1984 in Oslo, regarded as one of the pioneers
of the Norwegian black metal scene. With that being said, I must say being a huge fan myself. I’m
highly honoured to be able to review this album.

Esoteric Warfareis the fifth full­ length studio album by Mayhem, seven years since “Orda ad
Chao”. It was released by Season of Mist on June 6, 2014 in Europe and Asia, and on June 10,
2014 in North America. It is the band’s first album with Teloch on guitar since Blasphemer’s
departure from the band in 2008. As with the previous album, the lyrics focus less on the classically
Satanic themes of the band’s early work, instead referring to occult and conspiracy theory concepts
such as psychic powers, mind control, and alien tampering with human evolution.

Mayhem are better when testing their limits. During “Psywar,” Teloch almost plays against himself,
putting an aggressive mix with long counter­ riffs that pull against the power. “Corpse of Care” steps
gradually from a dark spoken­ word calmness into a brutal grindcore tantrum, shaping the song into
an evolving nightmare. Everything seems to happen at once with “Watchers”, one of the best and
most involved songs of the band’s career, and my personal favourite. It’s a weapon of restlessness,
jumping from an all ­angles attack to a slow­ motion doom stagger and back again. Attila has rarely
sounded like such a commanding frontman. Within these six minutes, he shifts between a mad critic
and the low ­end formula similar to his stints in Sunn O))). He meshes between both with the
throat ­singing growl that have become his trademark and found a way to make his multiple music
personalities collaborate, not compete.

The rest of the tracks experiment with environment and pacing? the band is bold to use such
dynamics to tell their story. Ambient parts mix with guitar driven blasts and the ever­ perfect battery
of Hell hammer, who, let’s face it, most likely is not entirely human. It’s all strong material, with
Mayhem’s power illustrating in their ability to breathe tension into their balance, teasing us into
satisfaction with their sci­fi likeness and slower, quieter parts. There is nothing more pleasing, more
perfectly effective than the voice of Attila Csihar, next to Dead has become my favourite vocalist. It
cannot be emphasized.

All of Mayhem’s albums, for better and worse, have seemed like searching, relentless adventure for
inner reinvention? fantasy and murders, suicides and insanity nevertheless: that’s the reason to care
about a new Mayhem album in 2016.

You can catch Mayhem currently touring ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ Live in FULL at the following

12th Aug ­ Leyendas del Rock [Oficial], Villena ES
20th Aug ­ Motocultor Festival Open Air, Saint­Nolff FR
23rd Sep ­ Samfundet, Trondheim NO
07th ­ 30th Oct ­ Mayhem De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Latin America
19th Nov ­ Sentralen, Oslo NO

Also check out their newly released video for “Watchers” directed by Magnetar Studio


Written by: Danielle Bates

Ratings: 10/10 

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