Genre: Black Metal
Label: Season of Mist
Well MAYHEM is an iconic black metal band. Pioneers, originators and a source of continuous malice and black metal devastation. Is this the case with the new album? Hmmmm…..it is difficult to answer…
Let’s start with the good things first: Supreme vocals! Really the vocals are totally made in hell with an intelligent twist of malevolence that will send chills down your spine. Truly a magnificent work on vocals which proves that black metal vocals can be highly emotional too showing a variety of moods and not just howling in the wind.
The riffing is also superb, with a psychedelic, depressive mood which penetrates the whole album. Sometimes they sound out-of-this-world with a creepy feeling penetrating the whole songs. Very good musicianship and ingenious songwriting. It is truly the quality of a band who creates and not copy. They are not afraid to experiment but always with a black metal identity in mind…. and they are definitely black…. like erevos.
So far you would say: “so what is wrong with the album?” Well…. the drumming!!! No, do not get mad… technically is brilliant, but musically is tiring…. it sounds like an unstoppable drum monotonous machine which make the songs sound almost industrial! Maybe that was their intention… fine but it does not work for me. I think that it limits the power and complexity of the songs.
Another thing is the orchestration of the songs one by one…. sometimes they sound like changing song every 1-2 minutes…. it has a pretty chaotic structure and it either gives you the impression that you are listening to a new song every 200 seconds or the same one for 10 minutes… These are the two major problems for my liking at least.
In total is a good album with intelligent songwriting, really dark and depressive…. now that I think it the title of the album is very fitting…. it creates an Esoteric Warfare within the listener! Highlights: “Milab” , “Copse of Care” and “Posthuman”.