MAYHEM - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Gatefold LP (Black Vinyl)

MAYHEM - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Gatefold LP (Black Vinyl)

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Well, what can you really say about this album, when all is said by now? What makes the album so great is because a range of different people were involved in its creation. Anyone who thinks that Euronymous wrote all the guitar riffs and that Dead wrote all the lyrics has to reconsider. Although Euronymous is mostly responsible for the guitars, even Varg Vikernes, Snorre Ruch, and Necrobutcher contributed with guitar riffs.

The production is absolutely perfect, the guitars sound both crispy and juicy at the same time. Hellhammer said in an interview that they "dubbed" the guitars over and over with different effects to create that sound. I've always thought it sounds like the guitars are dueling with each other, and this could probably be an explanation for that. I would like to say some more about Euronymous performance here, because if you listen to every recording before this was made, he had a habit of being a bit sloppy while performing, even though giving 100%. But this one is truly a top-notch performance, sadly his last.

Half of the songs were written when the band had its classic, short-lived line-up between 1987-1991. These songs have a more death metal and thrash metal oriented structure, and with that foundation together with Snorre Ruch's more progressive playing style became a winning concept. Also Varg Vikernes contributes with some groovy bass lines that we probably would not have heard from Necrobutcher if he was in the band at the time. Attila's opera-like voice and unconventional vocals are so liberating from all the typical black metal screams out there. But I must admit that I had trouble digesting the vocals when I first heard them. It sounded like they replaced Dead with someone unable to scream / growl. But I was wrong.

Hellhammer's drums are absolutely phenomenal and superhuman, they sound so huge and that fat bass drum is just awesome. Note that this album was recorded in 1992, so there was no chance of him sitting behind Cubase using "Drumkit from Hell" program. It is human muscles that pump out blast beats sometimes closer to 2 minutes in a row. Also note that they manage to create an atmosphere without a single keyboard, as so many other bands in the 90's would do. When you think of all the tragedy that hit the band, you can't help but get goosebumps when you hear songs like "Cursed in Eternity", "Life Eternal" and "From the Dark Past". For a dark past it really is...

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