Review Summary: The definitive black metal album.
Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is a masterpiece that will always stand as one of the greatest albums of the genre. The album contains elements typical of any black metal record, such as blast beats, tremolo riffs, and low-fi production, but there are several unique traits that set it apart from other albums of this nature.
The bass (played by Varg Vikernes, the murderer of guitarist Euronymous) is set relatively high in the mix; his octave jumps and other additional fills add an element not found in most black metal. One of my favorite aspects in this album is the diversity and uniqueness found in Attila Csihar's vocals. His vocal performance on the album is not the stereotypical black metal shriek, but rather a combination of raspy whispering and shouting. On the concluding title track, he even provides haunting clean vocals that might be found in some sick, twisted opera. Euronymous gives an amazing performance on the album, with plenty of brutal, harsh riffs and dissonant leads. He also provides cacophonous solos that only add to the frenetic atmosphere generated by his, Varg's, and drummer Hellhammer's rhythmic work.
This is one of, if not the greatest black metal album ever created (I enjoy it even more knowing it was released only four days after I was born.) If you are a fan of black metal, or are an extreme metal fan looking for a gateway into black metal, look no further. You will not be disappointed by this album.
Recommended tracks: Funeral Fog, Freezing Moon, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas