Review Summary: The mysteries of why anyone listens to this stuff.
Mayhem, the forefathers of Black Metal. What is Black Metal you ask? Well, it's basically an unholy mishmash of thrash, death metal, awful production and bad make-up. Like any other metal genre, it isn't very good. But Black Metal takes it a step further. You think regular metal is based on fashion, dumb lyrics and image? Wait until you get into this stuff.
Essentially the whole culture of Black Metal is to be as "shocking" and "satanic" as possible. This basically means writing a bunch of awful music and mentioning Satan a lot. Mayhem got notoriety for doing insane stuff in their live sets, like impaling animal heads and the singer cutting himself. They're the G.G. Allin of metal. They single-handedly created one of the most unrightfully pretentious genres of all time. According to a group of fans, if the guy making the music isn't making incredibly boring black and white cover art and wearing the right amount of "corpse paint," then the music sucks. Ew.
Enough background about the band and it's "accomplishments." What about the music itself? Well, I suppose it could be worse. It could sound like Alcest. Do you remember that awful band Venom? They take that pseudo-Thrash sound and the band's low-budget "my cellphone can record stuff better" sound quality and just speed it up a bit or something. There isn't singing. It's some dude shrieking around sounding like he's some drunk freshman puking after trying his first shot of vodka.
The end track has some incantations and I think they incorporate synths somewhere in there. It's hard to tell since the production just makes it nearly impossible to hear anything clearly. According to fans, "that's the point." I mean, it doesn't ALL sound that bad and they certainly have more skill than Venom, but still, why listen to it?
I really wouldn't recommend anything in this genre, so I just tried to provide some metal albums that you know, doesn't completely suck.