Review Summary: The definition of a classic
Ah Mayhem. Perhaps the most well known band in the second wave of Norwegian black metal, these guys are absolute legends in the metal scene, and with good reason. Their bassist murdered their guitarist, and their vocalist killed himself, leading to various accusations that the band is cursed. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, or Lord Satan's Secret Rites, is the first and only studio release to contain the lineup now known as the True Mayhem, and is considered to be a landmark of black metal music. This is a release of incessant blast beats, a murky and depressing atmosphere and some of the more thought provoking black metal lyrics are found on songs such as Life Eternal. Whichever way you slice it, this record is essential.
As if the blue church featured on the front cover wasn't grim looking enough, the band had to create an album of nothing but the most terrifying sounding black metal music put to record. Funeral Fog kicks off this riff-based lunacy with some incredible tremolo riffing that is both violent in nature and incredibly catchy. From here on out this album never lets you breathe. Songs such as Freezing Moon and the title track are as suffocating as you could ask music to be, ramming the band's warped brand of music right down your throat. The vocals may be a little off putting at first but I for one grew to love the drunken incoherent mumbling that Attila frequently utilizes. The production here is rather sludgy but does not take this over the top like Darkthrone, but instead ensures that Varg's bass, the lightning fast drumming and the marvelous guitar work all meddles nicely.