Mayhem
Daemon


3.0
good

Review

by Simon STAFF
October 28th, 2019 | 141 replies


Release Date: 10/25/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 'Daemon' is a solid dose of black metal, and not much else.

Look, I get it, my opinion for Daemon, and to a certain extent Mayhem, sits in a snug pocket with the rest of the minority. I also understand that this will no doubt elicit a harsh response from the kvlt, who will, in turn, scorn the sentiments presented here; it’s to be expected from a community as passionate and as loyal as the black metal one. But for me, a band as infamous and legendary as Mayhem, it’s hard to really hear anything from these guys without thinking of an overused black metal meme. Yes, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is a seminal, groundbreaking and genre-defining classic that laid the groundwork for a subgenre that has now been going strong for over thirty years. But I have asked myself this a few times – past that blinding debut, have the band maintained that same level of dominance? And in my opinion, not by a long shot. After the death of Mayhem’s guitarist Euronymous, the band have soldiered on and created solid albums, but these records have fluctuated in quality extensively over the years: trying, and mostly failing, to branch out with various experiments. And when they aren’t being ambitious, the overall quality is a sound that remains agonisingly shackled to the very tropes Mayhem cemented way back in 1994.

As such, bands have gone on to refine and evolve the genre in some way, leaving Mayhem in the rear-view mirror. That’s not to say Mayhem have made a bad album, honestly, their modus operandi brings a distinct flavour to their works – and their discography remains steadfast because of it – but I feel the only reason people pay attention to this band is mainly down to their history and that initial classic album. And this commentary resonates with Daemon quite a lot. The band recently toured De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas to commemorate its twenty-fifth anniversary, before promptly entering the studio shortly after. Ergo, intentionally or otherwise, there’s a resonance in Daemon’s very existence, one that nurtures and celebrates De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas for good or ill. The best way to sum up Daemon is to imagine some of the best qualities pertaining to their debut, being strong-armed by a lot of glaring similarities to that of Behemoth. The overall vibe of the record frequently reminded me of things Behemoth have been doing for a while now – be it the Gregorian chants, squalling guitar parts, compositional structures, or even vocal approaches – there’s a constant reminder that Mayhem had their eyes fixed on what Nergal and co. have been doing. I know the genre in question is very restricting and there’s bound to be some overlap with bands and their sounds at times, but this niggle stayed with me until the end.

It doesn’t help matters that the band have opted for a production that takes a vastly different approach to what Mayhem is typically accustomed to. The quality of sound here has clearly had an injection of money put into it – this is Mayhem’s crispest sounding album to date. The rattling blast beats, rumbling bass and ice-picky guitar tones have never sounded so good – and there’s a cohesive and ominous atmosphere present throughout – but it also creates a double-edged sword which sprouts new problems. For example: say what you will about the writing in Esoteric Warfare, but at least the production presented the songs with a densely claustrophobic assault on the ears – maintaining and preserving that distinction from their peers to some degree. The production here, while great, only furthers their descent into homogenising themselves with what other contemporary bands are currently doing. Ultimately, what Daemon leaves you feeling is that the band are trapped in an era of reflection, whilst desperately trying to stay relevant by integrating ideas of which Behemoth is currently spearheading. It’s an enjoyable ride, I can’t take that away from it, but replayability is slim and it quickly unveils humdrum and vapid songwriting the more you settle yourself into it. As with any album post De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Daemon serves up another solid dose of black metal that pales next to the album that started it all.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶/̶/̶D̶I̶G̶I̶B̶O̶O̶K̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://www.nuclearblast.de/en/shop/artikel/gruppen/51000.1.html?article_group_sort_type_handle=rank&c ustom_keywords=daemon&sli=21618924#page-1



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user ratings (178)
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
TheClansman95 (4.5)
Twenty-five years after the release of their legendary first full-length, Mayhem are here to give us...


Comments:Add a Comment 
garas
October 28th 2019


2488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"After the death of Mayhem’s singer Euronymous"

HOL' UP



He was the guitarist.

Digging: Hades Almighty - Alone Walkyng

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2019


15810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I knew he was the guitarist, but I could of sworn he was the singer as well? Damn. Cheers

Digging: Desert Sessions - Volumes 11 and 12

garas
October 28th 2019


2488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha! No problem, everyone can make mistakes.

I don't really agree on everything here, but on the other hand it was a nice, well-written review!

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2019


15810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks man. I know everyone is loving this on here so I was a little anxious writing about it haha

dedex
October 28th 2019


555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Good review man. I totally agree with you: this is some good bm, but that's it.

Trifolium
October 28th 2019


11402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

On the list this goes. Curious where I stand here, haven't heard anything from this yet.

butt.
October 28th 2019


5624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I understand the criticisms, but this just hits the sweet spot for me. I'm often disappointed by bm albums not living up to what I want them to be. Especially with the 90s stuff, a lot of it is too lo-fi to honestly enjoy or the vocals are just are too laughably dumb (see De Mysteriis)

But the production here is perfect to me, and without feeling "overproduced." i LOVE the vocals. And most of all I just love the dark atmosphere this carries all the way through.

TheClansman95
October 28th 2019


2356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review, but honestly I disagree. Stellar album, gonna write one for this soon

Digging: Mayhem - Daemon

TheClansman95
October 28th 2019


2356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, I think this one is up there with the debut. Attila's vocals on Daemon sound really improved over his far too raw (at times) approach on De Mysteriis

TheClansman95
October 28th 2019


2356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah, honestly it would be as if I wanted to review a Periphery album or one of those edgy prog-metalcore albums I'm not into. Review would suffer from bias from the very start.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2019


15810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks guys.



However, there’s no such thing as reviewing an album “objectively”, music is entirely subjective. Also, I didn’t say I wasn’t a fan of bm, I said I don’t hold mayhem in as high regard as most

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2019


26206 Comments


"Decent review, but I would say you're supposed to review the record objectively, not put a disclaimer in at the stsartthat you arent really a fan of black metal. However, review is okay for sure"

lmao jfc no, you're really not supposed to review something objectively, that makes no sense.

Digging: Liturgy - H.A.Q.Q.

TheClansman95
October 28th 2019


2356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think that musical taste isn't directly related to "being objective". I mean, I may dislike a certain genre or band, but when someone writes a cool song, or does something interesting with his instrument, you recognize it nonetheless. That's how it works for me. Honestly there was much to say about this record, the "back to the roots" approach was still matched by bits of experimentation, think to tracks number 8 and 10 (they convey a vague post-black vibe), or to the synths in "Falsified and Hated". It's also much more varied when it comes to the rhytm section, think to the groovy parts in "Agenda Ignis" and "Bad blood", or all those atmospheric parts scattered here and there in the platter. Not to mention the superb riffing and Attila's performance. I don't know, I think that they did an amazing work, settling things with "a solid dose of [generic] black metal, and nothing more", which is basically what the review states, seems quite unfair to me. Anyway, de gustibus! I'll write a review for this one ASAP

FadeToBlack2
October 28th 2019


23 Comments


the only mayhem full length that matters is DMDS

Digging: Esoteric - A Pyrrhic Existence

InFlamesWeThrash666
October 28th 2019


9300 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wrong

Digging: Schammasch - Hearts of No Light

FadeToBlack2
October 28th 2019


23 Comments


5.0 classic
Agalloch Ashes Against the Grain

yeah nah sorry but your bm card has officially been revoked

NoHellsNoHeavens
October 28th 2019


106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nothing great, nothing terrible either though. Far from the best Black Metal to come out this year though.

Digging: Abigail Williams - Walk Beyond The Dark

butt.
October 28th 2019


5624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I just get so tired of all the post-rock blackgaze stuff that all sounds the same, it's nice to have something dark and cold like this still

garas
October 28th 2019


2488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Far from the best Black Metal to come out this year though."



Fact.

NoHellsNoHeavens
October 28th 2019


106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea you have a point, the market is saturated with blackgaze stuff, but there is still good trve black metal being produced.



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