The new Mayhem album, Daemon, is an impeccable return to form for the Norwegian black metal legends, and one of our favorite metal album of the decade despite having just come out. It’s arguably their most vitriolic and sonically expansive record since their full-length debut, De mysteriis dom Sathanas.
In a video interview with Heavy Consequence, the band revealed that they sought to simply their sound, but instead ended up with the immensely complex Daemon.
Upon our mention that Daemon is Mayhem’s sixth studio album, bassist Necrobutcher took us to task, arguing that he actually considers it to be the band’s eighth LP. He went on to say that the new album’s initial songwriting sessions saw the band trying to return to a more primitive black metal tone in line with their 1987 Deathcrush EP. Being the technically skilled musicians that they are, Mayhem found the exercise in simplicity boring, and then rerouted in the opposite direction.
The songs on Daemon spiral and twist while retaining a consistently bleak atmosphere that is patently Mayhem. Guitarist Teloch and Ghul are in fine form, creating a wall of evil tonality, and Necrobutcher credits drummer Hellhammer with getting the band in line and guiding the songs through corridors of technical experimentation. Necrobutcher also acknowledges the “live sound” that emanates from the recordings, a credit to the album’s organic creative process.
Mayhem will be supporting Daemon with a North American trek alongside fellow Norwegian black metal pioneer Abbath as part of the “Decibel Magazine Tour” next spring.
Watch Mayhem discuss Daemon above and check out our previous installments of the interview during which Necrobutcher admits that he planned to kill Euronymous himself and the band’s reaction to their depiction in Lords of Chaos.