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Requiem

Mayhem

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Scrolling through the many years of threads in the Black Metal sub-forum, you can imagine my horror upon discovering that there was no specifically DEADicated thread for one of the most significant bands the genre has ever seen, Mayhem. 

It's no secret around here that Mayhem are my favourite band, pound for pound, and I think they deserve a place where people can discuss, praise, criticise, and ridicule as users see fit. To kick things off I'm re-posting a list that was buried (by time and dust) deep in another thread in the General Discussion forum. I hope my repetition is taken in the spirit in which it is intended: as an introduction to discussion. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you....

Requiem’s Ranking of Mayhem's Official Releases, Both Studio and Live, from Worst to Best:

12. Ordo ad Chao - Studio Album (2007)

The final album to feature performance and songwriting by Blasphemer is a difficult pill to swallow. I know a few fans who bravely champion this release, and I do like it in many ways, but the deliberately unorthodox sound - which is dense and harder to penetrate than Queen Elizabeth - makes this more of a work of art than a collection of tunes. Attila's wails are ok, and Hellhammer plows away, miraculously keeping time to this anti-rhythmic beast, but I struggle to make head and tail of the whole thing. I actually own a shirt of this, too. Cool album cover. 

11. Esoteric Warfare - Studio Album (2014)

The most recent studio album is also pretty disappointing. It feels a bit insincere, having called in Teloch to play guitar and write all the music. I'm just not sure about bands who do this - getting the new member to completely write the new album. I know this is basically how 'Wolf's Lair Abyss' came into existence, but 'Esoteric' feels like a cover band in many ways. There are some good songs here, although the sound is firmly rooted in the technical modernity introduced by Blasphemer and if you don't like sterile post-Soviet machinations in your music, you're going to struggle. There's no warmth or graveyard atmosphere here. Attila's trying different things with the lyrics, and fair enough, but they're hardly engaging. Dodgy looking cover in that unattractive brown colour. 

10. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive - Live Album (2016)

This recent live release, however, brings the goods. Originally only available from the band's website, the songs are all time classics and the production here is fantastic, as the current line-up admirably plays through the classic album from first track to last. But with guitarists Teloch and Ghul sounding like a couple of blokes down at the Guitar Centre playing the riffs, it doesn't quite have the magic of the source material. It's a great little release, although hardly life changing or overly meaningful. The excellent purplish cover based on the original is tasty and haunting. 

9. European Legions - Live/Pre-Production Studio Album (2001)

Half a live album with the Maniac/Blasphemer line-up, with the other half made up of pre-production tracks from 'Grand Declaration of War', this is a competent and unexpected release that sounds great and captures the band's live aggression very effectively. The half-baked versions of album songs are surprisingly listenable. This was also released as 'US Legions'. It's an odd little half and halfer, but I really like it. Cover is a nice play on the 'Grand Declaration...' theme. 

8. Chimera - Studio Album (2004)

After the experimental 'Grand Declaration...' album, this was more focused, tighter and heavier, but ultimately not quite as good. Songs like 'My Death' are amazing, with the whole band on fire and generally communicating the essence of the band very well. Great production and some iconic band member portraits in the awesome gatefold style CD digipak that I have. The cover is a very mysteriis beast that isn't really a Chimera but looks cool all the same. The inlay photo of those nuns running away from something is fucking amazing. 

7. Mediolanum Capta Est - Live Album (1999)

A stunning live album, Maniac and Blasphemer have a maniacal fire in their blaspheming bellies as they razor-wire their way through the songs. It always amazes me how this band have had genuinely great guitarist/vocalist doubles - with the unfortunate exception of the current era. This release has all the band's best tracks played with great passion. Amazing to think this came out only 6 years after Euronymous' death. Iconic cover of Maniac in full self-harming mode, sliding a blade down his torso. These days we get Watain with their 'evil' contact lenses... 

6. Wolf's Lair Abyss - Studio EP (1997)

Hard to believe this came out only 4 years after Euronymous' death! By today's release standards it would be virtually unthinkable that it would come out so soon. This EP features only Hellhammer from the previous release ('De Mysteriis...') which is a hell of a thing when you think about how good 'Wolf's Lair' is (obviously Necrobutcher and Maniac have been members/contributors prior to this, so it's not as if they're new). Songs like 'Fall of Seraphs' and 'Ancient Skin' have the feel. Blasphemer deserves so much credit in my book. Cover is a simple band logo style that's effective and unpretentious and the fold-out inlay is simply killer. 

5. Live in Zeitz - Live Album (2016)

Recorded with the classic line-up of Dead, Euro, Necro and Hellsy, I was very excited when I found out Peaceville were releasing it officially (now we just have to wait for the Sarpsborg show to follow suit). This is one of the four live shows featuring Dead (I'm not counting Turkey which only lasted a couple of songs), and it's oh so special because of that fact. The production here is very poor, understandably, as it's obviously been pulled from some musty and degrading tape somewhere, but the songs and the charisma of the performers remain untainted. Cover is a great shot of Euronymous but it's ultimately fairly poorly presented. The colours suck and I think Peaceville could have done better. Liner notes are great though. 

4. Grand Declaration of War - Studio Album (2000)

They needed to do something quite radical in this full-length follow-up to the genre classic. They could have ripped off the old sound or done something new, and they took the hard road, but wow what an outcome. This album is so much fun to listen to, with Maniac's pompous oratory, Hellhammer's insanely triggered drums, Blasphemer's eclectic riffage and poor old Necrobutcher's bass somewhere in the background, 'And Justice for All' style. This is a great achievement, and triumphs even more in 2018 than it did in 2000 when I first bought it. Iconic cover of the dove in barbed wire. Amazing. 

3. Deathcrush - Studio EP (1987)

Their first release is so goddamn good, I can't get over it. Like a fine wine, it gets better every year. Maniac's vocals are insane and bless my heart Euronymous twists those riffs like only he can. The intro 'Silvester Anfang' haunts my dreams to this day, and nothing can ever take away the memory of hearing those first tones pump out when I saw the band live for the first time in 2001. Famously, the first pressing of this had the disturbing but cool artwork come out in bright pink rather than blood red in a classic Spinal Tap moment. 

2. Live in Liepzig - Live Album (1993)

Similar set to the 'Zeitz' show, but this one just has a sheen of quality to it that moves it from interesting document into absolute classic. The classic line-up, the classic songs, the classic intro to 'Freezing Moon': "When it's cold, and when it's dark....". Probably the best black metal cover of all time with Dead carrying that candelabrum. This is Dead's true epitaph. The atmosphere in this would have to be the best of any live release I've heard. It's almost haunting. 

1. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas - Studio Album (1994)

And here it is. The perfect black metal album? Let's see. The perfect Grieghallen production by Pytten. The perfect drum sound and performance. The perfect riffs. The perfect songs. The perfect song order. The perfect singer? Depends - Attila has huge credibility, but his voice isn't for everyone. It really fits here though. Chilling album artwork. An achievement. A pinnacle. A triumph. Hail Euronymous. 

What do forum users think of Mayhem? 

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I think we've discussed before that I really enjoy Ordo Ad Chao, but am not that fond of Wolf's Layer Abyss or Chimera. I wouldn't change anything about your top 4, and other than those minor adjustments that I've just listed, we're mostly in agreement. I'm not sure that I would say that they're my favorite black metal band pound for pound, but De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas has been my favorite black metal album since first it first corrupted my fragile 17 year old mind, and I hold a great deal of their material in the highest regard.

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It's nice to see Grand Declaration of War ranked so highly.  It is definitely one of my favorite albums of theirs (and in general).  However I would dispute ranking Wolf's Lair Abyss over Chimera.  I thought that there was not enough variation in WLA, and that Chimera had more interesting guitar work.  I got into Mayhem through Chimera, thus I think that it will always be slightly biased towards it.  Overall, I tend to like the era of the band where Maniac was the vocalist the best.

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7 hours ago, Balor said:

It's nice to see Grand Declaration of War ranked so highly.  It is definitely one of my favorite albums of theirs (and in general).  However I would dispute ranking Wolf's Lair Abyss over Chimera.  I thought that there was not enough variation in WLA, and that Chimera had more interesting guitar work.  I got into Mayhem through Chimera, thus I think that it will always be slightly biased towards it.  Overall, I tend to like the era of the band where Maniac was the vocalist the best.

The Maniac era is actually a really long one, as he was the main vocalist on 'Deathcrush', 'Wolf's Lair', 'Grand...', and 'Chimera'. While the Dead era will always be my favourite, I am a massive fan of Maniac's work with the band. Live, too, he was great, especially back around 2001. 

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One of the reasons that Mayhem is my favourite band includes the fairly substantial number of bootlegs and curiosity pieces that have been released over the years. This ties in with their history nicely. 

I, Requiem, have plumbed the depths of my Mayhem collection and found the following Other Releases

Pure Fucking Armageddon (demo bootleg by Die Hard)

The legendary demo is so poorly recorded it's nearly unlistenable. Featuring vocals from Euronymous, their early enthusiasm comes through via the creatively named Side Fuck and Side Off from the original tape. This is more of a document than something you would listen to seriously. Still, it's a mandatory piece of their history. Cover of black demon thing. 

A Tribute to the Black Emperors (Morbid/Mayhem split by Warhammer Records)

This is a great little disk that features Dead's work with Morbid as well as three tracks with Mayhem: 'Freezing Moon', 'Funeral Fog' (live) and 'Necrolust'. The inlay contains an enthusiastically over-the-top explanation of Dead's work with these bands. Curiously, the inlay doesn't fit in the CD case and must slide in sideways. Cover is of Euro and Dead in full metal gear with both bands' logos at the top. 

Out From the Dark (rehearsal by the Dead/Euro lineup by Bloodstone Productions)

Someone printed a whole heap of these and is making a killing by selling them one at a time to schmucks like me on ebay. This is so damn mandatory - a full rehearsal with Dead, Euro, Necrobutcher and Hellhammer. Sound is rough, obviously, but I'm still amazed that this exists. Classic Dead shot on the cover. 

Dawn of the Black Hearts (bootleg of Sarpsborg show 1990 by Warhammer Records)

This is famous for containing the Dead suicide photo as the cover, but what makes it great is the full Sarpsborg show that was played just prior to 'Leipzig' if memory serves. It was on that same tour at any rate. The inlay contains an 'Anti-Grishnackh' symbol and the words "Kill Burzum Now". If you needed anymore reason to track this down, it also contains a live show from Lillehammer from 1986 made up entirely of cover songs. 

Freezing Moon (Mayhem/Meads of Asphodel split by Supernal Music)

I don't know how Supernal got the rights to this, but as far as I can tell this is actually the only official release of the two studio tracks that Mayhem recorded with Dead: 'Freezing Moon' and 'Carnage'. After Mayhem's 8 or so minutes the rest of the disk is a mini-album from The Meads of Asphodel, and it's actually pretty good. The Mayhem tracks are great, but that goes without saying. Cover is a Dead/Euro throne piece that looks cool enough. 

The True Armageddon (release info unknown)

This is a mysterious release that doesn't contain a single word regarding who created it or where it came from. It contains all of the 'Deathcrush' and 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas'  tracks and plenty of classic band member shots, including the full back cover of 'Deathcrush'. Why someone decided to put both of these releases on the one disk, with nothing else, and sell it is anyone's guess. Cover is a classic Euro pic. There's a picture of Dead on the actual CD, but he doesn't appear on any of the songs...

From the Darkest Past (Demonomancy Records and the Mayhem fan club of Panama)

That's right, the Mayhem fan club of Panama. It's obviously just one or two people who decided to release a bootleg. The first part of this is a rough mix of the 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' album without vocals, then there are the two Dead studio tracks, then an instrumental rehearsal from 1986. A curious release for sure. The package is a white digipak and the cover is a weird sketch type graphic of a castle with the Mayhem logo in brown. 

A Tribute to Mayhem: Originators of the Northern Darkness (Avantgarde Music)

An official release of well known black metal bands playing Mayhem tunes. This is a fantastic release. It has some amazing photos of Mayhem that have been republished a few times now, but when this came out in about 2001 it was new to me. 

Nordic Metal: A Tribute to Euronymous (Hammerheart Records)

This is brilliant because it's actually a compilation of various black metal bands playing their original tracks, and not really a traditional tribute album at all. Stella songs from the likes of Dissection, Emperor, Enslaved, Mortiis etc. Cover shows one of the all time great shots of Euro at the top of some stairs. Just amazing. 

Life Eternal (unmixed tracks from ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ by Season of Mist)

This is a brilliant official release orchestrated by Attila who fought for years to get the rights to release this. It's a five song rough mix of 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' that he recorded onto a tape himself after doing his sessions and returning to Budapest. The package is phenomenal: A5 slipcase and digipak, silver texts, 10 stickers, detailed liner notes including shots of original song lyrics sheets from Dead, and letters Euro wrote to Attila, all limited to 3000 (I have copy 484). I can't remember what this cost, but I have a feeling it wasn't cheap. As a package it's incredible. 

And I think that's it! All curious chapters in a complex saga that is The True Mayhem. Hail. 

 

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17 hours ago, Requiem said:

The Maniac era is actually a really long one, as he was the main vocalist on 'Deathcrush', 'Wolf's Lair', 'Grand...', and 'Chimera'. While the Dead era will always be my favourite, I am a massive fan of Maniac's work with the band. Live, too, he was great, especially back around 2001. 

I didn't like him as much on Deathcrush though, for some reason.  However all of his subsequent appearances were great in my mind.

11 hours ago, Requiem said:

Dawn of the Black Hearts (bootleg of Sarpsborg show 1990 by Warhammer Records)

This is famous for containing the Dead suicide photo as the cover, but what makes it great is the full Sarpsborg show that was played just prior to 'Leipzig' if memory serves. It was on that same tour at any rate. The inlay contains an 'Anti-Grishnackh' symbol and the words "Kill Burzum Now". If you needed anymore reason to track this down, it also contains a live show from Lillehammer from 1986 made up entirely of cover songs. 

 

Part of me would like to buy this if I ever found it somewhere... very historical.  What songs did they cover?

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36 minutes ago, Balor said:

I didn't like him as much on Deathcrush though, for some reason.  However all of his subsequent appearances were great in my mind.

Part of me would like to buy this if I ever found it somewhere... very historical.  What songs did they cover?

The cover songs have Billy Messiah on vocals (he also sang on two 'Deathcrush' tracks) and Manheim on drums:

Danse Macabre (Celtic Frost)

Black Metal (Venom)

Procreation of the Wicked (Celtic Frost)

Welcome to Hell (Venom)

The live show on 'Dawn' has the exact same tracklist as 'Live in Leipzig' except for some reason they didn't play 'Pagan Fears':

Deathcrush

Necrolust

Funeral Fog

Freezing Moon

Carnage

Buried by Time and Dust

Chainsaw Gutsfuck 

Pure Fucking Armageddon

Classic Dead era tracks. It's interesting to see how set the 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' tracks are (Funeral, Freezing, Buried). They're pretty much as they will appear three years later when they finally record that album. It's actually a really good release and the sound is pretty clear. These days you can buy it in a DVD size cover for some reason. I've got a regular jewel case, but the collector in me is greedily eyeing the DVD case version. 

 

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Mayhem are notorious of cycling through quite a few members, particularly singers, and I thought it would be interesting to rate them here. While there are a couple of other singers who 'joined' the band at various points, I only include vocalists who have recorded with the band, in order to keep things sensible, as all discussions of Mayhem should be. Feel free to comment/challenge/denounce. 

Requiem's Ranking of Mayhem's Recording Vocalists from Least Favourite to Favourite

4. Billy Messiah (1986-1987)

Billy has the honour of being the vocalist on the official studio recording of 'Pure Fucking Armegeddon' and, less amazingly, 'Witching Hour' from 'Deathcrush', as well as a smattering of live recording material from the very early days of the band, albeit cover songs. A good voice, a cool guy, but apparently more of a punk than a black metaller. 

3. Attila Csihar (1993 and 2004-Present)

He's accrued a lot of years in the line-up by this stage and is officially the longest serving vocalist. His work tends to divide opinion, but I think it gives 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' a lot of its uniqueness. I'm less enthused by his work on the most recent two studio albums (see my listing above), and I once saw him perform in London with a suit of cover-alls with garbage stuck all over it, which sucked exceedingly. But overall he is an important part of Mayhem and his humble words in the 'Life Eternal' package exposed a special character. His voice haunts all who hear their best album. 

2. Maniac (1987 and 1994-2004)

A true talent and a guy whose presence, voice and attitude kept the band on the world stage during his self-destructive tag-team with Blasphemer. His work on 'Deathcrush' is seminal, his oratory on 'Grand Declaration of War' is eerie and compelling, while his performances on other key releases like 'Wolf's Lair' and 'Chimera' are black metal masterclasses. We are also blessed cursed with several live recordings where he carries the classics and new tracks alike in stunning renditions. Frightening and volatile live and I had the honour of meeting him briefly at an in-store many years ago. 

1. Dead (1988-1991)

Cult status all over the place, but there's little doubting Per's significance. His voice, lyrics, corpse paint, and corpse paint an archetypal picture of a moment in time and scene that will forever remain elusive to all but a small few. While most know him from 'Live in Leipzig' and the other shows from that German tour, his lyrics formed the lion's share of the linguistic incantations found on 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas'. His place in history is assured. 27 year anniversary of his death coming up on the 8th of April of this year. 

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9 minutes ago, BlutAusNerd said:

You know me, Attila goes at then top, then Dead, then Maniac, and finally Messiah. You might want to check your math on Dead's death anniversary...

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Please quote me if you’re responding to my posts, because it’s almost a miracle that I see some of your replies at times without a notification!

And gosh, how time flies... 27 years rather than 17! Now that’s pretty scary.

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Please quote me if you’re responding to my posts, because it’s almost a miracle that I see some of your replies at times without a notification!
And gosh, how time flies... 27 years rather than 17! Now that’s pretty scary.
My bad, I forget how easily things get lost here. Even when I'm quoted I sometimes miss responses.

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Things probably look somewhat different from my perspective. I've been with Mayhem since 1987, thinking little of them at first (although I liked the sheer ferocity of their Deathcrush album, they were also kind of silly), but that changed when they released the Mysteriis album. That was (and remains) just wow. Maniac and Hellhammer are guys I used to sit and drink beer with at the local pub. It's hard for me to think of them as "rock stars". And Euronymous, bless his heart, was the one that kept nagging me until I finally caved in and bought the Morbid Angel classic "Altars of Madness" one fine day in 1992, when I visited his shop. (He just wouldn't STFU about it.) In my opinion, though, Blasphemer was the musical genius that lifted them to new heights. Grand Declaration was very impressive when it was released, and Ordo even more so. Man, what a great album!

As everybody learns sooner or later, reality isn't quite as exciting as fantasy. None of that whole Norwegian Black Metal hype ever seemed like a real thing to me. But I was happy to see dudes were doing so well. Not least Fenriz, who's a great guy in just about every way (also a drinking companion at the same pub). As for that whole "dark and cold, snowy Norwegian forests" thing ... dude, that's where I live. The Siberian taiga starts right outside my doorsteps. And the anti-Christian sentiments have always been a part of my life. Back in my primary school years, calling someone "Christian" was considered a fighting insult ... meaning that you have to fight if someone throws that at your face, or else it's considered to be true, which makes you everybody's bitch. (That only makes sense if you're familiar with Norwegian history.)

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Things probably look somewhat different from my perspective. I've been with Mayhem since 1987, thinking little of them at first (although I liked the sheer ferocity of their Deathcrush album, they were also kind of silly), but that changed when they released the Mysteriis album. That was (and remains) just wow. Maniac and Hellhammer are guys I used to sit and drink beer with at the local pub. It's hard for me to think of them as "rock stars". And Euronymous, bless his heart, was the one that kept nagging me until I finally caved in and bought the Morbid Angel classic "Altars of Madness" one fine day in 1992, when I visited his shop. (He just wouldn't STFU about it.) In my opinion, though, Blasphemer was the musical genius that lifted them to new heights. Grand Declaration was very impressive when it was released, and Ordo even more so. Man, what a great album!
As everybody learns sooner or later, reality isn't quite as exciting as fantasy. None of that whole Norwegian Black Metal hype ever seemed like a real thing to me. But I was happy to see dudes were doing so well. Not least Fenriz, who's a great guy in just about every way (also a drinking companion at the same pub). As for that whole "dark and cold, snowy Norwegian forests" thing ... dude, that's where I live. The Siberian taiga starts right outside my doorsteps. And the anti-Christian sentiments have always been a part of my life. Back in my primary school years, calling someone "Christian" was considered a fighting insult ... meaning that you have to fight if someone throws that at your face, or else it's considered to be true, which makes you everybody's bitch. (That only makes sense if you're familiar with Norwegian history.)
Damn, that's pretty cool. I share your affinity for Blasphemer's contributions to the band, particularly on those two albums (I don't care as much for Wolf's Lair Abyss or Chimera), but De Mysteriis has long been my favorite black metal album, and it will likely remain so.

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I do have some memories with first listening to Mayhem when I was 16 (26 now). It was the same period of several months when depression swept in under nights of insomnia. I was more tired, more lazy, and ultimately it got to the point where I would wake up early in the morning to do my physics homework before going to school at 8 am. During these early morning rushes through my physics homework I would listen to Mayhem, especially Freezing Moon.

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On 5/6/2018 at 4:55 AM, SpaceBrain said:

I do have some memories with first listening to Mayhem when I was 16 (26 now). It was the same period of several months when depression swept in under nights of insomnia. I was more tired, more lazy, and ultimately it got to the point where I would wake up early in the morning to do my physics homework before going to school at 8 am. During these early morning rushes through my physics homework I would listen to Mayhem, especially Freezing Moon.

This sounds like a recipe for mental disintegration, and poor Physics grades! For the greater glory of Mayhem, however, it sounds phenomenal. 

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      The real draw of "Painkiller" was the memorability of the experience was that one run through the record left seared scorch marks across your brain.  For years after I could run through the entire album in my head note for note.  "Firepower" is exactly the same.  A mere 24 hours after it coming into my life and I can sing along with the lyrics, air guitar to near note perfection and bash my fingers bloody to the drums on my desktop.  It's full of anthemic choruses and simple yet effective hooks that just pull you in.

      Try and not headbang to any of the opening six tracks, if you can achieve it you are almost certainly dead inside.  Try not to make ridiculous gurning faces to any of the lead work on here and again if you succeed, check your pulse!  Sad though it maybe that Glenn has confirmed his Parkinson's is now progressed enough to stop him from touring there is no doubt that he can exchange blows, pound for pound with Faulkner and barely break a sweat.

      There's no point doing a track by track description here, if you have read the review to this point you'll get the idea.  Criticisms?  It is too long, by about 2 or maybe 3 tracks.  However, you can easily suffer the dips in the quality here and there as you are rarely away from some truly great music.  It does get a little samey at times too but that's forgivable to me as nobody is looking to reinvent any wheels here this may cause issue with the longevity of the record though for me.  Right now though I love it, I fucking love it.

      5/5
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    • Portal "ION"
      One of my favourite urban myths is that you will go blind if you masterbate too much you will go blind.  Listening to Portal might make you go blind as you ears frantically take resource from your brain that was needed for mundane tasks such as vision and bladder control as they try to cope with the relentless auditory assault of "ION", however pulling your pud won't affect your eyesight boys.  Science bit over, on with the review.

      "ION" seems instantly more refined than previous outings.  Don't get me wrong here, there's no slick production values been applied and there isn't any venture into clean vocals for example.  It just seems that this time around things are more calculated.  "Phreqs" is like being attacked by a swarm of wasps, as chaotic as it seems there's some well thought out structure to the attack to maximise the impact.  One of the only criticisms I could draw against Portal of old was that sometimes the mental factor was up over 11 and things did tend to get lost.  "Vexovoid" remedied this a lot with its more "Horror" approach and "ION" seems to take that on a notch further combining dark alchemy and atmospheres perfectly.  The build of "Crone" for example is full of creeping dread and menace, finally arriving and proving to be as ghastly as I had hoped it would.

      For all the scientific intimation of the cover things are still more on the experimental as opposed to technical side of death metal.  There's still that pit of the stomach sensation of being dragged into some fathomless void by the spiralling darkness of those fucking guitars and the taunting evil of those drums - they are not just about all out assault folks.  The layers do genuinely seem to be being applied with more structure this time around and the instrumentation is used better than ever to produce real atmosphere.  Favourite release of 2018 so far.

      5 horns out 5

       
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    • Machine Head "Catharsis"
      Fucking hell.  Where to start really?

      Nu-metal is apparently alive and well in 2018 and I don't like Nu-Metal, so the prospects for positive words in this review are slim.  It is not that I don't like Machine Head.  I mean I am not one of the mindless internet troll brigade who respond to every release with "These guys made "Burn My Eyes" and listen to this!".  Get over it bell ends, there's no more "Burn My Eyes" nor is there anymore "The Blackening" left to come.  Whilst I will openly admit to enjoying most releases since "The Blackening" there is no denying that the sound of MH has become increasingly diluted over the albums since their "comeback".  "Catharsis" is the end point for me.  It is so diluted it is like wearing my once dark black hoodie after it has been bleach hand washed and then boil washed - it kind of has lost all substance.

      The rapping is back, as if the first time round wasn't enough of a fucking car crash.  "Triple Beam" is without doubt one of the worst pieces of "music" I have ever heard.  When we aren't being treated to poor attempts at lyrical rhyming we are drowning in dreamy, hazy clean vocals that seem to be aiming (yes actually aiming) for harmony.  Yep, there's some catchy riffs but who fucking cares if you have to drink from the toilet to realise all you'll ever find in there is shit?

      Why this all has to go on for 15 tracks is a mystery?  I'll be honest, the skip button got used at least 13 times in writing this review.  For all the (frankly excessive) marketing that has been done for "Catharsis" I don't think I could feel anymore of an anti-climax.  Robb Flynn is all over every mag cover, web and video interview defending "Catharsis" and that's his entitlement, he didn't write any of this for me.  It is still terrible though.

      0 horns out of 5

       
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