Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mayhem:"Esoteric Warfare"

A band that need no introduction as the are the un-godly fathers of the second wave of black metal. It's been a minute since they have been in the studio and  Necrobutcher , Hellhammer, Attila  as on board as well as the addition of new comer  Teloch from Nidingr on guitars. He has been playing with the band since 2011 , but this is his first studio appearance. The latter helped keep the band's sound intact, as he had been playing their earlier material so know how to blend it on the new stuff. This doesn't mean the song remains the same here as the album opens with a moodier and more detailed number than I remember the band engaging in, its mature like Enslaved , but without wanting to be Opeth.

The lead single off the album "Pys-war" is the need for speed blasting, similar to how Hell Hammer's drumming propelled Dimmu, fast and blasting , but with precision.The symphonic elements that ring out in the back ground are also very Dimmu to me. So it's kinda like in the 90's when Sabbath tried sounding like Alice in Chains, sometimes you had to take it on a song by song basis and I think it works here.

"Trinity" finds the blast taking a almost industrial stiffness, there is a very militant feel here. The vocals are well produced and this album sounds great so any one wanting the old kvlt sound should know it's not happening, so get over it . Attila shows a wide range of growls that makes his voice unique in black metal. You have to be in the mood for fast for sure on this one.

The herky jerky snap action of "Pandaemon" obscures what sounds to be a cool riff hidden in the chaos, but these guys some how manage to pull it off.You can see where Behemoth pulled some of their inspiration from on moments like these. The drumming is beyond insane and the Ministry vibe I am getting keeps haunting the chapel here. Things slow down into more of a creep on "Milab" . It's what I needed as an album of just blasting would have worn me out and proves these guys know a thing or 666 about dynamics and their importance in songwriting. At times it even grooves.

Things stay to this darker direction on "V.I.Sec". Attila squawks and shrieks like a harpy in torment. The use of space in this song creates weird empty gaps , which was the intention, and it works in a more doom like fashion.This is not to say they are able to avoid the need to blast at all times even here. The electronic grime coating the intro to "Throne of Time". The winks at industrial are fine with me. The weirdness surrounding that sort of experimentation is evident in this song , which is not industrial but is a very different take on black metal not unlike what Blut Aus Nord does. This kind of dissonant darkness rings out further into the album. I am not sure how this unorthodox approach is going to translate over to your average metal head, but it works for me. By the time we get to "Post Human" the dissonance has dripped all over you and if you are looking to sink your teeth into more meat and potatoes black metal them it might be wearing on you. The album album does begin to take a on a drone , though some of the clever tension in the guitar seeps out sideways midway through this one. This more experimental than most of you are going to have bargaining for , but if it was DeathSpell Omaga, no one would blink. When things come of a close on "Aion Suntelia" you are ready for the very Voi Vod like use of double bass to hit you. Voi Vod might be more of an influence on black metal than I have really considered. It does take you back to those days of Celtic Frost and Voi Vod , more than Sodom or death metal like the album hints at earlier. I think it's important that Mayhem released this album rather than revisiting classic ground they have already tread, the more droning sections will wear on me so I am going to go ahead and give this one a 10.  

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