A FIST IN THE FACE OF GOD 1994 - DE MYSTERIIS DOM SATHANAS

In 1994 thrash and death metal had faded in obscurity/crapness, and it was down to Norway to produce the only metal albums worth talking about. One of my favorite classic black metal albums from this period is Mayhem's <a href="http://www.metal...

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Nov 2 2009, 4:58pm
In 1994 thrash and death metal had faded in obscurity/crapness, and it was down to Norway to produce the only metal albums worth talking about. One of my favorite classic black metal albums from this period is Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Like Burzum, Mayhem's actual music has been hidden behind their infamy. Musically, Mayhem were hardly productive in the early parts of the 90s. In fact, from 1987's excellent Deathcrush (their best work, in my opinion) to this album, they only produced one live record, the legendary Live in Leipzig. What they were doing during those seven years between releases has been well documented. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (meaning "Lord Satan's Secret Rites") was recorded in 1993 with a new-ish lineup that would only survive for the recording of this album. The band's Swedish vocalist, Dead, had killed himself in 1991 and Necrobutcher had left the band after that. In came the Hungarian Attila Csihar of Tormentor on vocals and a certain Varg Vikernes on bass. Euronymous was joined by Thorns, Blackthorn on guitar, and Hellhammer remained on the battery. It was a black metal super-group of sorts. The sound and production of the record is very different to Deathcrush. It's very of-the-time in its approach, using blast beats and tremolo picking. It's a haunting record, with Csihar's operatic vocals at times turning up the necro-meter. He is, in my opinion, their greatest vocalist and was superb both times I've seen them live; his onstage dramatics are pretty much off the scale. It's a shame that this line-up would never follow this album, thanks to the bassist Varg and his "accomplice" Thorns whole murdering thing. But it also held up the release of this record, mainly because Euronymous's parents didn't want a record being released with their son's murderer on bass. Hellhammer agreed to re-record the bass parts, but as he couldn't actually play the instrument he simply turned the bass right down. There are parts on the album where you will hear a bassline, only for it to vanish into the mix. Earlier in the year, vocalist Attila released Life Eternal, which is a rough mix of a demo tape featuring some slightly different vocals in parts and an extra drum intro or two. There is more of the original bass on these recordings than on the album. For song choices this week, I've gone with the track "Cursed in Eternity" from Life Eternal, and the most ferocious track on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, "Buried by Time and Dust." Enjoy. Mayhem - "Cursed in Eternity (Demo)" Mayhem, "Buried by Time and Dust"
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