Published Oct 25, 2019Black metal's most notorious band return with their sixth album. Mayhem have never concerned themselves with following up albums, so while Daemon was crafted by the same lineup that gave us Esoteric Warfare in 2014, their latest release was intended for a life all its own.
The band return to a more traditional black metal sound on Daemon. While it's sometimes reminiscent of Esoteric, like in "Aeon Daemonium," this has more in common with Mayhem's earlier work, such as Chimera and Ordo ad Chao. Blast beats and icy guitars are at the black heart of this album, particularly songs like "The Dying False King" and "Falsified and Hated," which call to mind old-school Norwegian black metal.
While the music is raw, the production is more refined, which allows you to appreciate all the eccentricities in Mayhem's music. There are massive drum and bass parts courtesy of one of the most inventive rhythm sections in black metal, what sounds like a timpani in "Invoke the Oath," and, of course, Attila's theatrical vocals.
The only real drawback is that the album lacks the intrigue surrounding something as adventurous as their previous album. Daemon still has a lot to sink your teeth into, and fans of black metal and Mayhem should not miss out on it. (Century Media)