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on 5 January 2006
This album is an absolutely brilliant piece of misanthropic majesty. Each musician has given blinding performances from Euronymous' excellent riffing and lead work to Hellhammer's punishing barrage. Special mention must go to Attilla Csihar for his performance because his voice is so unique and spooky and lifts this album out of the ordinary. Some people complain of his vocals saying that they sound silly and to be perfectly honest they do, but they add to the all important atmosphere of the record.
The music itself is chilling and dark and the production job makes good use of this by being deliberately crude (you can actually hear all the instruments perfectly), as with many great black metal records. This will put off many fans of cleaner sounding productions but then this record is not really for them. For truly great black metal with pristine production they should try Emperor's later albums. This is certainly a 'true' black metal record then but in the best sense in that the music is uncompromising and brutal yet innovative within the genre's constraints and not unimaginative like many bands these days calling themselves 'true' black metal.
Stand out tracks are Funeral Fog, Freezing Moon (with a nice breakdown that makes your hair stand on end), Pagan Fears and the title track. This rates as one of my all time favourite black metal albums and anyone interested in this type of music would do well to pick this up (along with Darkthrone's 'Under A Funeral Moon', Emperor's 'In The Nightside Eclipse' and Immortal's 'Pure Holocaust' to name but three).
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on 23 December 2003
i only bought this album recently but i think its safe to say that Mayhem is one of the best bands of its kind. Every track on this cd is just great and it is definitely very black metal, along with the unusual vocals. i dont know if this is just my cd player, but the vocals could perhaps be a little louder than they are as in some parts theyre difficult to make out. i have absoutely no negative comments about this album . the only thing i could say is that the font in which the lyrics are typed makes the y's look like p's, but if thats the only pathetic complaint i can make then they must be doing something right. overall, buy it.
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on 7 May 2004
The title of the album is a latin phrase that means "About the mysteries of Lord Satan". This is what you need to expect when listening to this crude and threatening record! The album was released after the death of Mayhem's guitarist, Euronymous (Greek for Prince of Darkness", killed by the bass player, Count Grishnackh,whose contribution on this album was dubbed over. Mayhem were the founders of black metal as we know it today and this was supposed to be the definitive statement on the ferocity and darkness enveloping the new Norwegian scene.
The first track is Funeral Fog with haunting vocals by Attila, now singer with Aborym, whose vocal style is very dark and original; actually he sounds like a wounded madman, spewing rage and depravity. The rest of the tracks also are very impressive, conjuring up a very dark atmosphere that sucks you right in. Hellhammer's drums also are very impressive, thundering away together with the bass. The only negative note can be made about the production on this album, even though its lo-fi, I suspect, 4-track recording in itself helps with the atmosphere of a pagan rite. A great, great album and a must-buy for any black metal fan!
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on 5 January 2006
This album is an absolutely brilliant piece of misanthropic majesty. Each musician has given blinding performances from Euronymous' excellent riffing and lead work to Hellhammer's punishing barrage. Special mention must go to Attilla Csihar for his performance because his voice is so unique and spooky and lifts this album out of the ordinary. Some people complain of his vocals saying that they sound silly and to be perfectly honest they do, but they add to the all important atmosphere of the record.
The music itself is chilling and dark and the production job makes good use of this by being deliberately crude (you can actually hear all the instruments perfectly), as with many great black metal records. This will put off many fans of cleaner sounding productions but then this record is not really for them. For truly great black metal with pristine production they should try Emperor's later albums. This is certainly a 'true' black metal record then but in the best sense in that the music is uncompromising and brutal yet innovative within the genre's constraints and not unimaginative like many bands these days calling themselves 'true' black metal.
Stand out tracks are Funeral Fog, Freezing Moon (with a nice breakdown that makes your hair stand on end), Pagan Fears and the title track. This rates as one of my all time favourite black metal albums and anyone interested in this type of music would do well to pick this up (along with Darkthrone's 'Under A Funeral Moon', Emperor's 'In The Nightside Eclipse' and Immortal's 'Pure Holocaust' to name but three).
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on 30 January 2006
Intensely atmospheric work. You can actually hear what's being said, unlike a lot of run of the mill conventional black metal bands who think they're really 'evil' by shrieking nonsensically. I think what heightens the spooky ambience is the fact that Eyronymous was murdered before its release; thus injecting an almost mythical quality to the album. A lot of people dislike the vocalists delivery on this record, but I beg to differ. I think it adds character. Indeed it is theatrical at times as he recites incantations but that's what the genre is all about. Creatures of the night what sweet music they make.
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A quick summary:

De Mysteriis is a great metal album: nothing less, nothing more. It is not the greatest black metal album of all time. It has had no clear major impact on the music scene. If anything, it represents the peak of a certain period where every album from Norway sounded the same, but nothing more. Look past the idiocy that surrounded the album, the murder, arson and petty rivalries and you'll find a group of fairly competent musicians, crafting a mostly standard work. The guitar work is hardly impressive, but the riffs are good. That compliment aside, they are also very formulaic. Two or three riff structures overused over the course of eight songs. The drumming may be amazingly fast, and at times rather inventive, but his timing is horrible and the whole performance sounds sloppy. The bass, when audible, is sufficient, but only of note on one track. The vocals, courtesy of the bonkers Attilha Csihar, are utterly impenetrable, regardless of whether you're new to the scene or you have "Silvester Anfang" tattooed on your bum; he sings in a completely unique, bizarre fashion, and soon enough you'll get used to it, whether you like it or not. The album is not without flashes of brilliance (the explosive opening of "Life Eternal", all of "Freezing Moon"), though it can be hard to get through in one sitting. The length is fine. The production suits the music well. Drums like thunder, vocals reverberating throughout the heavens. The artwork is awful. And only two members are credited on an album with four players, one of whom is dead and another is in prison for murdering him. But I asked you to forget about that, didn't I?
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on 22 September 2002
As a long time fan of black metal, I realize that Mayhem is a black metal icon and trade mark of this music genre. The album itself is without question a classic and a must have to anyone's black metal collection. Although, I would only suggest this album to long time listeners of black metal looking for something new, and enjoy the powerful sounds of the likes of Burzum(created by former Mayhem member Count Grishnackt), Darkthrone, or Graveland. Those who listen to the likes of Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Dark Funeral, and some other of the more mainstream black metal bands, may be disapointed with the album. Although the instruments without question define the black metal playing style, newbies to black metal may find that the vocals are not to their liking. In my opinion, the vocals were different and interesting, but took basically no skill whatsoever to achieve, live or on a recording. They didn't seem to work with the song, and were mostly off key growls which deviated from the foundation rhythm of the song and drew some negative attention towards it, and away from the wonderfuly contimplated instruments, especially the intense guitar riffs heard throughout the album. Luckily, vocals were virtually non-existent on most of the tracks which leads one to concentrate more on the instruments, which were the more enjoyable part of the album. Attila(the vocalist) is new to the group and doesn't seem to deliver the mind-blowing vocal talents which make up most of the earlier albums, a prime example of these talents being included in the "Out from the Dark" album with Dead on vocals. Albums such as "Wolf's Lair Abyss" with Maniac on vocals is also another good album based more on singing than just instruments mixed with random growls and off-key shouting barely surpassing an octave of a normal talking voice. I suggest buying it, although start out perhaps with some of the earlier albums mentioned or try listening to Darkthrone if you are trying to move into some of the less mainstream black metal, not that there is anything wrong with listening to COF of Dimmu Borgir, who seem to put more time and effort into writing/composing/recording, all of which seem to be of better quality than that of Mayhem, who's recording is less than perfect, although there have been worse.(personally, I think they should spend more time on recording than trying to be weird. What happened to it 'just being about the music'???) The lack of orchestra or keyboards also gives the album a less gothic effect, if thats what you are looking for, and a more death metal atmosphere takes over while listening to it. All in all, it's a great example of non-mainstream black metal at it's finest, so sit back, turn the lights down and prepare to experience one of the most extreme, strange, and talented bands of the black metal genre out today.
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on 4 June 2004
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is an absolute classic.You can tell the production is fairly feeble but that adds to the mysteriously dark feel it already has.Atilla's vocals really are quite unique.He doesnt scream high pitched like Maniac (current vocalist) and many other black metal 'singers', he sounds a lot more evil.The guitar riffs are original and gripping.Hellhammer's drumming is fast, accurate and very powerful, with the double bass drums and toms combining to give a great rumbling effect.
Mayhem, along with Emperor and Immortal and countless other Norweigan bands, kick started the new wave of black metal at the beginning of the 90's.Roughly 10 years after its release, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is still considered Mayhem's best work.
All the songs are superb so it is unrealistic to pick out the outstanding ones.Buy this, and be overwhelmed.
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on 20 March 2013
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is the top of the Black Metal genere. A manifest of blackness and the father of all the releases which have to come! This is an absolute must-have!!!
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on 4 May 2014
Pure old school awesomeness. The record looks cool and sounds great. Nothing bad can be said about the cover either.
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