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De Mysteries Dom Sathnanas [VINYL]
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De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
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|Vinyl, 20 Mar 2006||
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Limited edition pressing. One of the earliest of the Norwegian black metal bands to form, Mayhem's 20 year history is littered with tragedy and controversy. Now Back on Black re-issues the bands' 4 studio albums on deluxe audiophile quality vinyl. All editions of these classic black metal albums are pressed on colored vinyl and come in gatefold packaging. 2006.
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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).
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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