With only the drummer surviving from the last line-up I guess any sort of release at all from Mayhem would have been an achievement, but Wolf’s Lair Abyss is an excellent and worthwhile mini-album. The band continue with the strangely languid style of guitar chords of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, but where that album really only had one insanely fast song (Buried by Time and Dust) here it’s blastbeats pretty much all the way, which makes this a ferocious release. Musically it’s difficult to fault this, as there are some great guitar lines here, but I’m not wholly convinced by the vocals of Maniac, with the drops into melodic chanting sounding rather weak to these ears. Still, a good brutal record.
With Euronymous gone, and Varg incarcarated, one would think that the legend that is Mayhem would die. But with the release of 'Wolf Lair Abyss' Mayhem have returned as strong as ever, and more focused. While "True" fans of Mayhem might scoff at this release due to the loss of Euronymous, let me just say that Blasphemer is a considerably superior guitarist. I know this might upset some but it's true (just look at the guitar work on 'Grand Declaration...'). Also We still have Hellhammer on board and old school mayhem soldiers Maniac and Necro Butcher. Musically this album has the sheer brutality of 'Death Crush' but with a more sophisticated approach to songwritting. The fearsome drums, along with maniacs truly disgusting (in a good way) vocal delivery create a thick wall of sound, underneath this sonic attack the guitars snake and weave, from brutal, stop-start barchord attacks, to haunting and even dissonant arpeggio's. I can find no fault with this album, the production is necro enough to please older fans, but the album musically is sufficiantly different so that it adds to Myhems legendary status, without repeating past glories .
A kick from late 90s, this was the come back of the Legend. Nobody thought they could do it, as far as I remember, but they roared loud and shredded deep and harsh. Mayhem, starting with De Mysteriis album, made a new mark on Black Metal sound and song structure back in early 90s, and with the return years later they still managed to bring something new to this music. With new guitarist Blasphemer they managed to jump into much cold, much evil, much dark and punishing sound, their lyrics more about the pain of the present and all encompassing war of the future, than castles and fogs of the past. This four track EP (plus an intro) has a power of a full length. This is a bomb, detonation of which should be reckoned with, or the explosion wave will take you crush your bones and make your brain bleed. My favorite Mayhem still after all these years.
This is the first MAYHEM C.D. since they reformed in 1997.There are five tracks on it and the are : 1.The Vortex Void of Inhumanity 2.I am Thy Labyrinth 3.Fall of Seraphs 4.Ancient Skin 5.Symbols of Bloodswords All of the members play to the best of their ability and the end result sounds brutal. A good release from the kings of black metal.