Never has a form of music united (and divided) people such as black metal. Never has a form of music tapped into the deepest, darkest recesses of human emotion. Apart from classical, black metal might be the truest expression of the human psyche: a literal soundtrack to the human problem – ingesting (and then digesting) all the hatred, nihilism, and anti-human behavior of our species. At the forefront of it all is True Norwegian Black Metal. A quarter-century on since a group of impassioned, intrepid youths blazed a path of musical extremity and ingenuity across the northern sky, this music continues to enthrall old and new alike.
In an effort to celebrate Norway's past (and present) efforts, we are pleased to bring you a brand new Nordic-themed column, fittingly titled This Is Armageddon! As a semi-regular column, we will strive to bring you interesting and informative content from those who live and breathe this music. From historical accounts, news, reviews, premieres – all the way to opinion pieces from the artists themselves – we will attempt to uncover why True Norwegian Black Metal is as relevant today as the day it was birthed from the icy waters of the Nordic fjords.
In this second installment (our inaugural edition featured legends Satyricon), we hauled our asses out into the frigid Canadian eve to catch Nordic legends, Mayhem. This was a special night, as Necrobutcher, Attila, Hellhammer, Teloch, and Ghul are currently touring in support of their legendary album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, released way back in '94. For any true Mayhem fan, nay, True Norwegian Black Metal fan, this was a night not to be missed. A literal black metal dream come true.
If you're anything like us, you've heard the album about 42 million times over the past 22 years. To the band's credit, this beast never gets too old. Each successive spin is as relevant and jaw-dropping as the last. Such is the magic and mystery of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas… a timeless album that will enthrall and inform for generations to come.
To explain the experience of witnessing De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas live in its entirety would be like trying to discuss the mythos of the cosmos with a hamster. It can't be done. All one can do is revel in the chaos. Submit to dark forces.
By the light of the freezing moon and haze of the funeral fog, we bring you a fleeting glimpse into the murk that is Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas…
(Photos by Kim Baarda)