Sin and Despair in Deathcrush

At the truest heart of metal lies a voice embodied, somewhat childishly, somewhat ineptly, but no less clearly and latent with potential, by Mayhem’s Deathcrush. The re-inversion of all values that metal enacts starts with the embracing of what modernity would see as its sickness unto death. The despair and sin of sickness unto death become vital active elements in the morbid minds of those who would vanquish dogmatic preconceptions in the Sky God Religions and their secular humanist counterparts.  Being, in essence a way of connecting back to itself, the ideological blockages set up by this dead-end society had to be faced head on.  Herein lies the relevance and meaning of the present album.  Despair is converted into pure energy, the rules disavowed, the road of sin is tread fanatically as a method of purification —a negative unity of evil towards the beyond, away from human-ness in its modern form, away from mundanity.  For the burgeoning underground, as seen from Mayhem’s perspective, primacy would placed on being and its dark discovery of self, against the presumption of knowing, and the oppressive, futile impositions from above.  All knowing, all value of music, would come from this ‘being’, from a dark exploration of the soul possessed by a cosmic force of destruction.

Hegel has freed history from metaphysics — he made it dialectic; but his conception of history was essentially idealistic. But now idealism was driven from its last refuge, the philosophy of history; now a materialistic treatment of history was propounded, and a method found of explaining man’s “knowing” by his “being”, instead of, as heretofore, his “being” by his “knowing”.
Fredrik Engels, Socialism Utopian and Scientific

An unconscious despair drove the leadership of Mayhem to seek in Stalinism and other forms of fascistic communism the embodiment of social, material and spiritual death to all the pointlessness and obsolete ways of thinking and acting of modern Western society. This position may have lead to the early, all-out embracing of contrarian-phrase hardcore music, now drilling, now grooving, kept together by pure visceral impulse rather than by logical intertwining. A despair that is unaware of itself begets more despair, the search and focus of Mayhem towards totalitarian communism and supernatural demonic forces inevitably led to realizations internal and external. For, it was evident that the greatest potential for the acquisition of influence and thence freedom to act anarchically lay in the commercial side of industrial capitalism. Touring did not come free, neither did the production of music of themselves and others. To achieve goals, they realized, meant to embrace all means and methods. Communism was never the point, but evil. Only those for whom spiritual reality is superior to material, contingent elements, can this be even plausible. The rest will scratch their heads and once more denounce the sincerity of an impulse to transcendental evil.

We have seen, besides, that the material conditions of production and circulation inevitably develop with large-scale industry and large-scale agriculture, and increasingly tend to enlarge the scope of thisauthority. Hence it is absurd to speak of the principle of authority as being absolutely evil, and of the principle of autonomy as being absolutely good. Authority and autonomy are relative things whose spheres vary with the various phases of the development of society. If the autonomists confined themselves to saying that the social organisation of the future would restrict authority solely to the limits within which the conditions of production render it inevitable, we could understand each other; but they are blind to all facts that make the thing necessary and they passionately fight the world.
Karl Marx, The First International

Not wanting, in despair, to be oneself, as Kierkegaard rambled about in circles, shows up as the middle stage of Mayhem, perhaps what drove Dead to suicide. How and what this reflects upon the music is a flavor of vocal performance that becomes an example of expression requisite for music that must reflect this desperation to leave the modern self behind, a nihilistic going-beyond the present state, through flames and destruction. This, in a nutshell was why totalitarian communistic states were the ideal scenario of cleansing envisioned here. There, the hypocrisy of early Utopian communism and of industrial capitalism, with its consumerism and its happy-trigger burning down of the world for the sake of vanity, were left behind.  In the midst of the utmost terror and unapologetic repression of a state like North Korea, the options lie in either destruction or a form of secret soul-searching: the supreme condition for a twisted, futuristic yoga never before seen on the face of the Earth.

The leper was caught up in a practice of rejection, of exile-enclosure; he was left to his doom in a mass among which it was useless to differentiate; those sick of the plague were caught up in a meticulous tactical partitioning in which individual differentiations were the constricting effects of a power that multiplied, articulated and subdivided itself; the great confinement on the one hand; the correct training on the other. The leper and his separation; the plague and its segmentations. The first is marked; the second analysed and distributed.
Michel Foucalt, Discipline and Punishment

In keeping with the next step in Kierkegaard’s thought, we continue exploration of the concept wanting in despair to be oneself, however, free from the elaborations of the religious man.  In desperately seeking for a voice, the material, the political and hence all that is contingent, takes the back seat. Visions of pure evil arise, first in the wanton destruction that we can hear and read in this most delicious Deathcrush, then in transcendental evil overcoming desperation in De Mysterris Dom Sathanas.  It is the ‘sin of despair’ explicitly and unapologetically flaunted in the earlier work that makes ascendance to the place of the second one possible.  This is not only so ideologically and psychologically but also musically.  Whereas the hardcore tendencies and caveman gestures of Deathcrush tend to be disparaged among those who prefer subsequent evolution of black metal as a whole (or contemporaries and predecessors in Bathory, for instance), the seeds of unbound, direct creativity here can only be appreciated in the same light that the genius of Hellhammer makes sense.  From Hellhammer to early Mayhem, the chaos is preserved, re-inspected and taken elsewhere, taking the torch from the sterility that became of that train of thought in Celtic Frost.

Man has emancipated himself; he has separated himself from animality and constituted himself a man; he has begun his distinctively human history and development by a nact of disobedience and science ‐ that is, by rebellion and by thought.
Mikhail Bakunin, God and the State

One may see in Mayhem’s early proposal an attempt to bring the synthesis of mortality and immortality of human nature through a harsh confrontation of both, giving rise to outwardly confused ramblings and attitudes that are incoherent to normalcy.  In essence, they coalesce into a total, fanatic need to see the world of lies burn.  Instead of a slow, cautious return to tradition, the likes of Mayhem want ‘mayhem’ precisely, the quickest and most efficient route towards a restart: a new ground zero at a further point in mental evolution.

When you point a finger at the moon to indicate the moon, instead of looking at the moon,the stupid ones look at your finger.
— Mao Ze-Dong

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14 thoughts on “Sin and Despair in Deathcrush

  1. Interracial Porn and Arghoslent says:

    More jewish propaganda.

    1. NWN War Metal Tranny Rape Division says:

      Exactly. Inept Hollywood fueled rockstar delusions.

  2. Ryan says:

    Quit that instructive tone you boring bastard. You sound like a fucking academic

  3. Destroy your life for Satan says:

    Mao never said which finger he was pointing.

  4. Nuclear Hellcult says:

    THE BARBEQUE HAS JUST BEGUN!

  5. deathevokation says:

    I recently saw Immolation and Mayhem on tour. The crowd was loaded with pseudo-tough guys, and queers wearing makeup including the band.

    Mayhem is a band of scensters trying to be underground with paint they stole from Sarcofago and riffs they got from Sodom and Bathory. THey were a bunch of angry uninformed kids with tip of history knowledge about their religion, politics, and culture. Basically, the inchoate knowledge of a typical teen, mixed with self hatred, envy and hatred of their peers, a need for negative attention garnered through their music, testosterone, resentment for authority figures symbolizing religion, law, or politics, and resentment for their parents molding them like clay to become what they despised. They were kids operating at a level barely above a hedonistic caveman, and they channeled it into Deathcrush. Mayhem originally appealed to a small click of scensters. Now they’re a caricature in a scene of watered down clones.

    Romanticizing Mayhem intellectually is a sham not unlike Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John writing disconnected fables about Jesus. If you guys wanna ride the coattails of Lords of Chaos then you’d better stop looking at Mao’s finger, and try a lot harder than this pseudo-intellectual rubbish. Where’s the fucking ads pimping the movie? How come you guys don’t post news from fucking Metal Injection and Blabbermouth? Where’s that fucking Ministry review. How come I don’t see ads exploiting my browsing history? Where’s the links to Asian porn? Fucking fags.

    1. JohnnyReb says:

      Based on your commentary at this site, I think it’s safe to say this is projection. I’m reasonably certain you hate your mom.

      1. Rainer Weikusat says:

        Why would this matter? [applies equally to the psychobabble section of the text you’re replying to]

        »Psychobabbling« is a language exercise so-disposed people use to come up with reasons why the grumbling in their intestinal and other such clearly impo[r]tent magnificences are really the measure of all things instead of just the outer border of any thing such a ‘human being’ can cook up interest for. It’s nothing but a pseudointellectual, wordy way of stating that “I don’t fucking care for any of this shit! Why would I care?? Why do you dare to, given that I (repeat 5x) DON’T want to be bothered with this!!!”.

        Chances are that Per Ohlin was an autist who ended up being done to death in a pretty gruesome way (putting someone in a situation where suicide seems the only remaining way to go is little short of killing him directly, even if this just “happens” because of “the circumstances”). To this date, our dear »egalitarian«, »We are the Just people« metalinjection friends list this among their “Top 10 Worst Crimes Committed by Black Metal Musicians”. That’s a story which matters, be it only because it communicates something about the nature of this people they claim to be free of.

        Speculating about who thought what about his parents 28 years ago doesn’t.

        Mayhem recorded some great music (very fleetingly, in form of three bootlegs) and the guy who played the guitar was responsible for a good part of that even despite his technical abilities were probably poor compared to any of his successors, despite he was probably not exactly the kind of guy one would like to meet and despite his lyrics were much too focussed on “sex with my girl-friend” camouflaged with overly generous use of necrophilisms.
        It its best moment (and these are not rare), this has all of the raw power of an avalanche smashing through a brick wall. So far, I know of exactly one person even remotely on par with that (plays guitar in an Australian band) and that’s despite there’s a lot of other, good black metal (a very relative ‘lot’).

        That’s also something which matters.

        Silly movies about teenagers and twens torching empty buildings in the dead of the night (not quite heroic and presumably all copycat, inspired by the Fantoft stave church TV coverage [that’s obviously a guess]) don’t.

        1. JohnnyReb says:

          I only respond to this guy because he chooses to hate on every topic put forth by this site. Nothing he says is profound in any way. Yes, everything is gay, nothing is cool, we are all victims of our own ignorance blaahhhh. Deal with it, faggot.

  6. taller more autistic looking man says:

    It’s hard to see a finger when it’s up someone’s ass…

  7. Robespierre says:

    Euronymous and Hellhammer: dark hair, squinty eyes. They obviously have trace Asian/Semitic admixture. Deport them back to their homelands.

    1. The Guillotine Solution says:

      Both `ronymous and the `butcha were barely above midget threshold.

  8. Nobody says:

    This was a great read. A fresh take on the old-school ANUS-style of philosophical metal analysis. Much appreciated. Thank you!

  9. utter pseudo vacuous cak

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