Mayhem – “Psywar”

by Jon Wild
February 22, 2014 –

mayhem-psywar

Norwegian black metal band Mayhem have released the first side of their upcoming single, entitled “Psywar.” At 3.5 minutes it shows the band continuing their foray into modern extreme metal aesthetics.

The track starts out with palm-muted tremolo picking, which shares more with simplistic death metal than the band’s history of black metal. The verse begins with shouted vocals, with the guitar riff beginning to incorporate modern black metal’s ambiguous arpeggiated aesthetics; which then over-take the track in a short breakdown section, consisting of needling treble notes and “profound” whispered vocals. The track then goes back into action with rather standard modern black metal minor chord strumming, before a short homage back to basic death metal which concludes the track. In short, formulaic and predictable, though it is put together well and probably will garner the band financial reward.

Mayhem was noteworthy for its foundational role in shaping the Norwegian black metal scene. Although a few other bands may have had a more prodigious output, the role provided by the band in organizing the metal scene and the strength of its De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album cemented the band’s legendary status.

For those who are intrigued by what’s presented on this single, but wish to hear the band in its former higher state, visit our Mayhem review archive here.

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21 comments

      1. Redman

        What is Mayhem, according to you? I want to hear your arguments AGAINST Ordo Ad Chao, excluding the usual post-modernist diatribe this site loves to peddle. Let us hear something more pertinent to the topic of atonality and its relevance vis a vis Black Metal. Thank you.

  • Judgment

    When I saw them live last year, they gave me the impression they were getting tired of playing the pre-Wolf’s Lair Abyss stuff. Necrobutcher should call it quits, at least under the Mayhem moniker.

  • 1349

    Uninventive, radio-friendly (“behemoth”) drumming and riffs.
    A stupid and stillborn attempt to imitate Blasphemer’s style (which itself probably was an imitation?).
    Uninventive, formal-bureaucratic-reply vocals.
    I even suspect i can write better songs.

    1. 604753

      Exactly, this is streamlined later Morbid Angel/Behemoth style. You get the feeling that it’s not that bad aesthetically – quite bouncy and potentially fun and full of energy. Except it’s not. It’s more like a series of uninspiring ideas heavy-handedly transferred to sounds in a painfully formulaic manner. Kinda sounds like the band I had in my mid-teens, except that it’s instrumentally accomplished and has exceptional production values. All in all, nothing interesting.
      Nice video, though. It would befit a Laibach anthem or a political Czech cold wave band’s song.

    1. Judgment

      Really? I thought this sounded very similar to the stuff from Ordo Ad Chao, as if the whole song was made up from riffs that didn’t make it to the album’s final cut.

      1. deadite

        Hah, well isn’t that at least a promise?

        This new song just seems cobbled together. Doesn’t promise anything, save banality.

  • Pure Demoniac Laziness

    Sounds like a leftover track from a later Dodheimsgard album. Not good. The lyrics also sound like something Satyr would have written while on the toilet (like all Satyricon lyrics). At least Attila Csihar doesn’t sound like he’s trying to pass a kidney stone anymore.

  • The man next planet

    This is as boring as Portal or Deathspell Omega. Pseudo-intellectual metal, atonal garbage, no soul, no emotion, cold for the sake of being cold. Nothing here that we haven’t heard a thousand times before. Excuse me , I will go out for a walk around the countryside, listening to Claude Debussy.

  • Krabapple

    Seems to me as if they ran each riff through a compositional sterilizer and sequenced them perfectly for ‘sense’ yet nothing more. “Look how mechanical and farseeing we are”- they see the $. Sad.

  • sudanese rape militia

    Sounds like every modern atonal dissonant radikulting metal band out there. Next!
    Soon comes out the DIE-HARD version featuring electro/dub remixes of the songs and a guest appearance by Phil Anselmo.

  • angry at mayhem

    Euronymous would not want this. More merchandise to sell I guess. Has their new guitarist done anything noteworthy?

    1. on the bright side

      At least the imagery and concepts in the video were cool. Even the lyrics on Grand Declaration of War were good. Their music just sucks ass now. They’re probably at their worst now though.

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  • Eric Syre

    After so many years playing drums you would expect hellhammer to be able to come up with new fills or to at least drop the triggers and tune/record the thing properly…