Mayhem, arguably one of the world’s most notorious bands came to prominence in the 90’s during the rise of black metal is Scandinavia. Murder, suicide, violence and various church burning’s are all part of this bands fabled history yet thirty-four years down the line, Mayhem have defied the odds and are still going strong. Tonight, in Manchester’s academy 2 they play their classic debut album De Mysteriis dom Sathanas in its entirety to a capacity crowd.
As smoke pours out and fills the stage, illuminated by the purple lights and grim backing track, the atmosphere and tone of the album is captured and structured in this build up, the band take to stage and break into the unmistakable Funeral Fog. Barely visible from the smoke, the five hooded figures remain shrouded in forbidding mystery for the first three or four songs. The twisted cries of Attila Csihar battle for space amongst the mass of guitars and crazed drumming as he prowls the stage like evil personified.
The harsh, suffocating tone of the album is perfectly captured throughout the set, the low-fi sound is recreated which is both harsh on the ears and deeply pummelling at the same time, the intimidating figures on stage, dipping in and out of view stare down the audience from the low lit stage, which when all pieced together provides a raucous and theatrical celebration of a deeply influential moment in extreme music history.