Blackenedfest featuring Mayhem Critics’ Pick
Published in Blog Archive, City Pages. Tags: Music.
After a quick glimpse into Mayhem’s past, it’s easy to see why the band is one of the world’s most notorious. The Norwegian black-metal group was originally formed in 1983. Its members took names such as Euronymous and Necrobutcher, and Mayhem quickly developed a cult following in its Scandinavian homeland. The band has a shocking link to death and bizarre circumstance. In 1991, member Dead was found by Euronymous, the band’s vocalist, having committed suicide. In 1993, Euronymous was murdered by onetime bassist Varg Vikernes. Rumors circulated about both deaths—Euronymous supposedly made a necklace from fragments of Dead’s skull; Euronymous’s murder was perhaps the result of a power struggle within the scene—and the mythos behind the band tends to overshadow the ferociousness and intensity of its music. As black metal acquired a heinous public image (especially in Norway, where church burnings and other violent crimes were linked to the niche genre), Mayhem trudged along with a rotisserie of ever-changing lineups. Most recently the band released Ordo Ad Chao, just their fourth full-length album, in 2007. And despite a lone original member remaining in the group, one thing has been consistent since the band played their first note: Mayhem is intense. Opening for Blackenedfest, with Marduk, Cephalic Carnage, Cattle Decapitation, and Withered.
[This critics’ pick was originally published by City Pages.]