In the early 90s NWA claimed to be ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Group’, but they probably hadn’t heard of Norwegian black metal lords Mayhem.
The Oslo band inspired a wave of church burnings and when singer Per Yngve Ohlin aka ‘Dead’ killed himself with a shotgun, guitarist Euronymous made necklaces with bits of his skull and gave them to other black metal bands. Euronymous was then stabbed to death by former member Varg Vikernes, who has his own grotesque parallel arc as the notorious one-man white supremacist black metal/dark ambient act Burzum
Amid all the mania they still managed to release their debut album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in 1994, held up as one of the most iconic extreme metal albums of all time — a grotesque wall of sound, demonic vocals and machine gun blastbeats — by a drummer called Hellhammer.
They’ve gone through around 20 members, with bassist Necrobutcher the only founding member left, but they’ve just released their sixth album Daemon and it’s another depraved hour of septic blasphemy, so job done then.
- Mayhem play Dublin’s Academy this Sunday, November 3