Rating:
6.0
Mayhem - Grand Declaration Of War
2000


01. A Grand Declaration Of War
02. In The Lies Where Upon You Lay
03. A Time To Die
04. View From Nihil (Part I)
05. View From Nihil (Part II)
06. A Bloodsword And A Colder Sun (Part I)
07. A Bloodsword And A Colder Sun (Part II)
08. Crystalized Pain In Deconstruction
09. Completion In Science Of Agony (Part I)
10. To Daimonion (Part I)
11. To Daimonion (Part II)
12. To Daimonion (Part III)
13. Completion In Science Of Agony (Part II)


Everyone knows the story: young Oystein "Euronymous" Aarseth was stabbed to death by his friend and peer Varg Vickernes after a dispute that to this day is unclear. Euronymous? band at the time, the ultra-cult Mayhem, dissolved and the name became synonymous with Black Metal.

Sadly Maniac, Hellhammer, Necrobutcher and newcomer Blasphemer were not content to leave this legacy as it was. Instead they reformed Mayhem in an attempt to recapture the glory of the past - and the money of the fans?

The new Mayhem project is laughable. Maniac may have been in the band once, but he was not in the band for a reason. Rumours suggest that Necrobutcher was going to be kicked out of the band by Euronymous only days after Euronymous was killed. And, well, Blasphemer seems to be exactly the kind of goth metal fan that Euronymous would have hated when he was alive. And yet all of these forces came together to somehow reform Mayhem? Please. The least they could have done is thought up a new name. I'm not even sure that I can call this a black metal album, truthfully.

Sonically the production on this album is superb. I especially like the mixing on the album; plenty of bass without being "bassy", enough treble that I can hear all the cymbal crashes cutting through the guitars, and vocals right up front.

Musically this album is something completely new [at least, new to me]. Songs structures are strange, if they are structured at all. Musically this is perhaps one of the most aggressive "black metal" albums I?ve heard in a long time. Guitars attack the listener with fast and heavy riffs unlike any past Mayhem album. Like many other black metal guitarists Blasphemer likes to layer tremolo-picked lines on top of his power chords, but Blasphemer's lines are unique - he follows patterns and climbs and descends various scales. As far as tremolo-picked lines go, this is perhaps my favourite album for them all.

The vocals on this album are by Maniac who is famous in black metal for not having a conventional vocal style. Rather than use evenly spaced versus and choruses Maniac often rushes his vocals. His vocals lines are not tied to the music and seem to simply float on top. Most songs integrate both harsh and clean vocals, where the clean vocals seem to be spoken rather than sung, and delivered with an authority like that of a general commanding his troops.

While each song on the album is somewhat similar, this contributes to an overall cohesive feel of the album. Listening to it really gives the impression of context; I understand why this is track 5 and that is track 2, because it simply feels like that is where they belong. That is until we reach the techno song. Yes, the Mayhem techno song. I think that's all I need to say about that - I fear if I go any further the ultra-kult black metallers reading this will have an aneurysm.

For a unique perspective on black metal or to hear what the old Mayhem guys think the band would sound like today, pick up this album. It's not perfect but it is at the very least an interesting and unique release. I do have to take points off for the abuse of the name and the techno though.


Band profile: Mayhem
Album: Grand Declaration Of War


 


written by Markus | 21.09.2003


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Marcus - 05.02.2008 at 22:33  
I actually really like this album, although it is the first Mayhem album I ever got, I really like it, it breaks free of the typical black metal genre.
stygian - 07.04.2008 at 14:56  
i agree, its just something different, if every Mayhem album would sound like De Mysteriis... i dont think i would listen to them anymore. In that sence Mayhem have always been revolutionary dudes, defining what black metal should, in their minds, sound like, they have done it twice before this album... and they are getting good at it too.
Lucas - 07.04.2008 at 16:48  
I'd rate this a 7. Maniac's great on this album, the concept was great, but the performance was too weak and monotone.
LeChron James - 23.05.2008 at 09:14  
i dont think this review goes with the rating.
Hamird - 02.07.2008 at 12:15  
This album is average in my opinion, not as well as other albums of Mayhem but it was a passable album!! I liked Maniac in Crystalized Pain In Deconstruction.
Baz Anderson - 13.08.2008 at 20:44  
Such a bizarre review - I don't understand the point of the third paragraph saying how this Mayhem are laughable and the goth thing?? what??

Decent album, but I am not such a fan of Maniac's vocals here..
Byte666 - 13.10.2008 at 20:55  
This is not best, also not the most hard, but it's something new... I dont like that techno song much but other are quiet good
ozieb - 14.10.2008 at 00:51  
this is a stupid review, at least the statement about techno song and that it isn't true release or something...without such releases as this one, "Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia", "Fuck You All!!", "Armada" , "Prometheus", "Rebel Extravaganza" this subgenre called black metal would be boring as shit...I despise such point of views

I gave this album 9
ozieb - 14.10.2008 at 11:37  
not to mention that "A bloodsword and a colder sun" has nothing to do with techno, it's trip - hop at last moron....
stygian - 19.12.2008 at 13:39  
Its not a techno song!!! more like electro or something...

having that said, i really like the album and also the electro song, one of the coldest pieses on there, and, more importantly, it fits there really well, considdering the context of the lyrics
Mr. Doctor - 20.12.2008 at 21:08  
Written by stygian on 19.12.2008 at 13:39

Its not a techno song!!! more like electro or something...

having that said, i really like the album and also the electro song, one of the coldest pieses on there, and, more importantly, it fits there really well, considdering the context of the lyrics


It's trip-hop
Uirapuru - 31.05.2009 at 20:25  
Written by LeChron James on 23.05.2008 at 09:14

i dont think this review goes with the rating.


I thought this too.. After the little story at the beggining of the review, i thought that he was gonna trash the album. But a 6 seem to low rate for an album with such positive points.

Personally, I enjoy it in some aspects, even being completly different from old Mayhem.
Got Mayhem? - 09.12.2009 at 19:37  
I give this album a 9 because now only do each of the band members give an excellent performance but also because of how well this album follows the theme of War. While most bands consider a 'war' album to be a non-stop blast attack, Maniac has integrated fear, silence, apprehension, and avante-gard trip hop beats as well as moments of pure speed and anger. As for the track of mostly complete silence it goes very well with the line "After the War...is Silence". I think Maniac put more thought into this album than many will admit or notice.
Mr. Doctor - 10.12.2009 at 22:47  
Written by Got Mayhem? on 09.12.2009 at 19:37

As for the track of mostly complete silence it goes very well with the line "After the War...is Silence".


It goes well... But that song could have been max one minute long, not five
Got Mayhem? - 11.12.2009 at 01:23  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 10.12.2009 at 22:47

Written by Got Mayhem? on 09.12.2009 at 19:37

As for the track of mostly complete silence it goes very well with the line "After the War...is Silence".


It goes well... But that song could have been max one minute long, not five

Haha, no argument from me there. I usually listen to the spoken word, give it a minute of consideration (because if you take a simple line and think about it long enough you can come to crazy conclusions) then move onto the next song. The 7 second track after that is even weirder, I just guessed that Manicac was trying to prove a point extra hard or something.
Mr. Doctor - 11.12.2009 at 18:09  
Written by Got Mayhem? on 11.12.2009 at 01:23

Haha, no argument from me there. I usually listen to the spoken word, give it a minute of consideration (because if you take a simple line and think about it long enough you can come to crazy conclusions) then move onto the next song. The 7 second track after that is even weirder, I just guessed that Manicac was trying to prove a point extra hard or something.


I agree, Sometimes I even like when there's some silence in the middle of the songs, specially in extreme metal bands so you can breath for a while. But Maniac overdid that. I usually do just like you said, hear the line... wait some time, and if I feel like hearing more music I press the ">>" button.
Vitriolic Hate - 18.03.2010 at 01:11  
This is the best Mayhem album imo! technical black metal masterpiece .
M C Vice - 07.05.2011 at 07:05  
"Maniac may have been in the band once, but he was not in the band for a reason. Rumours suggest that Necrobutcher was going to be kicked out of the band by Euronymous only days after Euronymous was killed."

Maniac wasn't in Mayhem because he was in a mental hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown. And Necrobutcher left after Dead killed himself.
XV535Virago - 08.05.2011 at 17:46  
This album is my favorite ever - used to listen to it all day. There's nothing wrong with unconventional vocal styles - maybe not everyone is so much into screaming or growling.
Troy Killjoy - 08.05.2011 at 18:07  
Written by XV535Virago on 08.05.2011 at 17:46

...maybe not everyone is so much into screaming or growling.

I don't think it's that, I think it's how his vocals are delivered. Personally I love the style, but like you said, it's not exactly a conventional or typical delivery...
XV535Virago - 09.05.2011 at 04:09  
Written by XV535Virago on 08.05.2011 at 17:46
I don't think it's that, I think it's how his vocals are delivered. Personally I love the style, but like you said, it's not exactly a conventional or typical delivery...


it took me a lot of time to understand their music, still a noob when it comes to older bands. not so technical like you either, somethimes non-conventional elements are making the music more interesting.
Neroese - 19.07.2012 at 09:31  
It's more industrial black.

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