Mayhem - Deathcrush
Black Metal
8 songs (18:33)
Release year: 1987
Reviewed by Cody

Mayhem.....a band with a name that perhaps holds more weight in reputation than any other. With a backstory of anti-judeo christian beliefs, jealousy, suicide, and murder, no other band defines what it means to be kult and grim to such a degree, because the band not only wrote chaotic music, they actually lived the "mayhem" of it all. However, despite the fact that the band was incredibly reputable based on their extra curricular activities, they also happen to be the band that single handedly gave birth to the modern black metal movement with one single release known as Deathcrush.

Now, I cannot continue with this article without making mention of the 1st wave. Bands like Venom, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and of course Bathory must be mentioned in the initial breath whenever the history of black metal is spoken of, or else the diehard elitists will roast me over an open fire. Okay, now that I have spat out some names, let me get to the real meat and potatoes. Despite having technically invented black metal, bands like Bathory and Venom never held any ideology. They were bent on playing ass kicking heavy metal rawer than any other band had played it. When Mayhem stepped in, all previous held beliefs about metal were tossed out of the window; aesthetics were no longer key, it was about pure unadulturated nihilism, chaos, and the entire collapse of what modern music stood for at that point in time. True black metal as we know it today, was invented with one single release (regardless if the band recognized it conciously or not at the time), which combined the recklessness of thrash metal, some home recording software, major influences from the previously mentioned bands, and a "I could care less if this bitch gets signed" attitude.

The pure abandonment this album represents is key to understanding or even appreciating this piece. This is not a refined glossy Marduk album, nor is it interlaced with synth ala Dimmu Borgir. As the last song on the album aptly describes, this is 18 minutes of Pure Fucking Armageddon. Before I heard this EP, I simply did not like Black Metal. The genre was very irritating and represented the crowd of elitists who beckoned attention with their grim outlook on life and their dirty little world of music. However, being the mega huge thrasher that I am, I immediately became fixated on the raw thrash/speed riffs that permeated through the thick atmospheric rumblings. Every single song, from start to finish, reeks of absolute gutteral chaos in the most atmospherically true collection of music I have ever heard. From the get go with the creepy as a hell track sounding like a demented marching tune, to the closing instrumental of (Weird) Manheim, Mayhem, with their beastial power chords and unholy growling, would be the soundtrack to the charge of Satan's army of darkness bleeding from the crevasses of Hell. What this album lacks in basic coherence and musical appreciation, is easily made up with a vision that few artists can replicate in their entire careers.

I'm sure there will be some out there that say this should not have received a score because it is technically not a full release. In my opinion, this piece of recorded music is a landmark album and deserves to not only be scored, but viewed as a CLASSIC piece of metal. Deathcrush took what death metal did that much further; Altars of Madness is a silly cartoon-like creation in comparison to the harshness of Mayhem's brutal endeavor. Without this EP, black metal as we know it today would be NWOBHM with much more distortion and speed. Regardless if you hate black metal, or are one of the few who cherish it, respect must be given to the grim frost bitten Norwegian teens for creating a scene virtually from scratch demonstrating a fury the world over that has yet to see its peak.

Killing Songs :
Deathcrush, Pure Fucking Armageddon
Cody quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Mayhem that we have reviewed:
Mayhem - Atavistic Black Disorder / Kommando (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Mayhem - Daemon reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Mayhem - Wolf's Lair Abyss reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Mayhem - Ordo Ad Chao reviewed by Goat and quoted 96 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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