Mayhem is the most infamous and, arguably, the most influential band of the second wave of black metal. The band’s debut album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, is widely considered to be one of the most influential recordings that the genre has ever produced. It was an album seven years in the making. Songwriting started in 1987 and by the time the record hit shelves in 1994 two of the band’s most pivotal members would be dead.
Listen to one of the tracks from the album, “Freezing Moon,” here below.
Singer Dead would commit suicide by blowing his head off with a shotgun in 1991 at the age of 22 in a house outside of Bergen, Norway, where he lived with guitarist Euronymous. He left a note apologizing for all of the blood. When Euronymous found Dead’s body, instead of calling the police, he ran out and got a disposable camera with which to take photos of the gory scene. One of these photos would later surface as the cover photo of a Mayhem live bootleg album.
Rumors began to circulate that Euronymous had made a stew with Dead’s brains and eaten it as well as made necklaces from the skull fragments and sending them to members of the black metal scene that he deemed worthy of them. Most sources believe that the stew rumor was made up, but several musicians have confirmed the necklace story. Euronymous himself would be murdered by the band’s bass player at the time, Count Grishnackh (Varg Vikernes), over a contract dispute in 1994 just before the album’s release.
Mayhem continue on with their original rhythm section and a revolving door of singers and guitarists. Legendary singer Attila Cashir, who actually appears on the final version of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, is currently back in the band as well. Mayhem can be seen on a co-headlining “Black Metal Warfare” tour with Watain from the end of November through the end of January. See below for a full list of dates.
WATAIN and MAYHEM with REVENGE:
Jan. 8, 2015–Philadelphia, PA–Union Transfer
Jan. 9, 2015–Baltimore, MD–Baltimore Soundstage
Jan. 10, 2015–New York, NY–Webster Hall
Jan. 11, 2015–Boston, MA–Royale
Jan. 12, 2015–Montreal, QC–Club Soda
Jan. 13, 2015–Toronto, ON–Opera House
Jan. 15, 2015–Cleveland, OH–Agora Ballroom
Jan. 16, 2015–Chicago, IL–Bottom Lounge
Jan. 17, 2015–Minneapolis, MN–Mill City Nights
Jan. 18, 2015–Lawrence, KS–Granada Theater
Jan. 20, 2015–Denver, CO–Summit Music Hall
Jan. 23, 2015–Calgary, AB–Republik
Jan. 24, 2015–Edmonton, AB–Starlite Room
Jan. 26, 2015–Vancouver, BC–Rickshaw Theatre
Jan. 27, 2015–Seattle, WA–El Corazon
Jan. 28, 2015–Portland, OR–Hawthorne Theatre
Jan. 30, 2015–San Francisco, CA–DNA Lounge
Jan. 31, 2015–Los Angeles, CA–Fonda Theatre