Daemon - Shade Empire

Black, sort, Mayhem

Daemon was an album I had looked very much forward to, and therefore also an album, I was a little nervous at all to go in time with. But I was, fortunately, only pleasantly surprised, for it was better than I had dared hope for. It sounds good, they play well, the cover is super cool, and there is so much energy, but yet the diversity on the album. The absolute only thing I miss, is an item or two from their avant-garde period, but you can't have it all.

Mission Mayhem

Mayhem need absolutely no introduction. Even people who do not belong to Norwegian black metal or metal in general, knows the story about Euronymous. So let's totally skip it and go directly to the year 2019, the year in which Mayhem announced that they were on the road with their sixth album: the Daemon. Guitarist Morten "Teloch" Iversen explained at the same time, that the Daemon is about to look forward instead of back. He stated that the old Mayhem was dead and deconstructed, that all rules, forms and norms were away, and now it should act only on the creativity and anarchy – therefore, they landed on the title Daemon, which of course is a reference to Satan. It sounds all very fine, but it was only when they released the single "United Abominations give me love" that people had to recognise that it is not just hot air!

The Chimera Dom Deathcrush

The album opens wildly and violently with the first track "The Dying False King" with Hellhammer and Attila, who almost compete for who can scream the most and the fastest – classic Mayhem, as we know them. But it will not be long before you sense that there are little surprises as well as elements from previous albums – especially the Chimera and De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas – on the album. But they have also retained parts of their punk past from Deathcrush – ergo you can find all the facets of the Mayhem on the Daemon. The production is top notch, and Attila has almost never sounded better, so one can say about his vocals, what you want, but clever – it is thus he is! To be able to go from the death rattle to the gregorian song of the monks in a split second, is not something you just do. Further, there is an additional large focus on Necrobutcher and his bass, giving the album a strong, rhythmic base, which is backed by Hellhammer, all the days have been a monster behind a drum kit. So in many ways, one can notice that the Mayhem has become adults and have reached a situation where the music should speak for itself. If one keeps the Daemon up against the previous releases, so it feels also less "dangerous" and "creepy", and the more bizarre and avant-garde elements, as found on both the Chimera and, in particular, Grand Declaration of War, are largely gone. So instead you get a pack of really good Norwegian black metal without all the possible stuff and frills. But one is never in doubt, it is Mayhem, one hears, for there is no other bands that sound like them. Daemon is therefore in my opinion the best album Mayhem have made since the Chimera, which remains my favoritalbum of their, but the Daemon is really close.

A fun little detail is the little bit of synthesizer, which is used on the number Falsified And Hated, that reminds indescribably much about the used of "Dunkelheit" from the War Filosofem. The similarity between the two sounds are so similar that it can't be a coincidence, and that, coupled with the song's title, must be a small "greeting" to the Scene. Maybe they moved on, maybe they are not – it is hard to say.

>> Check the songs and lyrics here