Black metal is a genre steeped in controversy, but one of its forerunners, Mayhem, made an effort to step aside from its bleak history to re-arise and continue to maintain their legacy today.
The inextricably long title of their latest EP, ‘Atavistic Black Disorder / Kommando’, is thater confusing, so we’re already wondering what lies behind corner with opener, ‘Voces Ab Alta’. Luckily, we’re treated to a slab of vile black metal born in the original boiling pot of the witch, complete with distant murmurs and echoing screams that send a chill of death to the spine.
Never sticking to any rule book apart from the one they inked themselves, ‘Black Glass Communion’ restlessly shifts from elongated wails to lip smacking whispers to one-line croaks from vocalist Attila Csihar, who uses a range that’s unique to him and is nevertheless entertaining and expressive.
Opposing forces collide in ‘Everlasting Dying Flame’ as bassist Necrobutcher and Teloch scale down the frets in opposite directions and times, ensuring that the conventional routine is never on the menu for anyone.
The four closing songs are cover versions done in the style of the band that originated them so there is little to discern or separate them, but they did the honourable thing to label them as such so major kudos for staying on the right path.
The new, original cuts on ‘Atavistic Black Disorder / Kommando’ are right up there with a legendary classic style that deals a wide breath of variety, and maintains Mayhem‘s ongoing cult status.