Well let me first say that I disagree with Wes' review. I feel that as a Black Metal-fan I was right to feel extreme disappointment and a sadness at this release. Where is the blackness? One of the best and certainly one of the most influential Black Metal-bands have been reduced to a pathetic propaganda spouting "has been" that even tries to create a "drum 'n' bass" styled song.
Initial rant over, "where are the good parts Wes told us about?" I hear you say, well actually some of the music is very well written and it fits perfectly the sound of war that MAYHEM tried to achieve, the war drums are excellently executed and are indeed very fast and brutal. The guitar riffs are nice and fast, too, but can be a bit dull as well. The vocals are what ruin this album, I thought Attilla was a pretty poor vocalist, but this is just awful. Maniac can't growl, his shrieks are crap and the worst thing is that he doesn't even TRY to use them!
This album is mostly spoken word and it really really gets on my nerves. There are some stranger songs with computer modified vocals and even the aforementioned Drum 'n' Bass style track. Rubbish like this is best left to professional cheese balls like MORTIIS. Alternatively this could be interpreted as a work of pure genius and a stab (no pun intended) in the heart of popular music, this is because MAYHEM have done a very good job and made a very good song for the style of music showing those that enjoy such forms of music how talentless and pointless it really is if an evil Black Metal-band can do it just as good... If this is the case all hail MAYHEM for your genius - but I doubt it.
There are some moments spread throughout of real talent, but many people, myself included, will be longing for their copy of "De Mysteriis Dom Satanas", "Live In Leipzig" or even "Wolf's Lair Abyss" to escape the reality of MAYHEM's downfall. An uninspiring release which is infuriating because of the capability I know this band has.