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Mayhem - Pure Fucking Armageddon (3,5/10) - Norway - 1986

Genre: Black Metal / Speed Metal
Label: Posercorpse Records
Playing time: 27:47
Band homepage: Mayhem

Tracklist:

  1. Voice Of A Tortured Skull (Intro)
  2. Carnage
  3. Ghoul
  4. Black Metal (Total Death Version)
  5. Pure Fucking Armageddon
  6. Mayhem
  7. Ghoul
  8. Pure Fucking Armageddon
  9. Carnage
Mayhem - Pure Fucking Armageddon

Way back in 1986 not every one was content with the ever growing trend of musicians who claimed to be evil and satanic yet merely did not live their ideals. Øystein Aarseth decided he would be a beacon of light for those who wished to up the extremity of metal and truly follow a regime of darkness. These are the trepid waters which gave birth to MAYHEM. The second wave of Black Metal started out with one hell of an ugly recording.

 

This demo consists of two separate recordings. Side A (Fuck) consists of MAYHEM’s “Voice Of A Tortured Soul” demo (tracks 1-5). Side B (Off) is a lacklustre recording of several of the tracks being rehearsed (tracks 6-9). Both sides feature very poorly produced sound (surprise, surprise) which features over-the-top fuzz and a leviathan of static which masks most of the sound. Messiah’s vocals are buried so low most think this recording consists of entirely instrumentals. Due to this songs can become quite repetitive in nature. This is not raw in an “absolute evil” way, this is raw in a “couldn’t afford a 4-track that worked so I found one which had been tossed out, using duct-tape and beating it with a stick till it would record” sort of way; crude and for the most part ineffective.

 

The musical ability on this disc is comparable to a cat clawing violently at the strings of a Squire guitar. Some of Euronymous’ riffs prove effective but most showcase such underdeveloped talent you can not help but cringe. Disappointing or not, MAYHEM started out as a group of kids attempting to imitate and outdo their favourite musicians, in this case VENOM.

 

Despite all its flaws there is a small amount of material here that proves worthwhile. The intro is quite sick and features a nasty guitar noise intermingling with growls of pain in the background noise. Because of the feedback and distortion it does give you the sort of feeling of being encapsulated in a raging blizzard. There are also some head-bangable moments hidden throughout the muck. “Ghoul” rocks pretty hard, especially once it gets to that psychotic break at 2:48. The cover of “Black Metal”, which is sped up immensely, is also quite interesting although it would have been nice to be able to hear the vocals.

 

Ultimately this does prove somewhat enjoyable, but one would be better off investing in “Deathcrush” or “Live In Leipzig”. This demo merely serves as a slice of nostalgia and if judged by musical merit alone would never have been talked about post 1986. (Online May 19, 2005)

Charles Theel



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