Sunday, 30 January 2011

#015 Mayhem - Deathcrush

In the dark Norwegian mists of 1987, something was stirring. This dark-presence manifested itself as an EP of the most gruesome, dark, and insanely heavy metal that the world had ever seen at that time, and heralded the beginning of an era. That EP was Deathcrush. Nothing quite like it had been seen before, and nothing quite like it has ever been seen since.

Deathcrush has a very interesting sound. few other black metal bands existed at the time to influence their style, and what emerged is quite unlike the black metal of today, with many of the features which black metal listeners are accustomed to lacking. Songs such as "Deathcrush" are intensely heavy, but somewhat lack the sinister and dark vibe which the band perfected later, in releases such as "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas".
The lyrics also head in a far more gruesome, Death-metal like direction than black metal does nowadays, with songs like "Chainsaw Gutsfuck" needing little in the way of explanation.

The vocalist, "Maniac" delivers an impressive screaming delivery of vocal duties on most of the tracks, aside from "Witching Hour" and "Pure F**king Armageddon" on which another vocalist, "Messiah" handles the vocals.  Maniac was to later return to mayhem, following the suicide of  vocalist "Dead" some years later.

Deathcrush is a very pleasing EP to listen to, with each song being sufficiently different, but in the same overall style, as the others. If you have the right mindset, you can appreciate the amazement and shock which the record gave the world at the time. Deathcrush is truly a look back in time, and contains classic songs which every black metal fan should know.

As is traditional in Black-metal, the album is neither fantastically produced, neither does it have a fantastic number of tracks. My version is approximately a little over seventeen-minutes in length, and is comprised of 6 tracks. Those looking for smoothly produced, progressive, lengthy Black-metal will not find it here. what is found here is Black metal in it's juvenile state; Still to develop some of it's key features, and likely to be surpassed in future (In Mayhem's case by the follow up album, "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas"), but the music is young, filled with energy, and not afraid to be loud and violent.

This album is a classic, and although it does not live up to it's follow-up, it's still easily deserving of 7/10.

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