Legendary Norwegian black metal instigators MAYHEM are now revealing the artwork and tracklist of their forthcoming fifth full-length entitled “Esoteric Warfare”. The stunning cover was created by Polish artist and architect Zbigniew M. Bielak.
6. Six Seconds
7. Throne Of Time
8. Corpse Of Care
10. Aion Suntalia
“Esoteric Warfare” is scheduled for release on the 23rd of May. The album in its various formats including a limited vinyl collector’s box will be made available for pre-order on the Season of Mist e-shop next week.
MAYHEM have previously announced a first set of European shows in support of “Esoteric Warfare”. The tour will kick off on May 14th in Germany at Hamburg’s famous Markthalle and continue to rage through ten countries until a final onslaught in Denmark’s capital København at Pumpehuset. All dates can be viewed below:
14 May 14 Hamburg (DE) Markthalle
16 May 14 Bochum (DE) Matrix
17 May 14 Köln (DE) Essigfabrik
18 May 14 Eindhoven (NL) Effenaar
20 May 14 Bruxelles (BE) AB
21 May 14 London (GB) Electric Ballroom
22 May 14 Paris (FR) Le Divan du Monde
23 May 14 Winterthur (CH) Gaswerk
24 May 14 Milan (IT) Factory
26 May 14 Bratislava (SK) Randal
27 May 14 München (DE) Backstage Club
28 May 14 Berlin (DE) C-Club
29 May 14 Warsaw (PL) Proxima
30 May 14 Plzen (CZ) Metalfest Open Air Festival
31 May 14 København (DK) Pumpehuset
Additional festival shows have also been published:
28 Jun 14 Lausanne (CH) Les Docks (Inferno Festival Swiss Edition)
08 Aug 14 Øya (NO) Tøyenparken (Øya Festival)
It has been seven long years since MAYHEM released their fourth and latest full-length, “Ordo ad Chao”. In the year of their 30th anniversary the single most notorious and important band in the history of black metal returns with ten venomous and vicious tracks that are true to the Norwegians’ immense legacy as kings of the underground.
Founded as early as 1984 in Oslo, Norway by the late and legendary frontman Øystein Aarseth aka Euronymous, bassist Jørn “Necrobutcher” Stubberud, and Kjetil “Manheim” Haraldsson on drums, the band took its name from the VENOM song “Mayhem with Mercy”. Continuing and renewing the Black Metal style heralded by the latter English trio, MAYHEM soon became the instigators of the so called second wave and were at the heart of every controversy surrounding that genre.
The suicide of misanthropic frontman Per Yngve “Dead” Ohlin, the murder of Euronymous by guest bass player “Count Grishnakh” alias the notorious Varg Vikernes, church burnings, drugs and prison sentences – MAYHEM were always at the centre of the storm. Yet not even death could stop the Norwegians, who released one musical milestone after another.
The incredible rawness of the “Deathcrush” EP (1987) was followed by the still iconic and genre defining “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” (1994), which featured devilish drummer Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg, who had joined in 1988. The vocalist on this album was the Hungarian Attila Csihar of TORMENTOR fame, who returned later in 2004 to take over from his meantime heir, the enigmatic original singer Sven-Erik “Maniac” Kristiansen. The latter was featured on the “Wolf’s Lair Abyss” EP (1997), which was written mostly by highly talented guitarist Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen, who scored a massive artistic success with the highly controversial “Grand Declaration Of War” (2000). This was followed by the more classic “Chimera” (2004) and that masterpiece of utter darkness called “Ordo Ad Chao” (2007) with Attila singing again, which inspired many bands to follow in its tracks.
MAYHEM had always witnessed many line-up changes due to the circumstances described above. Therefore even the loss of Blasphemer, who decided to focus on his other band AVA INFERI in 2008, did not stop the band. Activities mainly revolved around live shows, until the right balance was found again with the recruitment of Morten “Teloch” Iversen. The guitarist had already made a name for himself with NIDINGR, which is highly regarded amongst black metal enthusiasts yet remained mostly an underground phenomenon.
Now his first compositional work with MAYHEM is unveiled and demonstrates how perfectly Teloch has captured the essence and spirit of the Norwegian legend by clearly linking the band back to its roots, while at the same time taking a step forward into the spearhead position of the genre instead of dwelling in nostalgia.
“Esoteric Warfare” is finally ready to be unleashed. This full-scale assault of total dark savagery of freezing riffs and Attila’s inhumane vocals is entirely based on a concept dealing with the esoteric experimentations of the nuclear powers during the cold war. The album proves once again and beyond doubt that MAYHEM are the Alpha and the Omega of black metal!
Attila Csihar: vocals
Charles Hedger: guitar (live)