ALBUM REVIEW: Mayhem - Daemonic Rites

ALBUM REVIEW: Mayhem - Daemonic Rites

Daemonic Rites will be released September 15th on Century Media Records

Black metal legends Mayhem have returned with a new live album "Daemonic Rites" on Century Media Records. It was recorded during the band's "Daemon World Tour", to promote the band's most recent album, 2019's "Daemon". Mayhem have been around for almost forty years, with six studio albums worth of material, let's check out this live album and listen to the demented and unholy chronology of this band's lengthy career.  

Opening the album after the short intro is "Falsified and Hated". A strong opening track, with double bass kicking hard with vocalist Attila Csihar's shrieking/howling voice. Csihar's vocals, from flurries of shrieking to whispers and back, over guitarist Teloch and Ghul's tremolo guitar playing sounds great. The slowed down section gives the time for the crowd to cheer, along with a brooding and unholy setting with Csihar's monstrous vocal delivery of shrieks and screams. Following that track is "To Daimonion". The song really shows off Csihar's vocal range with almost operatic highs to gut wrenching shrieks and screaming.

"Malum" has a nice opening build similar to the band's classic "Freezing Moon". Csihar's guttural vocals are deep, with random start/stop pacing from the band emphasizing the vocals on the track. The song "Bad Blood" opens with the thunderous tom hits from drummer Hellhammer, and just doesn't stop with the driving double bass throughout the track. The guitars sound so good in the mix, along with the live tone they get, matching Csihar's all over the place vocal range. The band shines on the track, showcasing each of their elements of ringing guitars and thundering drums. "My Death" has a great opening riff and again, the mix sounds great for a live album. Csihar's agonizing and horrifying vocals in the opening gives an eerie and haunting performance throughout.

"Symbols of Bloodswords" almost opens with cult-like chanting before blast beats and shrieking vocals take over. I can picture the mosh pit going crazy during this track. With tremolo guitar playing and blast beats, the song just delivers that anger and intensity that makes you wanna get in the pit. The next song "Voces Ab Alta" continues with that same energy and feeling.

The band's theatrical front man Attila Csihar

Then "Freezing Moon" comes on. With thunderous snare hits echoing and the slow build guitars, it sets such a tone and atmosphere live in just the opening chords. The song picks up and sounds so evil and chaotic at the same time, with the guitars and drums double-timing and Csihar's gravelly, almost goblin-like vocals, revitalizing the crowd and getting that circle pit growing and moving throughout the song all the way to bassist Necrobutcher slowing it down for the bridge. Definitely a live staple and a great live version of the song. Following that track is "Pagan Fears", "Life Eternal", and "Buried by Time and Dust". All Mayhem classics from the band's legendary debut "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas". The band sounds amazing on all of these tracks, almost sounding like the original recordings done live, with the vocals very similar and sounding like on the album.

The band would also perform classic deep cuts from the "Deathcrush EP" like the title track and another live staple in "Chainsaw Gutsfuck". The album closes with the track "Pure Fucking Armageddon". A deep cut and a unique track just in the vocal performance. Almost more thrashy in the opening into the blast beats section, along with Csihar's operatic, wailing highs into deep guttural growls as this blasphemous and evil sounding live album comes to a close. This album is a great representation of the audio evil that the band performs live. A great mixed live album, no audio issues and everyone in the band and the vocals sounded good. A great introduction to a band that has spanned almost four decades of spreading their occult like message to the world.

SCORE:  9 / 10


01. Intro
02. Falsified and Hated
03. To Daimonion
04. Malum
05. Bad Blood
06. My Death
07. Symbols of Bloodswords
08. Voces Ab Alta
09. Freezing Moon
10. Pagan Fears
11. Life Eternal
12. Buried by Time and Dust
13. Silvester Anfang
14. Deathcrush
15. Chainsaw Gutsfuck
16. Carnage
17. Pure Fucking Armageddon

FFO: Gorgoroth, Immortal, Darkthrone

Mayhem will embark on a co-headlining tour with Cannibal Corpse, along with Gorguts and Blood Incantation this fall. If you want to see these unholy legends, check the band's website at

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