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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Mayhem - Psywar [Season of Mist - 2014]

If ever there was a black metal band that needed no introduction, itís Mayhem. So letís cut to the chase and talk about the first new material from the band in seven years.

Psywar, a combination of the words psychological warfare, is not only the first release by Mayhem in years, itís also the first new release from the band with new guitarist, Teloch. Musically, this single is a logical continuation of Mayhemís sound from Ordo ad Chao, with more of a focus on eerie, industrial atmosphere achieved through frenzied dissonance than kickass riffs. In the first half of the song, especially, thereís some death metal creeping in through Telochís riffs. Attilaís vocals are just fantastic. All that needs to be said about the manís range and power has already been said. Needless to say, his inhumane barks, growls, and shrieks are phenomenal, and essentially carry the track. His skill as a lyricist, howeverÖ

Disassociation
Subhumanization
Born behind enemy lines
The battlefield is our minds

Phoenix from the ashes of failure
Velon bloodprime
Your souls undermine
Symbols burned inside


Now, I normally donít pay much attention to lyrics in metal, simply because theyíre usually indecipherable without numerous listens with lyrics in hand. Atilla, however, makes sure that his vocals are easily understood. I watched the lyrics video when the song dropped, and after that especially, I couldnít help but to pay attention to them. As you can see, the bandís going for a quasi-occult type of vibe on Psywar, but it comes across rather juvenile. Not a huge deal, but it does detract from the song.

From Beyond the Event Horizon is on the B side of the split, and comes from the Budapest Recording Sessions. The track begins with drawn out chords and hoarse, yelled vocals, before gradually picking up speed and bursting forth in a torrent of dissonance and hate, not unlike Psywar. Itís a pretty cool track, and I wonder how much more material was written at the same time.

Overall, Psywar is a fine single. But thatís it; just fine. Now, donít get me wrong, besides the lyrics, thereís little to criticize. Psywar and Beyond the Event Horizon are both decent tracks. But Mayhemís Mayhem. I expected more from them. Hopefully Psywar is one of the weaker tracks on the album, because as it stands now, Iím slightly less excited about Esoteric Warfare. Thereís no real reason to pick up this single on its own. Iím sure collectors will love the fact that it contains an unreleased track, but other than that, there isnít much to get excited about.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Tyler L.
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