Infamous black metal band Mayhem has a sordid history that often overshadows the actual music, so I was excited to hear a straightforward modern black metal album from them.
Demon certainly delivers just that. Gone are the more polarizing elements of the past few releases (such as experimentation with spoken word and atmospheric recording techniques). This is straight up aggressive black metal, but all the while clearly Mayhem.
The tracks presented here are a fitting tribute to Mayhem’s legacy. Atilla’s disturbing vocals add atmosphere on top of equally dark riffing.
Despite going back to basics, there is enough variation here to avoid repetition, as heard on the brooding Aeon Daemonium and the thrashy Malum.
Sometimes it’s best when bands give up on reinventing the wheel, and in this case, I’m hoping Mayhem have reinvented enough wheels so they can focus on material like this.