12 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Every band has its backstory, but none is as genuinely terrifying as Mayhem’s. The Norwegian black metal band is arguably more notorious for their church burnings, murders, and onstage violence than their intensely heavy, genre-defining music. Simply put, they’re one of the most controversial bands in history. Still, they’ve survived (kind of—several former members are dead or in prison, and only one founding member, bassist Necrobutcher, real name Jørn Stubberud, remains in the group) long enough to release their sixth album, Daemon. The violence may have (thankfully) ceased and their music has developed, but Mayhem’s sinister focus has never shifted. When asked about the meaning of Mayhem as a band, guitarist Teloch, aka Morten Bergeton Iversen, who joined the band in 2011, replies with a single word: “Hate.” He’s kind of joking, but not really. “No, I don’t know,” he tells Apple Music. “You have to have it in your blood. You can’t just come in and write Norwegian black metal.” Teloch talks us through each song on Daemon, but don’t expect to find deep messages and lyrical analysis. It’s not that he isn’t willing to share, he just doesn’t really care. The only important thing is that it’s heavy as hell—literally. And what could be more metal than that?

The Dying False King
“There's no intro or anything, it's just straight into it. I like that. It's a good way to start the album. It's pretty straightforward metal riffing; it’s a bit Burzum-inspired at the end of it. It's a cool song.”

Agenda Ignis
“It's supposed to be Latin, but I don't know Latin. I think it means 'flammable agenda' or something? That's what Google Translate told me. Anyway, most of my lyrics are just words that sound metal and cool. There’s not necessarily any meaning, but I guess you can say it’s about being possessed by Satan. The cool thing about this song is that the bass has this f**king Bon Jovi effect. I think it’s 'Livin' on a Prayer'...so, actually, I guess it’s not so cool.”

Bad Blood
“This song was written by the other guitar player [Ghul, aka Charles Hedger]. It’s got the first guitar solo Mayhem has had in ages, actually. He’s an amazing guitarist and it’s cool to have a solo. Also, Necrobutcher wrote the lyrics. I have no idea what they’re about, but it sounds like it's personal, about someone in the band, someone he hates. He's a very angry man, you know?”

Malum
“It’s Latin again. Hellhammer wrote the lyrics, but I haven't read them. It means ‘Blood,’ so we’ve got ‘Bad Blood’ and then ‘Blood’…fantastic. I get this Deathcrush feeling on the main riff, but it's slower.”

Falsified and Hated
“This one is a bit thrashier. It’s got a cool tempo, I think it's a song we can do live, actually. It hasn’t been the norm [to consider playing songs live], but now we try to make every song playable. It’s a change.”

Aeon Daemonium
“It’s one of my favorites. The main chord is actually inspired by a chord I used a lot on the previous album. It’s a pretty catchy riff. And the ending is very atmospheric.”

Worthless Abominations Destroyed
“It’s straight in your face. I wrote this with the intention of having this feeling that you can’t get away. Maybe you’re hoping for the riff to change into something more likable, but it won’t; it goes back to the first thing again. Like, ‘Get back in there!’ The Misanthropic Luciferian Order, in Sweden, has this book called Liber Azerate. That's their Bible. So that's where I took the lyrics from. It’s chaos-gnostic Satanism—it’s very, very metal! It’s nothing I stand for, I just needed to get some lyrics for Attila [Csihar], to show him how to sing when I made the vocal guides. I just put it in there and he didn’t change the lyrics.”

Daemon Spawn
“That's my favorite of all these songs, actually. It's very atmospheric and very simple. But for me, I think this was the hardest one to write, because it's so hard to write simple stuff. It's hard to make it sound good and not too boring. You have to really trust your judgment and keep it simple instead of freaking out and adding complex stuff to it. It turned out f**king cool in the end.”

Of Worms and Ruins
“Ghul wrote this whole song—the music and lyrics. I have no idea what it’s about. The idea was to share [the songwriting] 50-50 between us. He's new to Mayhem and new to the way that they work and also kind of new to this style. It's a bit hard for him to get into it, but he's finally getting what we’re about. His songs on this album are f**king cool.”

Invoke the Oath
“It’s a cool song. It’s so infernal, it might be the most fierce song on the album. There’s a very evil atmosphere to it. It never takes completely off, it just keeps that same feeling throughout the whole song. That evil, sinister feeling.”

Everlasting Dying Flame (Bonus Track)
“I stole some riffs from ‘Life Eternal’ on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, but I played it differently. It’s my favorite song to play live from that album. It really stuck in my head, and I wanted to try to make something similar. I think the bass solo is very similar. Almost too much, but nobody’s mentioned it yet. Maybe I got away with it.”

Black Glass Communion (Bonus Track)
“Ghul wrote this one too. It’s very catchy. What does it mean? I don’t know. But it’s not a bad song. Honestly, I don’t know why it’s a bonus track. These could be part of the album.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Every band has its backstory, but none is as genuinely terrifying as Mayhem’s. The Norwegian black metal band is arguably more notorious for their church burnings, murders, and onstage violence than their intensely heavy, genre-defining music. Simply put, they’re one of the most controversial bands in history. Still, they’ve survived (kind of—several former members are dead or in prison, and only one founding member, bassist Necrobutcher, real name Jørn Stubberud, remains in the group) long enough to release their sixth album, Daemon. The violence may have (thankfully) ceased and their music has developed, but Mayhem’s sinister focus has never shifted. When asked about the meaning of Mayhem as a band, guitarist Teloch, aka Morten Bergeton Iversen, who joined the band in 2011, replies with a single word: “Hate.” He’s kind of joking, but not really. “No, I don’t know,” he tells Apple Music. “You have to have it in your blood. You can’t just come in and write Norwegian black metal.” Teloch talks us through each song on Daemon, but don’t expect to find deep messages and lyrical analysis. It’s not that he isn’t willing to share, he just doesn’t really care. The only important thing is that it’s heavy as hell—literally. And what could be more metal than that?

The Dying False King
“There's no intro or anything, it's just straight into it. I like that. It's a good way to start the album. It's pretty straightforward metal riffing; it’s a bit Burzum-inspired at the end of it. It's a cool song.”

Agenda Ignis
“It's supposed to be Latin, but I don't know Latin. I think it means 'flammable agenda' or something? That's what Google Translate told me. Anyway, most of my lyrics are just words that sound metal and cool. There’s not necessarily any meaning, but I guess you can say it’s about being possessed by Satan. The cool thing about this song is that the bass has this f**king Bon Jovi effect. I think it’s 'Livin' on a Prayer'...so, actually, I guess it’s not so cool.”

Bad Blood
“This song was written by the other guitar player [Ghul, aka Charles Hedger]. It’s got the first guitar solo Mayhem has had in ages, actually. He’s an amazing guitarist and it’s cool to have a solo. Also, Necrobutcher wrote the lyrics. I have no idea what they’re about, but it sounds like it's personal, about someone in the band, someone he hates. He's a very angry man, you know?”

Malum
“It’s Latin again. Hellhammer wrote the lyrics, but I haven't read them. It means ‘Blood,’ so we’ve got ‘Bad Blood’ and then ‘Blood’…fantastic. I get this Deathcrush feeling on the main riff, but it's slower.”

Falsified and Hated
“This one is a bit thrashier. It’s got a cool tempo, I think it's a song we can do live, actually. It hasn’t been the norm [to consider playing songs live], but now we try to make every song playable. It’s a change.”

Aeon Daemonium
“It’s one of my favorites. The main chord is actually inspired by a chord I used a lot on the previous album. It’s a pretty catchy riff. And the ending is very atmospheric.”

Worthless Abominations Destroyed
“It’s straight in your face. I wrote this with the intention of having this feeling that you can’t get away. Maybe you’re hoping for the riff to change into something more likable, but it won’t; it goes back to the first thing again. Like, ‘Get back in there!’ The Misanthropic Luciferian Order, in Sweden, has this book called Liber Azerate. That's their Bible. So that's where I took the lyrics from. It’s chaos-gnostic Satanism—it’s very, very metal! It’s nothing I stand for, I just needed to get some lyrics for Attila [Csihar], to show him how to sing when I made the vocal guides. I just put it in there and he didn’t change the lyrics.”

Daemon Spawn
“That's my favorite of all these songs, actually. It's very atmospheric and very simple. But for me, I think this was the hardest one to write, because it's so hard to write simple stuff. It's hard to make it sound good and not too boring. You have to really trust your judgment and keep it simple instead of freaking out and adding complex stuff to it. It turned out f**king cool in the end.”

Of Worms and Ruins
“Ghul wrote this whole song—the music and lyrics. I have no idea what it’s about. The idea was to share [the songwriting] 50-50 between us. He's new to Mayhem and new to the way that they work and also kind of new to this style. It's a bit hard for him to get into it, but he's finally getting what we’re about. His songs on this album are f**king cool.”

Invoke the Oath
“It’s a cool song. It’s so infernal, it might be the most fierce song on the album. There’s a very evil atmosphere to it. It never takes completely off, it just keeps that same feeling throughout the whole song. That evil, sinister feeling.”

Everlasting Dying Flame (Bonus Track)
“I stole some riffs from ‘Life Eternal’ on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, but I played it differently. It’s my favorite song to play live from that album. It really stuck in my head, and I wanted to try to make something similar. I think the bass solo is very similar. Almost too much, but nobody’s mentioned it yet. Maybe I got away with it.”

Black Glass Communion (Bonus Track)
“Ghul wrote this one too. It’s very catchy. What does it mean? I don’t know. But it’s not a bad song. Honestly, I don’t know why it’s a bonus track. These could be part of the album.”

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