Music Reviews


Grand Declaration of War


Following up on their popular reunion status, Mayhem continue with their Grand Declaration of War part II and part III. I’m not sure Mayhem want to be known as strictly a black metal band anymore. With one listen of this album, I was scratching my head, thinking, “Is this what Mayhem would have sounded like if what’s his name didn’t blow his head off?” I answer my own question with a resounding “Yes!” With Grand Declaration of War, Mayhem are constantly challenging the listener to pay attention and follow Mayhem as Mayhem goes into their own minds and discovers what makes them tick…

Like any war, there are always two sides opposing each other. Within Mayhem’s mind war, the same is true. At times, Mayhem are angry, malevolent, sarcastic, evil. This is the Mayhem we have come to expect and will ring true to most fans.

Then there is the other side of Mayhem that I have never heard before… moody, introspective, and relaxed. For example on “a bloodsword and a colder sun,” which is the first of four parts that make up “Il Principe,” I thought my CD player skipped to another CD. When I figured out it was still Mayhem, I liked them that much more for taking a chance in a completely new direction. This track is very mysterious and trancey. The same can be said for the third part of “Il Principe,” entitled “completion in science of agony.”

So, if you like Mayhem, there’s plenty here to keep you satisfied, but just don’t get scared when you hear something different.

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