Show Preview: Mayhem, Watain, Revenge at The Granada
There is no other genre of music with a beginning as chaotic, violent and infamous as black metal. Starting out as death metal injecting the speed of thrash metal and hardcore punk mixed with dark lyrics and evil imagery, it quickly grew in popularity under such bands in the 1980s as Celtic Frost, Venom and Bathory. Although these bands erected the pillars of what would eventually be the groundwork for black metal, they didn’t actually play the black metal style. It wasn’t until the early 90s that black metal stopped being a style of other genres and became it’s own beast; bands like Darkthrone, Immortal and Satyricon blended the blastbeating drums with tremolo-picked, distorted guitars and shrieked vocals to create a truly unique new music genre. But it wasn’t until Mayhem came along that black metal had its true first legendary album – 1994′s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.
Throughout their career, Mayhem have been the center of every controversy imaginable – band members murdering other band members, setting fire to historic Norwegian churches, performing on stage with animal carcasses, live self-mutilation and the infamous live album that featured an actual picture of the suicide of their then vocalist Per “Dead” Ohlin. By 1993, the classic lineup Euronymous (the godfather of black metal) on guitars and Hellhammer on drums was joined by Count Grishnackh on bass (AKA Burzum, the man who eventually stabbed Euronymous to death) and a Hungarian vocalist by the name of Attila Csihar, bringing his (at the time) extremely unorthodox inhuman growling vocals to the band. This group of musicians, for the small time they were together, went on to make possibly the first true, legendary black metal album – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.
While De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas continues to be a perfect black metal album, Mayhem went through various lineups in the ten years since the album’s release. With their now-legendary past becoming one of the first history lessons for newcomers to the genre learning, Mayhem has been held to a near-mythic status for years that continues even today. With Attila Csihar rejoining the band in 2004, the band released their fifth full-length album, Esoteric Warfare, in June of last year. Even more atmospheric, progressive and down-right weird than ever before, their latest album still has the aggressive, haunting melodies that made Mayhem such an enticing musical entity over twenty years ago. Unlike any other album you’ll hear today.
Mayhem are on tour in North America right now with two of black metal’s most exciting bands today: Sweden’s Watain and Canada’s Revenge.
Watain has already made an impact on the black metal scene in their (comparatively) short career. Although the relentless world touring and the release of quality black metal albums have helped them make a name for themselves, it’s surpassed by their live show. Watain regularly picks up roadkill on tour and drapes it around themselves and onstage during shows, sometimes going so far as to throw animal blood on audiences. As soon as the door to the stage opens from the outside, the smell of rotting flesh always precedes Watain’s shockingly intense performance.
Canada’s Revenge may just be the most violent band on the face of the planet right now. Playing a style that breaks down black and death metal to their absolute bare necessities known as war metal, Revenge have carried the torch from war metal veteran’s like Conqueror and Blasphemy, also from Canada, as well as Kansas City’s own Order From Chaos – the originators of the style. With no letting up of aggression and heaviness coming before everything else, Revenge is making a rare US tour appearance on the strength of their fourth full-length album Scum.Collapse.Eradication and might just be the heaviest band of the night.
These three legendary bands will be stopping by The Granada in Lawrence on Sunday, January 18th. Tickets are available. And check out Mayhem‘s Esoteric Warfare on Season Of Mist Records, Watain‘s The Wild Hunt on Century Media Records and Revenge‘s Scum.Collapse.Eradication on Nuclear War Now! Productions. Also be sure to pick up these band’s albums and more at Mill’s Record Company.