Mayhem (band)

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Live at Hole In The Sky 2011
Background information
OriginLanghus, Norway
GenresBlack metal
Years active1984–1993, 1995–present
LabelsDeathlike Silence Productions, Century Media, Misanthropy Records, Season of Mist, Necropolis Records
Attila Csihar
Past member(s)(see below)

Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band. It was founded in 1984 by guitarist Øystein Aarseth (aka Euronymous), bass guitarist Jørn Stubberud (aka Necrobutcher), and drummer Kjetil Manheim (aka Manheim). The band name is taken from the Venom song, "Mayhem with Mercy."

During the early years, the band used either session vocalists Messiah or Maniac for live/studio performances. During rehearsals, they played either without a singer, or either Necrobutcher or Euronymous would sing.

By late 1987, both Manheim and Maniac had left the band. Members of the band Vomit sang for the band for a short time. In 1988, singer Dead, and drummer Hellhammer joined the band.

Dead Suicide and euronymous murder[change | change source]

Dead killed himself in 1991. He shot himself in the mouth with a shotgun after cutting his wrists with a knife. The shell he used, was not given to him by Varg Vikernes (Count Grishnackh). His body was found in his room. A suicide note was also found. It said "Excuse all the blood". Euronymous took pictures of the body and room. One of these pictures was used as the cover of their Dawn of the Black Hearts album. This started people saying many things about the band. It was said that Euronymous had cooked and eaten pieces of Dead's brain. It was also said that parts of Dead's skull had been used to make necklaces that both Euronymous and Hellhammer wore. It is not likely that his brains were eaten, but it is known that necklaces were made, and that pictures were taken.[source?]

With the media and police attention after Dead's suicide, Necrobutcher (Jørn Stubberud) left the band. Dead was replaced by Occultus (Stian Johansen). He was the ex-singer of Thyabhorrent. He sang and played bass in Mayhem for a few months, but soon left. Varg Vikernes (Burzum) joined as bassist.

On August 10th, 1993, Varg Vikernes murdered Euronymous in his apartment. Their relationship before the murder had gotten bad. It is thought that there were many reasons why Vikernes killed him. These include that it was over a girl, jealousy of Euronymous's position in the band, Euronymous owing him money and Euronymous not releasing Burzum's albums on time. Euronymous was found in his underwear with knife wound. Varg was rumoured to try and outdo the murder Faust of the band Emperor did. At his trial, Vikernes came into court with his long hair made into pigtails. He said he had nothing to do with Euronymous's death. He laughed throughout the trial. Vikernes was found guilty the murder. He was sent to prison for 21 years. This is the most time a person can be sent to prison in Norway. When police arrested Vikernes, he was found with over 150 kilograms (330 lb) of dynamite and plans to destroy Nidarosdomen on a religious holiday. Nodarosdomen is a large Christian church in Trondheim. Varg Vikernes has a different story to the reasons for killing Euronymous. He created many articles to tell the reasons.[1]

After the trial, Euronymous's parents asked Hellhammer to remove the parts of the bands music that Varg had recorded. He told them he would do this. Since he could not play the bass guitar, the changes were not made. The album remained the same, with Varg playing on it.

Performances[change | change source]

Their performances used heavy atmospheric effects. These included things such as pig heads put on wooden poles. Dead's clothes were buried days or weeks before the show. They were dug up before the performances and would be covered in decay, dirt and insects. Pieces of rotting meat were thrown into the audience and given to people to eat or rip on the spot. Dead ravens were placed in a bag so Dead could smell decay and death. Members would also cut themselves onstage.

Albums[change | change source]

Studio albums[change | change source]

  • De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (1994)
  • Wolf's Lair Abyss (1997)
  • Grand Declaration Of War (2000)
  • Chimera (2004)
  • Ordo Ad Chao (2007)
  • Esoteric Warfare (2014)
  • Daemon (2019)

Live albums[change | change source]

  • Live In Leipzig (1993)
  • Dawn of the Black Hearts(1995)
  • Mediolanum Capta Est (1999)
  • Live In Marseille 2000 (2001)
  • Live in Zeitz (2016)
  • De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive (2016)
  • Live in Jessheim (2017)
  • Live in Sarpsborg (2019)

Members[change | change source]

Current[change | change source]

Former[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Varg's articles
  2. "Against Magazine Issue Issue 8". p. 35.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Mayhem's Page on Metal Archive".