Power of Metal.dk Review

Esoteric Warfare
Style: Avantgarde Black Metal
Release date: 6 June, 2014
Playing time: 47:21

One of the strengths that will let a band pass the test of time is musical integrity, that is cultivating an expression of their own, without giving in to the fashion of the moment. Additionally, capacity of evolution will be praised, none the less when reaching the third decade of their existence. In terms of integrity and capacity to reinvent themselves, Mayhem can be safe for none of their albums has seen them gulping up the past, if the rest of the world has about them.

The blind-test won't have lasted for long. From the first riff of the first track, "Watchers", it was clear to me that this was Mayhem playing. For the other, more nuanced pair of ears available, this could have been Keep of Kalessin. True enough, Esoteric Warfare, the band's fifth studio album, displays a modernised face/phase of Mayhem, that combines the technical riffing already present on Grand Declaration of War, while connecting to ancient roots, with necro tunes all across the board and Attila's twisted, raging vocals. If you have been missing Reclaim, you might believe "PsyWar", the second track on Esoteric Warfare, to be a kind of response to KoK's epic album with a processing la Mayhem of course.

Esoteric Warfare shows that the band has many ideas to visit so there is little time to dwell on one stable atmosphere although there is a soundly thread throughout the album. You will be surprise all along. In this sense you could call the album progressive, as Mayhem always has had a tendency to be. Eventually they be eclectic and mayhemish.

During the first times of listening through, Esoteric Warfare grew on me. Musically it is a good album, in which Mayhem seem to steadily experiment and search for a new direction. The question is: will they stick to it, find themselves in it? Let madness take them further?
Let's hope that Mayhem won't let their fans hungry for too long, for Esoteric Warfare will be keeping me curious.

The band started touring a while ago, be sure to attend asap!

01. Watchers
02. PsyWar
03. Trinity
04. Pandaemon
06. VI.Sec.
07. Throne of Time
08. Corpse of Care
09. Posthuman
10. Aion Suntelia
Label: Season of Mist
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: LyM
Date: 17 July, 2014
Website: thetruemayhem.com