Mayhem – Deathcrush (Review)

Released back in 1987, before lineup changes led to a chain of events that would make them infamous, Mayhem’s debut EP Deathcrush achieved notoriety on the strength of its music alone. It’s 18 minutes of metal that’s as primal and abrasive as it gets. With neither black or death metal codified as separate musical styles yet, Deathcrush is a mercurial mix of both. The rumbling riffs and crude lyrics (“her guts were boiling out of her butt”) lean towards the fledgling death genre. But the necro production, bulldozer guitar tones and punk mentality follow in the footsteps of early Bathory, Hellhammer, Sodom et al: a course that would eventually to lead to the birth of black metal in the band’s native Norway. The howling, stubbed-toe vocals of Maniac, the harsh Quorthon-like vocals of Messiah and the spooky unease created by the avant-garde instrumentals Silvester Anfang and Weird (Manheim) all add to the palpable sense of darkness and evil that make Deathcrush a crucial evolutionary step in the black metal story. Pure Fucking Armageddon from start to finish. And the band was just getting started…

HMO Rating: 4.5 Out Of 5

[Mayhem – Chainsaw Gutsfuck]

16 thoughts on “Mayhem – Deathcrush (Review)”

    1. Not got a take so shooting off the top of my head… Black Sabbath were tuning down to C# from their third album. Budgie were pretty sludgy. A lot of Motley Crue was tuned down a whole step I think?

      Melvins and Kings X were quite notable Drop D bands in the 80s. By 87 you’ve got the first death metal bands popping up and most of them were tuning down full steps or more. By the 90s bands like Carcass were down at B.

      Liked by 1 person

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