De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas

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De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Mayhem demysteriisdomsathanas.jpg
Studio album by
Released24 May 1994 (1994-05-24)
RecordedJune 22nd - 29th 1992, May 1993
Studio Grieg Hall in Bergen, Norway
Genre Black metal
Label Deathlike Silence
Mayhem chronology
Live in Leipzig
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Dawn of the Black Hearts

De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is the debut studio album by the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem. Songwriting began in 1987, [1] but due to the suicide of vocalist Per "Dead" Ohlin and the murder of guitarist Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth, the album's release was delayed until May 1994. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is widely considered one of the most influential black metal albums of all time. [2] [3] [4] It is the band's only studio album to feature Aarseth and Varg "Count Grishnackh" Vikernes.

Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, a shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, raw (lo-fi) recording, unconventional song structures, and an emphasis on atmosphere. Artists often appear in corpse paint and adopt pseudonyms.

Mayhem (band) Norwegian black metal band

Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1984 in Oslo, Norway. They were one of the founders of the Norwegian black metal scene and their music has strongly influenced the black metal genre. Mayhem's early career was highly controversial, primarily due to their notorious live performances, the 1991 suicide of vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin ("Dead") and the 1993 murder of guitarist Øystein Aarseth ("Euronymous") by former member Varg Vikernes of Burzum.

Euronymous Norwegian heavy metal musician

Øystein Aarseth, better known by his stage name Euronymous, was a Norwegian musician. Euronymous was a founder of and central figure in the early Norwegian black metal scene. He was a co-founder and guitarist of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem and was the only constant member from the band's formation in 1984 until his death in 1993. He was also founder and owner of the extreme metal record label Deathlike Silence Productions and record shop Helvete.


Background and recording


Mayhem began writing songs for the album in late 1987 or early 1988, depending on the source. Vocalist Dead started to write the lyrics when he joined the band in 1988. In 1990 studio versions of the songs "The Freezing Moon" and "Carnage" were recorded, appearing on the CBR Records compilation album Projections of a Stained Mind. [5] Mayhem's drummer, Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg, claimed that the lyrics of "Freezing Moon" were "meant to make people commit suicide". [6] Dead said in a 1989 interview by Marduk guitarist Morgan "Evil" Håkansson, published in Slayer fanzine, that by then he had written the lyrics for "Funeral Fog", "Freezing Moon", "Buried by Time and Dust" and "Pagan Fears". [7] Finished versions of these songs appeared on the album Live in Leipzig , a concert recording from November 1990 which was released in 1993.

A compilation album comprises tracks, which may be previously released or unreleased, usually from several separate recordings by either one or several performers. If by one artist, then generally the tracks were not originally intended for release together as a single work, but may be collected together as a greatest hits album or box set. If from several performers, there may be a theme, topic, time period, or genre which links the tracks, or they may have been intended for release as a single work—such as a tribute album. When the tracks are by the same recording artist, the album may be referred to as a retrospective album or an anthology.

Jan Axel Blomberg Norwegian heavy metal drummer of the band Mayhem

Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg is a Norwegian heavy metal drummer. He is best known as the drummer of Mayhem, which he joined in 1988. In 1987 Blomberg formed the avant-garde black metal band Arcturus with Steinar Sverd Johnsen, which broke up in April 2007 and reunited in 2011. He named himself after the Swiss extreme metal band Hellhammer. Praised as a talented musician, Blomberg is a three-time winner of the Spellemannprisen award.

Marduk (band) Swedish black metal band

Marduk is a Swedish black metal band. The group formed in 1990 in the city of Norrköping and released their first album in 1992. Their name is derived from the Babylonian god Marduk, patron deity of Babylon.

By 1991, Dead and Euronymous were living in a house in the woods near Kråkstad, which was used by the band to rehearse. [8] On 8 April 1991, while alone in the house, Dead slit his wrists and throat and then shot himself in the head with a shotgun. [9] He left a brief suicide note, which apologized for having used the gun indoors and began with "Excuse all the blood". [8] His body was found by Euronymous. Before calling the police, he allegedly went to a nearby shop and bought a disposable camera with which he photographed the body, after re-arranging some items. [10] One of these photographs was later used as the cover of a bootleg live album titled Dawn of the Black Hearts . [11]

Kråkstad Village and Former municipality in Austlandet, Norway

Kråkstad is a village and former municipality located in Ski municipality of Akershus, Norway.

<i>Dawn of the Black Hearts</i> 1995 live album (bootleg) by Mayhem

Dawn of the Black Hearts is a bootleg live album by the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem. The title originates from lyrics Fenriz of Darkthrone wrote for the band; the lyrics sheet can be found in the 2009 limited edition EP, Life Eternal.


To record the new album, Euronymous recruited Attila Csihar (from the Hungarian band Tormentor) as vocalist and Vikernes (who performed solo as Burzum) as bassist. This lineup — Euronymous, Hellhammer, Csihar and Vikernes — recorded the album during late 1992 and early 1993 at the Grieg Hall in Bergen. However, the album itself contained no information on lineup and credits. Necrobutcher, who had left the band before the recording sessions, claimed to have written half of the songs for the album. He stated that he and Dead wrote "Freezing Moon" and Euronymous only contributed one riff to that song. [12] Snorre "Blackthorn" Ruch (who performed solo as Thorns) wrote some of the riffs for the album and finished some of Dead's song lyrics, according to himself and Hellhammer. [13] [14] The main riff of the Thorns song "Into the Promised Land" (also called "Lovely Children") became the main riff of "From the Dark Past". [15] According to Vikernes, Euronymous was responsible for most of the guitar riffs, but he claimed that Hellhammer, Necrobutcher and himself contributed some riffs, too. [16]

Attila Csihar Hungarian singer

Attila Csihar, also sometimes known as Void, is a Hungarian extreme metal vocalist, best known for his vocal work in Norwegian black metal band Mayhem and American drone-doom project Sunn O))). Author Ian Christe describes his vocals as "operatic."

Hungary Country in Central Europe

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world, and among the few non-Indo-European languages to be widely spoken in Europe. Hungary's capital and largest city is Budapest; other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr.

Tormentor is a black metal band formed in 1986 in Budapest, Hungary. They recorded their first album, Anno Domini, in 1988, but were unable to release it until the end of communism. The album reached Norway through the tape-trading community. Following the suicide of Per Ohlin, Mayhem invited Attila Csihar from Tormentor to join the band; he was to perform the vocals on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Tormentor split up in 1991. After a long break they reformed and released the more experimental Recipe Ferrum through Avantgarde Music in 2001, going on a long indefinite hiatus afterwards.

On 10 August 1993, Vikernes and Blackthorn traveled to Euronymous's apartment in Oslo, where Vikernes stabbed Euronymous to death. [17] He was arrested and sentenced to 21 years in prison, while Blackthorn was sentenced to 8 years for being an accomplice. [18]

Oslo Capital city of Norway

Oslo is the capital and most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a county and a municipality. Founded in the year 1040 as Ánslo, and established as a kaupstad or trading place in 1048 by Harald Hardrada, the city was elevated to a bishopric in 1070 and a capital under Haakon V of Norway around 1300. Personal unions with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 reduced its influence. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, during the reign of King Christian IV, a new city was built closer to Akershus Fortress and named Christiania in the king's honour. It was established as a municipality (formannskapsdistrikt) on 1 January 1838. The city functioned as a co-official capital during the 1814 to 1905 Union between Sweden and Norway. In 1877, the city's name was respelled Kristiania in accordance with an official spelling reform – a change that was taken over by the municipal authorities only in 1897. In 1925 the city, after incorporating the village retaining its former name, was renamed Oslo.

During Vikernes's trial, police said that they had found explosives and ammunition in Vikernes's home. Euronymous and Vikernes had allegedly plotted to blow up Nidaros Cathedral, which appears on the album cover, to coincide with the album's release. [9] Vikernes denied this allegation in a 2009 interview, saying, "I was getting [the explosives and ammunition] in order to defend Norway if we were attacked any time. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union could have decided to attack us." [19]

Nidaros Cathedral Church in Trøndelag, Norway

Nidaros Cathedral is a cathedral of the Church of Norway located in the city of Trondheim in Trøndelag county. It is built over the burial site of King Olav II, who became the patron saint of the nation, and is the traditional location for the consecration of new kings of Norway. It was built over a long period of 230 years, from 1070 to 1300 when it was substantially completed. But additional work, additions and renovations continued occasionally intermittently for seven more centuries until 2001, and designated as the cathedral for the Diocese of Nidaros in 1152. After going the turmoil and controversies of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, it was taken from the Catholic Church by the newly reformed established state Church of Norway in 1537, which adopted and following the teachings and reforms of Martin Luther, Phillip Melancthon and others, becoming Evangelical Lutheran. Nidaros is the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world.

After Euronymous's funeral, Hellhammer and Necrobutcher worked on releasing the album. [20] Euronymous's parents asked Hellhammer to remove the bass tracks recorded by Vikernes. Hellhammer said, "I thought it was appropriate that the murderer and victim were on the same record. I put word out that I was re-recording the bass parts, but I never did". [20]

The album was eventually released in May 1994, around the time that Vikernes was sentenced. It featured the last lyrics written by Dead before his suicide, and the last songs recorded by Euronymous before his murder.

In 2009, Mayhem released rough mixes of five songs from the De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas recording session as the EP Life Eternal.

Title and artwork

The title De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is an incorrectly translated latin phrase meaning "About the Mystery of the Lord Satan", although the correct Latin would be "De Mysteriis Domini Satanas". [21] The album cover is a monochrome photo of the east side of Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway. [20]

Reception and legacy

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [22]

The album is widely considered one of the most influential black metal albums ever. According to a long feature by Metal Hammer , "Two decades after it was recorded, it continues to top ‘best album’ lists by longtime fans of the genre, while at the same time providing primary inspiration for new bands whose members were not even born when it was recorded. There are many who would say it is the single most important album in black metal's broad and ever-growing catalogue, and very few who would argue that it is not, at the very least, a strong contender for that accolade." [4] Metal Injection described it as "one of the most essential black metal albums of all time", writing that "In one record, the listener is exposed to all the power, glory and contradictions inherent in Norwegian black metal, thus making it a fascinating artifact from the dark past, and an essential piece of black metal listening." [23] De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas was included on IGN's list of "10 Great Black Metal Albums". [2] Metal Hammer named it one of the 20 best black metal albums of the '90s. [24] Loudwire named it the 8th best extreme metal album of all time, writing that "The riffs are unforgettable and the atmosphere is caustic and suffocating with Attila Csihar's twisted, throaty cries sending it all to hell. They also argued that the album has a "stranglehold" on "black metal's legacy". [25] Treble Magazine named it one of the 10 essential black metal albums. [26]

In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas as 40th on their list of 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.' [27]

While Mayhem's previous vocalist had been Swedish, Csihar was from Hungary. [28] His style was somewhat atypical for Nordic black metal then, and provoked a mixed reception from fans; for example, gave him the nickname "Attila 'Fingernails' Csihar" (although a subsequent review by the website praised his later Ordo Ad Chao -era performances). The song "Freezing Moon" was included on Kerrang!'s 25 Extreme Metal Anthems and various songs from this album have been covered live and in studio by such bands as Dissection (Jon Nödtveidt and Ole Öhman also performed the song with Euronymous in 1991), [29] Immortal, Dark Funeral, Carpathian Forest, Gorgoroth, Behemoth, Vader, Enslaved, [30] Cradle of Filth and Darkmoon. [31] "Funeral Fog" was covered by Emperor with Csihar on vocals. [32]

Track listing

All tracks written by Mayhem.

1."Funeral Fog"5:47
2."Freezing Moon"6:23
3."Cursed in Eternity"5:10
4."Pagan Fears"6:20
5."Life Eternal"6:57
6."From the Dark Past"5:26
7."Buried by Time and Dust"3:34
8."De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas"6:21
Total length:45:58


Session musicians

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