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Mayhem: Pure F*cking Mayhem (DVD)

There's no more fascinating tale in all of black metal, or tragic, than that of the legendary Norwegian band Mayhem. Long considered one of the originators of Norwegian Black Metal, Mayhem took influence from acts such as Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Slayer, and KISS, and created something totally different and much more extreme. Donning corpse paint, leather, chains, spikes, and fusing classic metal, thrash, and punk, into a totally new, aggressive, and violent genre, Mayhem opened the doors for many other bands that would follow in their wake. Pure F*cking Mayhem is a documentary that chronicles the complete story of the band, from their teenage beginnings, various line-up changes, the suicide of their second singer Dead, the murder of their founder & guitarist Euronymous by Varg Vikernes of Burzum, the famous church burnings, the break up of the band and reformation in the mid-90's, up to the present day. Complete with interview snippets from bassist Necro Butcher, original drummer Manheim, former bassist Ocultus, and former & now current singer Attila are included, and give additional perspective to the bizarre Mayhem story. Strangely, no interviews with acclaimed drummer Hellhammer, who has been a constant member of the band since the late 80's. Much of what you'll see or hear on this DVD will be familiar to most die-hard black metal fans, as the Mayhem story has been documented and told before, but hearing first hand accounts from present and former members makes for a chilling watch, especially when it comes to the suicide of Dead (who seems to have been a very depressed and doomed individual) and the murder of Euronymous. There are some brief concert clips thrown in on occasion, though much of the earlier footage is of very poor quality.

All in all, a riveting watch despite it's rather brief 80 minute run time, and proof of just how steeped in mystery and violence the early black metal scene really was.

Added: March 4th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Trailer Link at Youtube
Hits: 1509
Language: english

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Mayhem: Pure F*cking Mayhem (DVD)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-03-04 06:16:38
My Score:

In terms of the phrase "Black Metal", the credit might have historically gone to Britain's Venom who offered up a song of the same name but when it comes down to the music genre and all of its sinister and blasphemous glory for many it begins with the legendary Mayhem. If you have ever followed the band that heralded the True Norwegian Black Metal scene then you are most likely very aware of their unique and rather insidious history, but if you are not, then this documentary "Pure Fucking Mayhem" is the best way to learn about the bands humble beginnings and catch up to where they stand as
a band in today's Metal world. It's a fascinating and yet also a frightening tale when you think about it because while it might have been on some musicians minds, there was no real Black Metal scene yet nor was music and shows of this type being played in the same scale as we find happening today. Of course this was back in 1984 and Heavy Metal music was due for a drastic change care of the bands founders Euronymous, Necrobutcher and Manheim. These three musicians were the core and delivered more of a Punk meets aggressive Thrash vibe and while using a different vocalist in the
beginning, the true dark shape of the band would solidify into something more tangible when they brought the Swedish singer Dead into their roster.

So much of the bands history from the point of arrival of Dead is historical tales that are passed around in numerous Metal discussions and that is what made this documentary so effective for me. We get fantastic commentary from Necrobutcher, Manheim and Attila Csishar along with some others and as result are given an inside view to their origins that is unlike other stories of this kind. Who better to tell the tale than those who lived its
memories after right? Clearly Mayhem was a disturbing unit and their premise one of the most intense of its kind as they did shows that found the singer cutting himself to bleed on the audience and throwing animal heads into their number for the sheer purpose of shocking the hell out of them. Frightened yet? Well, if not you will be because the story only gets more gruesome as the musicians continue to recall their history. Since everyone knows about how Dead took his own life and how Euronymous was eventually
murdered by the bands bassist Varg Vikernes, I will leave the finer details about all of these happenings to your own discovery as you watch the film. They will not make any more sense in the coming to grips with it fashion but will instead give you more of an understanding to the motives that each of these musicians had in their minds. It was definitely some alarming stuff when it came down to it. The film leaves you off in a very recent time in the bands history which was a good thing as it makes it more current and
does not leave you wondering what had happened "since the film ended" like many other documentaries of this kind do.

The DVD set also features an audio CD that instead of delivering any Mayhem tracks, presents the films viewer with what appears to be the soundtracks background music which we hear over the course of the documentary. It's primarily atmospheric and very gloomy sounding piano stuff that really sets a grim and foreboding mood. The CD tracks are listed as follows: Eternal Life, Dark Past, Time, Mysteriis, Obsessed, Return, Weird, Anno Dracul. It is not music that I suggest you listen to if you are feeling a little down
since it will only send you further into the dark. This is a must see or must own documentary based on the overall importance that Mayhem's influences have had on Black Metal music. If you are or were ever a fan of this kind of stuff, then you surely regard these guys as legends for the format and should easily enjoy it. If you are a conventional Metal fan and one who has a strong constitution, then you might enjoy this for its historical overview as it really sheds some light over the bleak darkness that is Mayhem.

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