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YMMV / Mayhem

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For the band:

  • Awesome Music: De mysteriis Dom Sathanas is the most frequently cited contender, obviously. Where you should go after that depends on your musical inclinations. If you want raw, old-school black metal, your best bets are Deathcrush, Wolf's Lair Abyss, and Ordo ad chao. If you want more experimental, avant-garde material, Grand Declaration of War is probably what you're looking for (although you should check out Wolf's Lair Abyss in this case as well... and then check out Chimera and, again, Ordo ad chao).
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The outro to original version of Deathcrush EP .
    All the little flowers are singing
    All the little birds are too
    They are very happy
    And we hope you are too
  • Broken Base - One of the biggest and most notorious examples in black metal. Dead vs. Maniac vs. Attila, Euronymous vs. Blasphemer vs. Teloch/Ghul, the avant-garde style vs. the old-school style, whether the band should even have continued after Euronymous' death, the list goes on and on and on.
    • Arguments exist on how De mysteriis Dom Sathanas should have been. Some fans argue the album's fine as it is, however others feel there should have been a version with Dead on vocals (despite it being too late to do so for the band) or the album should have combined Dead and Attila's vocals ala how Gorgoroth did with Antichrist.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Dead, all the way. Even if he wasn't featured on any material aside from rehearsals, Live at Leipzig, and bootlegs, and his presence continues to exist within the band to this day.
    • Necrobutcher can be seen as this too, since he tends to come off as the Only Sane Man compared to everyone else in the band, past members and current members.
  • Epic Riff - A lot of the time, most notably on De mysteriis Dom Sathanas.
    • Euronymous' status as a Decent Human Being is highly debatable...his prowess on a six-string is not.
    • His successor, Blasphemer, was if anything even more skilled on guitar. Pretty much all the recordings he made with Mayhem (specifically, Wolf's Lair Abyss, Grand Declaration of War, Chimera, and Ordo ad chao) have their share of Epic Riffs as well.
  • Evil Is Cool - Arguably part of the reason some fans like them.
  • Epileptic Trees: Was Euronymous really a Satanist? Was he really the evil sociopath that he made himself out to be? It's debated as to whether his twisted acts (such as using the photo of Per "Dead" Ohlin's dead body after his suicide as a cover for a bootleg album) were because he was like that, or was it just part to build an image. Varg of Burzum keeps stating this, but due to Varg being Varg, it's debated.
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  • Face of the Band - Dead and Euronymous, due to their untimely demises giving them a sort of evil mystique.
  • Growing the Beard - Varg Vikernes claims that this happened when Hellhammer and Dead joined the band: "Until Hellhammer and Dead joined the band in 1989, Mayhem was a shitty, ‘fun’, hobby-band. If you read the lyrics on their Deathcrush album you’ll know what I mean". Others may have their own opinions on when this happened, though in any case DMDS is almost universally considered to be better than Deathcrush.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The band used weird names for their instruments on the credit lines to their earlier releases. On Deathcrush, their original drummer Manheim is credited for playing "hellhammers".
  • Hype Backlash: By some variation, some listeners will be put off with how hyped Mayhem is as a band and/or how praised De mysteriis Dom Sathanas is considered. The only thing people will pin point and somewhat agree on is that Maniac/Dead made the sound, Euronymous built the band's image, and Attila solidified their debut.
  • Moral Event Horizon: This is what many of Euronymous' friends and several of his own bandmates (namely Necrobutcher) saw his treatment of Dead as. Even before his suicide, Euronymous bullied him extensively and egged on all of his most troubling behaviors, and quite a few people took great issue with his behavior towards him. The suicide itself firmly cemented this sentiment, as quite a few people felt that Euronymous had engineered it by allowing a person who he knew was suicidal to be alone for an extended period of time in the hopes that he would kill himself so as to further their image, and Euronymous' attention-grabbing behavior after the suicide only deepened their feelings of disgust towards him, so much so that Necrobutcher left the band before returning after Euronymous had died.
  • Memetic Loser: Euronymous. While he's hailed as one of the best guitarist in black metal and one can't deny his influence in the image of current black metal, most people see him as this due to how much of a Card-Carrying Villain he was and his desperation of doing things for attention even if it made others hate him.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The "cover art" for the bootleg live album Dawn of the Black Hearts, which is a photograph that Euronymous took of Dead's corpse. If you value your stomach, don't look it up.
    • Dead, just Dead. Pelle arguably is viewed upon as an unstable, deranged and terrifying performer live when it came to the self harming and the sheer passion he invoked in his performances. His suicide and learning about how much of a Broken Bird he was just makes it terrifying. That's not even getting to his performance on Live at Leipzig, where he screams at the beginning before "Pure Fucking Armageddon".
    • The overall atmosphere of De mysteriis dom santhas, with Attila's cryptic-like vocals, the eerie foreshadowing of Dead's lyrics, and the fact this album features Euronymous and Varg despite the fact Varg murdered Euronymous and it technically being the last album the band made before it's resurrection by Hellhammer afterwards is...unnerving to say the least.
  • Never Live It Down: Like with Varg Vikernes, 90% of conversations about Mayhem will always be about their second official vocalist overkilling himself, their guitarist using a photo of said vocalist's dead body for a bootleg cover, and said guitarist being murdered by the aforementioned Varg Vikernes who played bass on their debut album after a lengthy period of Troubled Production. This even is a factor for Black Metal's dark reputation, aside the church burnings.
  • The Scrappy: Hellhammer is immensely disliked by some due to suffering heavy Small Name, Big Ego and literally praising Bård Faust for "killing that fucking faggot". note  Even people who respect his musical abilities tend to acknowledge that he's also a severe Jerkass.
  • Signature Song: "Freezing Moon," which, along with "Transilvanian Hunger", is often considered the signature song of all of Black Metal. Earlier, their signature song was "Pure Fucking Armageddon."
  • Tear Jerker: YES, even for this band. "Life Eternal" can be seen as one of the more bleakest songs the band has ever recorded, about longing for death and wondering what becomes of you when you truly are dead. Considering the lyrics were written by Dead (as confirmed by his suicide note), it paints a dark Reality Subtext over what Dead must have felt mentally.
    • Dead's suicide and the events that transpired afterwords will make you feel this as well as feel nothing but despair over what happened to him, not helped that Jørn (Necrobutcher) once stated in an interview that had he known what was happening with Pelle, he would have done something, although some fans feel Dead would have prevented him from doing it anyway.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks! - Grand Declaration of War and Chimera received this reaction from many of Mayhem's fans. However, the former at least is arguably becoming somewhat Vindicated by History as its stature among fans seems to be improving.
  • Vindicated by History: Grand Declaration of War seems to be a case of this. When it came out in 2000 it was almost universally despised, but these days most online discussions of it garner far more praise than criticism.
    • Blasphemer, who garnered huge amount of hatred for not being Euronymous is viewed more fondly as being great, if not better than Euronymous in guitar playing.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Some of Attila's stage costumes are rather weird, to say the least. You don't usually go to a black metal show expecting the lead vocalist to be dressed in Bugs Bunny's costume. Or whatever the hell this is supposed to be.
  • The Woobie: Yes. Even for this band.. Arguably Dead. He suffered sleep apnea as a child and internal bleeding, which resulted with his obsession with death and the occult. Old band members that knew him (Fellow band member Hellhammer and Faust of Emperor) stated he didn't seem happy with life and Euronymous just kept adding and add more psychological problems and causing fights with him (at one point, Dead had to sleep freaking outside because Euronymous was tormenting him), until he finally killed himself. And what did Euronymous do? TAKE FRIGGIN' PICTURES OF HIS DEAD BODY. Despite his reputation as simply being a depressed, but still decent guy with a morbid fascination with darkness, all Dead is talked about for these days is his suicide and his bloodied corpse on Dawn of the Black Hearts.
    • Necrobutcher can be seen as this for some hardcore fans. Discussions range on how he has stated his worry and concern for Dead before his suicide, the weight it carried on him afterwards his death, and being disgusted at Euronymous exploiting Ohlin's death just to add to Mayhem's dark image, resulting in his departure until the band's reunion after Euronymous was dead. Some even think he could have prevented Dead's suicide, although Dead would have prevented him from intervening.


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