Mayhem are Norway’s longest existing black metal band. It is also the band with the most controversy surrounding it. On Friday they celebrated their 30 year anniversary at the Oya festival with the stage full of carcasses and pigs’ heads and some good new and old school black metal. Here are pictures from the concert.
Mayhem are considered one of the main pioneers of Norwegian Black Metal. They started out in 1984 and released the highly influential EP Deathcrush in 1987. In August 1993 they became front page news when their former member Varg Vikernes murdered guitarist Øyvind “Euronymous” Aarseth. Two years before this their singer, Dead (Pr Yngve Ohlin), had committed suicide.
Just after the murder of Aarseth, the band released their debut album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, which is still considered one of the classic and most important black metal albums. The band had a break after the murder and the following trial, where Varg Vikernes was convicted of murder and got 21 years in prison.
A couple of years after, the band reformed with the founding member Necrobutcher (Jørn Stubberud), drummer Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg), guitarist Blasphemer (Rune Eriksen) and singer Attila Csihar. Except for Blasphemer, the other three are still the main members of Mayhem, with Teloch and Ghul on guitars.
Mayhem used to have animal carcases and heads as stage decorations in earlier years, but they stopped using that a few years ago. But for the anniversary concert at the Oya festival they had outfitted the stage with pics’ heads, ones and carcasses, like at a classic Mayhem concert. The concert got some mixed reviews in the press, but personally I liked it. It reminded me of their concert at the Trondheim Rock festival in 2010.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.