Metalheads from all over Sydney flocked to Max Watt’s House of Music on the 18th of January to witness the most well known black metal band in the world, performing their greatest album in its entirety. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is widely considered one of the single most influential albums in the history of black metal and its performance is nothing other than breathtaking.
Starting off the greatest night of black metal that Australia has seen in years was Départe. The post black metal band showcased a few of their heavy, atmospheric songs to a room that had not yet filled halfway yet. Départe definitely needed a longer set to let the drone set in to the venue, especially as the vocalist sawed over the music. The four-piece got the crowd warmed up and ready for the next Aussie support. Ruins, the blackened death metal band got the crowd headbanging, cheering and ready for the rest of the night with their blend of fast, heavy riffs and blast beats. They played it safe compared to the other bands on the lineup.
The two piece black metal band hailing from Sweden took the stage only a few minutes after Ruins, but in that time, the crowd had developed significantly. Even from the beginning of the soundcheck, the audience was amazed at the quality and the performance of the two men. It felt like a ritualistic experience from the Swiss men, and was a blast of energy that did not slow down from start to finish. The fast paced, atmospheric black metal showed the crowd that Bölzer were the perfect support for the mighty Mayhem that were about to begin.
When the lights switched off, the overall energy from the audience skyrocketed. The “No Fun, No Core, No Mosh, No Trends” saying of Mayhem was revoked by fans as soon as the band came on stage. Once all five members hit the stage and the performance of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas began, a mosh pit opened up and the audience was in full effect. Attila and the rest of the band's stage presence showed how they can bring back an album to life in the best way possible. Mayhem embodied their music, art, vibe and image all simultaneously on stage, in a performance that did not turn heads. When the skull off Euronymous was brought on stage on the church table, it was accompanied by the feeling of loss, as silence filled the audience to appreciate everything the band has gone through in their careers. Mayhem didn't waste a second of stage time and their whole performance flowed perfectly from one song to another, not letting minds wonder away from the greatest black metal performance that Max Watt’s has ever seen. From Attila throwing people off the stage and almost setting himself on fire, to Necrobutcher yelling at the entire front row to not stage dive, the band's satanic ritual-like performance was none other than a showcase of true black metal in the best way possible. Mayhem performing De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in its entirety is more than a show, it is an experience that should not be missed.