Euronymous was adamant about releasing their material via his label “Deathlike Silence Productions”, which would be only dedicated to the release of albums from bands that he deemed worthy. Its first release was Sweden’s Merciless’ debut album “The Awakening”, which was followed by the reissue of Mayhem’s “Deathcrush”, and eventually Burzum’s selftitled and “Aske” records (Terrorizer #45, 1997), before launching other acts such as Abruptum, Sigh and Enslaved (Pure Fucking Mayhem, 2009). His label helped to propel several Norwegian acts into giving their first steps to success, but in time, Euronymous would encounter some problems that would make the management of both the label and shop harder to deal with. “He planned to earn money from record sales and releases. He would earn a living and start a record company”, as Kjetil Manheim remembered. In another perspective, Anders Odden gave a different insight at how Euronymous planned to run his business on Helvete and why its model eventually didn’t work as expected: “He wanted to sell one thousand copies of a record for 100 NOK (aprox. 12 euros) per copy. The band would get 90%,
and he’d take 10%. The complete opposite of the record industry. A very idealistic vision. He didn’t understand how things worked. He couldn’t run a business. He had no clue. He had a lot of ideas but he didn’t manage to fulfill them” (Once Upon a Time in Norway, 2007). Occultus also stated that the space “was far too big and the rent was too high. That’s the reason why it never did well” (Lords Of Chaos, 2003). In spite of all the problems the guitarist would have in running his own
businesses, Øystein Aarseth was achieving his own personal agenda of becoming Black Metal’s main spokesperson and began to build a dramatic image of being the leader of this movement, influencing others around him with his ideologies of hate. During this time, Mayhem was preparing to enter the studio to record its first album, but Occultus eventually left the band due to a supposed death threat issued by Euronymous, leaving the vocal and bass spots once again vacant.
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