last thing, that we changed out (…) This has to do with the production, the sound of the record. “Ordo ad Chao” had a very special production that could only fit that album. That sound would not be right for this album. Other than that it was more or less the same thing.” The bassist also referred that the album was done in more than one location. ”Some of it was recorded in a home studio, Teloch’s own home studio, some was recorded in Attila’s home studio, (…) and the rest was recorded in Knut Magne Valle’s studios, that’s the guitarist of Arcturus, he has a studio we used the last time on “Ordo ad Chao”. The cover for “Esoteric Warfare” presents a truly stunning drawing which was designed by Polish artist Zbigniew M. Bielak, and it possesses a very unique graphic character, which will make it instantly recognizable in the years to follow. When discussing the artwork, Necrobutcher remembered how Mayhem came to work with Bielak for the new cover: “We were looking for different people to create the cover of the album, and we actually started to collaborate with one of our old partners for this cover and then, the stuff we were presented, we felt it wasn’t right for this album, so we don’t know who came up with him, who contacted [the artist] who did the cover, I’m not sure if we contacted him [Bielak], or if he contacted us. I think he contacted us and had some ideas, and we said “Fuck Yeah”, he’s a great artist, so we gave him the job. I think he made the last Ghost album.” Necrobutcher’s assumption was correct. Before Mayhem and besides Ghost, Bielak also created other meticulous covers for reputed artists such as Watain, Vader and Absu.
Musical Essence “Esoteric Warfare” captures the es-
sence of a band that keeps on redefining Black Metal music, but one which also doesn’t forget its roots. When questioned about how he would describe the overall sound of the new record to the legions of fans who’ve been waiting for something new from the Norwegians in the last seven years, Stubberud shared that “it’s in good old Mayhem spirit, [in our] way of speaking, our way of thinking and our way expressing ourselves musically.” He then added that “this record is the same as every other Mayhem album, we waited until we feel that we have good material to present and sometimes it takes some years. And since it’s a new songwriter also, it has taken us to a bit of different place, but it’s an aggressive, negative [effort], and dealing with the same type of elements that made up Mayhem. (…) It’s a new brick in the Mayhem wall.” Necrobutcher also expressed his wish to start the promotion of this record: “We’re also looking forward to present some of this music live to our fans. Looking forward to do that.”
30 Years and the Future Last but not least, since Mayhem has taken a few years between releases, it became inevitable to make the question of whether the band’s album/ tour cycle would be shorter from now on, and if Mayhem’s fans would be seeing some more material in the next few years. Necrobutcher was pretty clear on that: “No. [laughs] I’m very careful, you know? I’ve always been very optimistic, but now I’ve learned my lesson and now when the new material comes, it will take its natural time. Sooner than before? Maybe… who knows? But we are not so very concerned about that right now. The thing is that it’s a milestone to release an album after seven years.”
He concluded by reflecting upon the band’s future and its touring plans for their 30th anniversary this year and 2015: “The other thing is that we have a 30th anniversary this year, so it’s a great thing to include some new songs from the new album on the 30th anniversary world tour that we are half way in now. Which means that we did Asia, Australia, South America now, and we divided Europe into three [legs], and we’ll do the first now in May, then we go to the US and then we come back in the fall to do three more weeks in Europe. We’re going to do Norway before Christmas and then in January we’ll do the last leg of Europe for another three weeks. So altogether we’re going to be on the road nine weeks in Europe.” With thirty years having gone by, Mayhem’s legacy still lives on, but they aren’t simply another nostalgia act. With a strong new record, the band continues to spread havoc and delivering incredibly visual and memorable live performances to all audiences around the world. They are still redefining black metal, even a long time after having been in its own inception, and there is no doubt, judging by all of their path up so far, that they will continue to do so. Let the Mayhem continue! Mayhem’s “Esoteric Warfare” will come out on June 6 in Europe and on June 10 in North America via Season of Mist.
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