Ouch, Mayhem should really have not shot themselves in the foot with that 12 gauge shotgun. Even if they were dared to do so by the ghost of Dead, I don’t think shooting your own body parts with a shotgun is ever a good idea.
A mistake, a failed attempt at creativity, a bitter disappointment, and a joke. These are all words and phrases that could be accurately used to describe Mayhem’s latest effort, “Ordo Ad Chao” aka the vomitous abortion that set the stage for “Esoteric Warfare“.
A mistake because of what they did to their legacy. Prior to this release, Mayhem was one the most respected black metal bands from Norway. Sure, they began to release some duds – although outside of “Chimera” the rest was surprisingly decent, just nothing stellar – but you obviously listen to “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” weekly.
Now? In an attempt to be even more generic than Watain, they have exchanged fan bases from metalheads to scene kids. A failed attempt at creativity because they have become clones of mainstream deathcore bands, like the aforementioned Watain, Carcass and of course the risible Behemoth. A disappointment because I was a fan of almost everything Mayhem had put out in the past, “Chimera” excluded, and now I’m even embarrassed to say that. A joke because, well, just listen to the music.
First, to address the unjust portion of the criticism this album “Ordo Ad Chao” receives, some now accuse Mayhem of “becoming technical” – what? Are their brains screwed on the right way? Mayhem has always been technical. No, that’s incorrect. Mayhem used to be technical. Very technical. Now they have replaced that technicality with Necrophagist inspired “tek-def” gimmicks, deathcore breakdowns, Immolation-esque pinch harmonics, more breakdowns (and generic ones at that) and even some nu metal chugging to keep the Korn kids interested.
There is at least one in every song but usually several. “Illuminate Eliminate” introduces this formulaic pattern which ends up coming off as generic and try-hard, and that’s even before it is abused to death on the following turd “Esoteric Warfare”.
It’s definitely obvious where Mayhem drew inspiration from for this album from – Watain, Dark Funeral and the nu metal chugga chugga of Napalm Death – and even more obvious where they didn’t – their own past catalog.
Even though this album is nothing “new” in the sense that it doesn’t attempt to bring new influences into a never-heard-of-before genre fusion catastrophe in the making, they still manage to be very boring and excruciatingly unoriginal.
Who would’ve thought that copying shit bands would result in more shit… apparently, some members of Mayhem really started to believe that they were either Midas or “black metal gods” that could turn shit to gold at the snap of their fingers.
Boring and shitty three to four minute mallcore tracks with added tek-def wankery for god knows what reason. One exception is the nine and a half minute song “Illuminate Eliminate” which is also among the worst. It’s a chore to sit through the whole thing, they were obviously trying to “break new boundaries” by making a lengthy song, but once again failed.
So, what you’re dying to know… is it as bad as “Esoteric Warfare”? No. But it opened the gates, and paved the way for what was to follow. It’s almost as if they tried playing war metal with Infernus leads, saw that it failed on “Ordo Ad Chao” and thought, fuck it, let’s just be the next Slipknot on American Idol.
I honestly don’t know how Mayhem even intend to get back out of the grave they’ve dug themselves into, but if they DO manage it, they will have indeed earn their title of “black metal gods”.
“Ordo Ad Chao” is the death of Mayhem. Not yet their rigor mortis, as that would be the following “Esoteric Warfare” turd, but they are still deader than Dead. Who knew? Playing nu metal moshcore is more dangerous than taking a shotgun blast to the face.