Posted in metal | music | pictures on May 22, 2009

photos by Paul Birman, words by Black Bubblegum

Mahyem

In their first NYC show in eight years, and first since the return of legendary vokillist Attilla Csihar, Mayhem played Irving Plaza last night (5/21) as part of The Blackened Fest with Cephalic Carnage, Withered, and Lair of The Minotaur. When I arrived, I was greeted by quite a few disappointed faces due to an announcement that Marduk would not be performing. Word is that there was an issue with their flights, and that their appearance at Maryland Death Fest tonight is in jeopardy as well. Hopefully Baltimore will have more luck than we did.

Missing Lair Of The Minotaur completely, Withered were setting up when I arrived at the venue. The Atlanta foursome's Weakling-inspired take on Black Metal pleased the sea of Mayhem and (sadly) Marduk tee-shirt wearers. I am not one to encourage/mix it up in the pit (anymore), but it was good to see a considerable amount of movement for the upstart band.

Cephalic Carnage's weed-tech-grind followed, along with dedications to cheetos, masturbation, and glass pipes (that they also sold at the merch table!), and props like a horse mask. It was well-executed and entertaining, but somewhat of a mild comedown following the energetic and pummeling assault of Withered.

Finally, the night belonged to the black metal pioneers. Mayhem took the stage a little before 10:30, playing a set that lasted until before midnight, when they retired sans encore. The core duo of Hellhammer and Necrobutcher with live members Morfeus and Silmaeth banged out rapid-fire blasts of black metal fury, spanning their entire discography.

For all of their impressive technical prowess and energy (lots), the highlight of their live set is the infinitely watchable Attila Csihar. Attila's formidable on-stage presence can only be described as dictatorial; he towers over his bandmates, gives the thumbs down as if he is deciding the fate of a man's life, punctuates lyrics with a clenched fist, and barks at his devoted minions with his thick Hungarian accent. In between a pair of impaled "heads", Attila sang from behind a "tree stump" podium which doubled as an area to hide both effects triggers and various gross-out props. Attila made sure to fondle and rub his face against those heads and an IV cart with dangling arm for further nauseating effect. Kitschy? a little. Fun/ny? Definitely.

Besides being visually arresting, Attila is one of the most versatile vocalists in all of heavy music. Barks, pitch perfect viking vocals, Celtic Frost grunts, screams that last longer than it seemed humanly possible, and what I like to call "squeaking elf"... a low end screech that was part Gollum and part creaking door, were all present and impressive.

In all, Mayhem was pure fun and I already can't wait for Attila's return with sunn 0))) in the fall. More tour dates HERE. More pictures from the show, below...

Mahyem

Withered...

Withered

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Cephalic Carnage...

Cephalic Carnage

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Cephalic Carnage

Cephalic Carnage

Mayhem...

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Tour dates HERE.

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Comments (26)

sweet photos.

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2009 1:07 PM

This equals nightmares for me.

Posted by ROCK STARchitect | May 22, 2009 1:10 PM

yeah. really scary. do not want

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2009 1:13 PM

Amazing!

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2009 1:21 PM

these pics are sick.

Posted by elina | May 22, 2009 1:42 PM

great shots!

Posted by zach | May 22, 2009 1:45 PM

these pics are awesome!

Posted by Mira | May 22, 2009 2:00 PM

Mehhem

Posted by wingwalker77 | May 22, 2009 2:15 PM

cool dude, can you teach me how to put on eyeliner too?!

Posted by saints | May 22, 2009 2:16 PM

Nick Zinner was there!

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2009 2:23 PM

ye.. and then he'll plunge it into your fucking eyeball..

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2009 2:24 PM

Awesome pics!!! Nicely done!!! = D

Posted by Mixa | May 22, 2009 2:39 PM

finally getting it right..eight years since they played the U.S.
I forgive you Hipster

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2009 3:14 PM

Comic book rock.

Posted by drewo | May 22, 2009 3:29 PM

I LOVE the cut out Mayhem logo above the stage. More black metal bands should make tangible cut out versions of their logo. That looks sick.

I wish I was in town for the show. And bizarrely enough I am in Baltimore tonight and still can't make it to see them.

My favorite thing about going to Black Metal shows are looking at all the teenage wankers in corpse paint. Do they go to high school like that? Priceless.

Posted by noamjamski | May 22, 2009 4:40 PM

Great photos - I'm really looking forward to seeing this tour in Cleveland.

One question - what is the DVD/CD that you took a photo of? Are they selling some US tour only item?

Posted by gjhead | May 22, 2009 11:06 PM

The DVD thingy is Life Eternal.... details here:

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2008/12/this_week_in_me_30.html

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2009 11:35 PM

where are the williamsburg waterfront free shows?!?!?!??!?! will they ever be announced??

Posted by Anonymous | May 23, 2009 12:20 AM

...and at the end of the show everyone in corpse paint and the bands mom's were waiting in they're station wagons to take them home!

Posted by Anonymous | May 23, 2009 2:07 AM

"where are the williamsburg waterfront free shows?!?!?!??!?! will they ever be announced??"

You really picked THIS thread to ask that?

Posted by Anonymous | May 23, 2009 2:09 AM

Amazing photos dude. You really captured the vibe.

Posted by Anonymous | May 23, 2009 3:07 AM

One man's corpse paint is another man's American Apparel jeans and "ironic" T-shirt.

Say you love satin.

Posted by Anonymous | May 23, 2009 9:55 AM

and at the end of the show everyone in corpse paint and the bands mom's were waiting in they're station wagons to take them home!

Posted by designer sunglasses | May 23, 2009 11:54 AM

holy shit thats me in the pit in front of the guy with the corpse paint, great fucking show

Posted by anthony | May 24, 2009 1:41 AM

you always come up with awesome pics

Posted by emo girl | October 18, 2009 4:29 PM

Great pics!

Posted by Lars | November 4, 2010 10:23 PM

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