by Doug Moore
Mayhem in Oslo, Norway, 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Few black metal bands are as storied as Mayhem. Many of the sordid tales that brought Norwegian black metal to the attention of the international press in the early and mid '90s involved Mayhem members, but they're really more notable for their increasingly ambitious musical contributions to the genre's development. Though not all of their efforts have gone over well (2000's Grand Declaration of War in particular was divisive), their last album, 2007's Ordo ad Chao, was popular among fans and critics alike.
Aside from live appearances, Mayhem have mostly been silent since then. All four members have engaged in other projects, with vocalist Attila Csihar in particular busily collaborating with the likes of Sunn O))). But a new Mayhem album has been in the offing for some time, and while release details have yet to emerge (it's due in May, but that's all we know), you can now hear the band's first new song in seven years -- the oddly-titled "Psywar," which is streaming below (via Metal Hammer). Most of the tune is given over to ripping, thrashy black metal, but things get weird and epic about two thirds of the way through; Attila's whole creepy-moaning thing is, unsurprisingly, fully intact.
Mayhem's label Season of Mist will be releasing two limited-edition 7-inch versions of "Psywar" on April 25; you can preorder them here. Stream it below...