De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Deathlike Silence Productions
One of the most influential and controversial albums of all time, the musical importance of Mayhem’s debut full-length frequently gets shrouded by the events surrounding it – Oystein “Euronymous” Aarseth’s murder by bassist Varg Vikernes, Vikernes’s subsequent arrest, and the replacement of dead vocalist Dead by Attila Csihar of Hungarian thrashers Tormentor. Weirdly, those events also play into why it’s so good. Csihar’s vocals sound like the demented utterings of a reanimated corpse while merciless highlights “Freezing Moon” and “Cursed in Eternity” take on new shades of black in the wake of their tragedy-filled genesis.