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Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band from Oslo. Mayhem's career is highly controversial, particularly because of the violence of stage performances, but also following the suicide of singer Per Yngve Ohlin (Dead) in 1991, and the murder of guitarist Øystein Aarseth (Euronymous) by the former member Varg Vikernes (Count Grishnackh), of Burzum.

In its early days, the group released a demo and a EP which became very influential, and will succeed in popularizing them both positively and negatively. The band split after the murder of Aarseth, some time before the release of their debut album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, considered by the specialized press as a classic of the genre black metal. Former members Jan Axel Blomberg (Hellhammer), Jørn Stubberud (Necrobutcher) and Sven Erik Kristiansen (Maniac) meet two years later with Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer), Aarseth's replacement. Maniac and Blasphemer have since been replaced by Attila Csihar for one, and Teloch and Ghul for the second.

Mayhem, which means "disorder" , "chaos" in English>, was formed in 1984 by Øystein Aarseth (originally known as the name of Destructor> then Euronymous), the bass player Jørn Stubberud (Necrobutcher), and the drummer Kjetil Manheim, inspired by the band's title "=" en "> Mayhem with Mercy Venom>. The group members are mainly influenced by Venom, Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Bathory and Celtic Frost. The line-up initially plays musical covers of Black Sabbath, Venom, Motörhead>, and later records the demo titled Pure Fucking Armageddon . After his release, Aarseth, formerly at singing, with Stubberud, during the first studio rehearsals, recruited two session singers Eirik Norheim (Messiah) and Sven Erik Kristiansen (Maniac), in 1986 and 1987 respectively. Norheim sings only during a concert, which takes place in April 1986 at Ski, and leaves the band the same year. With Kristiansen, Mayhem released his first EP, in 1987, distributed to Eurounge's new Posercorpse Music label.

The release of Deathcrush , the EP shot at 1,000 copies, is selling quickly. This recording tends to make them known, even if it is representative of a stylistic twisting between thrash metal and death metal. It was later reissued in 1993 by Deathlike Silence Productions as a joint venture with Euronymous record store Helvete> (which means "hell" in Norwegian)>. Manheim and Maniac leave the group in 1988. Maniac begins a stay in psychiatric hospital for attempted suicide.

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