MAYHEM (2017) Live Concert Review

Venue: The Forge – Joliet, Illinois

Special guests: Immolation, Black Anvil

Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017

Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch

Special Thanks to venue The Forge and Nuclear Blast Records!


First up on this night of extreme metal was BLACK ANVIL out of New York City. The band is a practitioner of black metal. These guys have been together for about ten years, so they are not a new band, they’ve been out there for a while. Their sound is the standard aggressive black metal mold with growled vocals and good guitar work. They were heavy at times, just not all the time.

To be honest, Black Anvil is a good band, just not a great band. Their set was standard with no standout songs. They played for 30 minutes and were a good warm-up for the other, more well-known groups.

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2 ½ Pentagrams!


The iconic IMMOLATION was on shortly afterward. These guys are also from New York City and helped define the death metal scene in New York in the late 80’s. This was the band in the lineup I was really wanting to see live. They are a classic old-school death metal band in every sense of the word.

They played a good variety of new and old material, but it was their older material that stood out to me and the rest of the crowd. Frontman Ross Dolan and guitarist Robert Vigna are the two remaining original members. Dolan has the incredible death growls or cookie monster growls as some prefer. His vocal quality is in the top ten of death metal vocalists in the industry. Watching him belt out a long, sustained death growl is something that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

The band’s musicianship quality is high. Their guitar work was incredible, and Dolan on Bass was top notch as well.


  • The Distorting Light
  • When The Jackals Come
  • Kingdom of Conspiracy
  • Above All
  • Destructive Currents
  • Fostering the Divide
  • Swarm of Terror
  • Burial Ground
  • Lower
  • Rise the Heretics
  • Dawn of Possession

Immolation played for 42 minutes. They were a humble and appreciative band, thanking the crowd for coming out to see them. The crowd, by the way, was very much into Immolation. They had a circle pit formed from the first song and didn’t stop until they were finished. The band had the crowd worked into a frenzy. As I said before, Immolation is a classic band with incredible talent. I only wish I could’ve seen them perform for much longer. They are a band to see live if you can. An incredible show!

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4 out of 5 Pentagrams!


Closing out the night was legendary Norwegian black metal maniacs, MAYHEM! They take their black metal seriously up in Norway, let me tell you. This was a show to behold if you like you metal mixed with some creepy theatrics. To describe a live show of Mayhem is difficult. There is a LOT of smoke effects throughout the set. In fact, the smoke made it difficult to take pictures because it never seemed to stop flowing out of the smoke machines. All five members of the band wore black hooded cloaks during the show and a couple of them wore corpse paint, white and black makeup to significant effect.

The theatrical effects included an altar with candles used by vocalist and Frontman “Attila”. He, in fact, was adorned with Satanic crosses and face paint. I guess what I’m trying to say is if you ran into the band with their stage attire on in a dark alley, they would look scary.

Their full set was a performance of their legendary 1994 album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in full.


  • “Funeral Fog”
  • “Freezing Moon”
  • “Cursed in Eternity”
  • “Pagan Fears”
  • “Life Eternal”
  • “From the Dark Past”
  • “Buried by Time and Dust”
  • “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”

Their musicianship was incredibly great. The guitar work of “Teloch” and “Ghul” was on point. The prerequisite tremolo picking was in full effect along with most of the other tricks of the trade. “Hellhammer’s” work behind the kit was awesome to watch as he kicked ass blasting beats from Hell.

This reviewer was caught off guard by how entertaining their set was. I mean I knew how good of a band they were beforehand, but I was surprised at how great their live show was. Fans of black metal and the occult/horror will be fascinated by their stage show, I know I was.

In final remarks, The True Mayhem are a legendary band to be sure. They have influenced and set the stage for many in the black metal subgenre over the years. Their live show is a sight to behold and was an incredible experience for me. Mayhem had the crowd in an absolute frenzy throughout their hour-long set and they never stopped cheering. The only negative I have about the show is that it was too short, I would’ve loved more. What an incredible night of extreme metal from three wonderful bands!

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out of 5 Pentagrams!

About Michael Juvinall (4890 Articles)
I am a devoted husband and father. I have been a voracious horror fan since the early age of 5 and metal fan since I was 14. I watch all horror films but my great loves are classic horror films: Universal Monsters, Werewolves, Hammer Horror and an all-around affinity for things that go bump in the night! I'm also a huge fan of extreme metal music.

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