Yesterday, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas turned 15. Much has been made of its urtext status in black metal, as well as its violent circumstances. (Wikipedia notes, “It may also be the only heavy metal album, and possibly the only album in any genre, on which both a murderer and his victim perform.”) However, its musicality has been overlooked. Guitarist Euronymous progressed from making noise (Pure Fucking Armageddon demo) to interesting noise (Deathcrush EP) to actual music. De Mysteriis is full of great riffs and melodies. The whole record is hummable. Drummer Hellhammer had also become a force, with tumbling fills and surprisingly subtle cymbal work. (See, e.g., the title track.) Varg Vikernes, too, had some nice bass moments. The best performance of all was by Attila Csihar, who wielded an underworldly range of howls, growls, and almost-singing. Even with bloodsoaked hands, these guys could really play.

– Cosmo Lee

Buried by Time and Dust
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas