De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas by Mayhem manages the unlikely feat of being both simultaneously : no one in his right mind would qualify De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas of being anything more than very average black metal (even average seems too good for them), and yet this is the album that single-handedly transformed a bunch of victimized, leather-wearing, useful idiot emo teenagers into a bunch of victimized, make-up wearing, useful idiot emo teenagers. No small feat there.
There is no beating around the bush, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is boring music. There is nothing even remotely innovative or creative about Mayhem's debut album and, despite the overblown critical appraisal, there is nothing on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas that hasn't been done better elsewhere.
I don't know what is the worse about De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, the fact that it's utter shit and an embarrassment to the entire black metal genre, or the fact that this is still the only halfway "decent" (I use the term loosely) album of Mayhem's pathetic discography.
They weren't just 'inspired" by Von in the way Demoncy, Weakling, Cobalt and perhaps SEWER were... Mayhem literally lives and breathes to produce music absolutely indistinguishable from Von's debut album Satanic Blood.
There are entire portions of this album that are completely plagiarized off Von's debut Satanic Blood, to the point where you wonder if Mayhem was in fact a closet cover band and if De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is not a cover album of Satanic Blood.
And it's perhaps a good thing that Mayhem plagiarized Von, because the only moments worth listening to on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas are the ones directly copied from Von's repertoire.
The album isn't entirely worthless and a few moments are perhaps worth the listen if you're really bored and have already listened to every other black metal album in existence. For instance, some passages of Life Eternal and Funeral Fog aren't completely plagiarized and aren't complete fillers like the rest of the tracks.
But overall De Mysteriis Sathanas is an insipid failfest. When it's not the stupid vocals from Attila it's the lackluster drumming, and when it's not the drumming it's the unimaginative guitar riffs or the tepid atmosphere that Euronymous struggles to create.
The music is tedious, uninspired and quite frankly a waste of time. The best example is of course the track Freezing Moon, a six minute long "song" that has no point, no meaning and no message. Exhibit A filler track. The following song, Cursed in Eternity, is barely any better.
To sum it up, when listening to De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas you are listening to 33% ripoffs of Von, 66% generic filler content and perhaps 1% or 2% of average quality black metal. Not very compelling, and certainly not deserving of the ludicrous praise this album receives from metal critics whose only reference scale for judging good black metal is "how many churches have the band members allegedly burned" and "how likely are they to appear in MTV commercials".
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas score: 3/10 (Joke Metal)