Grand Declaration of War

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Grand Declaration of War
Mayhem GrandDeclarationOfWar.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 6, 2000
RecordedNovember 1999 – January 2000 at Fagerborg Studio and Top Room Studio
  • Børge Finstad
  • Mayhem
Mayhem chronology
Mediolanum Capta Est
Grand Declaration of War
European Legions

Grand Declaration of War is the second full-length studio album by the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem, released by Season of Mist and Necropolis Records on June 6, 2000.[3]

The album's title and some of the lyrics are taken from the writings of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, particularly his books Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist.[citation needed] Nietzsche called Twilight of the Idols "a grand declaration of war" („eine grosse Kriegserklärung“).[4]

Musical style[edit]

In his book Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal, Jeff Wagner wrote that Grand Declaration of War features "a variety of vocal shadings to match the multi-layered music", between "A Time to Die", described by Wagner as "one minute and forty-eight seconds of black calculus", "A Bloodsword and a Colder Sun" offering "squishy electronic groove, so close to trip-hop that it instantly became the album's most controversial track" and the "mesmerizing ten-minute sprawling landscape of doom" "Completion in Science of Agony". The album's "sonic clarity" was "a complete 180-degree turn" from the band's early "scuzzy 'necro' approach".[1] Parts of the black metal scene had hoped Mayhem would not reform after the murder of the original guitarist Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth as "that would not be right",[5] or at least were "rather sceptical when it was known that [sic] MAYHEM should go on even without Dead or Euronymous".[6] Many longtime Mayhem fans despised Blasphemer because "he wasn't Aarseth".[1] Jeff Wagner calls Grand Declaration of War "Mayhem's own Into the Pandemonium, an album that had perverted and turned inside out the black metal genre as Celtic Frost's [Into the] Pandemonium had done to thrash metal".[1] Alex Henderson of Allmusic stated that the band "has outdone itself with the epic Grand Declaration of War, which could arguably be described as black metal's equivalent of Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime".[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]

Allmusic critic Alex Henderson wrote: "Grand Declaration of War won't appeal to anyone with a short attention span, but for those who can sit down and really give this CD their undivided attention, the rewards are great."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Maniac; all music composed by Blasphemer.

0."Untitled" (hidden in pregap before track 1 on original CD; simply the final track reversed)2:11
1."A Grand Declaration of War"4:14
2."In the Lies Where upon You Lay"5:59
3."A Time to Die"1:48
4."View from Nihil (Part I of II)"3:04
5."View from Nihil (Part II of II)"1:16
6."A Bloodsword and a Colder Sun (Part I of II)"0:33
7."A Bloodsword and a Colder Sun (Part II of II)"4:27
8."Crystallized Pain in Deconstruction"4:09
9."Completion in Science of Agony (Part I of II)"9:44
10."To Daimonion (Part I of III)"3:25
11."To Daimonion (Part II of III)"4:52
12."To Daimonion (Part III of III)"0:07
13."Completion in Science of Agony (Part II of II)"2:14
Total length:45:58



Session musicians[edit]

  • Anders Odden - co-writing and programming of "A Bloodsword and a Colder Sun"
  • Øyvind Hægeland - additional vocals on "Completion in Science of Agony"
  • Tore Ylwizaker - samples and noise construction on "Completion in Science of Agony"
  • Sebastian Ludvigsen - photography
  • Mark Francombe Red - cover design
  • Anne Cecilie Olavesen - makeup


  1. ^ a b c d Jeff Wagner, Steven Wilson: Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal. Brooklyn, NY: Bazillion Points Books 2010, p. 252.
  2. ^ a b c d Alex Henderson. "Grand Declaration of War - Mayhem : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Grand Declaration of War review". CMJ New Music Report. 62 (666): 24. 15 May 2000. ISSN 0890-0795.
  4. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche: Sämtliche Werke. Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Bänden. Herausgegeben von Giorgio Colli und Mazzino Montinari. Volume 6: Der Fall Wagner u.a. Neuausgabe 1999, DTV, p. 58.
  5. ^ De Mysteriis Dom Euronymous. In: Jon Kristiansen: Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries. Brooklyn, NY: Bazillion Points Books 2011, p. 282.
  6. ^ Mayhem. In: Jon Kristiansen: Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries. Brooklyn, NY: Bazillion Points Books 2011, p. 477.