Mayhem is undoubtedly the most legendary black metal band of all, but it could well be argued that the immensity of their legend outweighs their actual achievements. Bootlegs not withstanding, Mayhem's actual recorded output amounts to four studio albums, a few EPs and an incredible six live albums: a fairly small catalogue for a band that has existed in some form since the mid-1980s. However for a band whose history has been so chaotic, this is perhaps unsurprising. True to Euronymous' vision, the early Mayhem sound was raw, coarse, underproduced and virtually inaccessible. Early vocalist Dead's suicide only added to the band's already legendary status even before a full-length studio album appeared but the murder of Euronymous by Vikerners finished them off. Hellhammer reformed Mayhem four years later. The 2000 album was a wild diversion from the signature Mayhem style, a bold experiment with technical and avant-garde elements that shocked the band's faithful but proved that they could make a cohesive album. Taken on its own, Grand Declaration of War is a stunning triumph but as part of the entire Mayhem legacy seems drastically misplaced. Chimera marks a return to the basic formula.