Our weekly column "White Whale Vinyl" spotlights the most sought-after rare vinyl in the heavy-music universe. Shop for vinyl, including a selection of limited-edition Revolver-exclusive variants, via our store.
If Norwegian black metal has a ground zero, it's Mayhem's Deathcrush mini-LP. Sure, the notorious corpse-paint squad released three demos beforehand, but their first official release hit the underground like a brick to the face in 1987. Led by guitarist Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth and bassist Jørn "Necrobutcher" Stubberud, this Mayhem lineup featured drummer Kjetil Manheim and vocalist Sven-Erik "Maniac" Kristiansen, all of whom carved out the template for black metal to come, influencing the likes of Darkthrone, Immortal and Burzum along the way. Not to mention pretty much every black-metal band since.
The original Posercorpse Music pressing of Deathcrush was limited to 1,000 hand-numbered copies in an eye-searing hot pink sleeve. In addition to the vinyl, it included two inserts — a bio/newsletter on green paper and a coupon/order form for a booklet that was meant to be included with the pressing. Though not easy to come by, OG Deathcrush pressings do appear for sale a few times a year. Between September of 2017 and August of 2020, 10 copies sold on Discogs, ranging in price from $930 (VG condition, no inserts) to $2,325 (NM condition, both inserts included). In October of 2015, a copy signed by Euronymous sold on eBay for over $1,800. It was number 0064/1000.
On Revolver's trip to Oslo to interview Kvelertak in early 2020, we visited Neseblod Records, the world-class heavy-metal shop and unofficial black-metal museum that occupies the space where Euronymous' Helvete record shop once stood. It also happens to be above the infamous basement where he and other members of Norway's legendary "Black Circle" hung out and plotted the church burnings that plagued the country in the early Nineties.
Descend Neseblod's spiral staircase to the very depths and you'll see the words "Black Metal" painted on the wall by early practitioners — perhaps even Euronymous himself. Meanwhile, the shop itself is packed with original Norwegian black-metal memorabilia — including six OG copies of Deathcrush arranged into an inverted cross on the wall. We spoke with owner and proprietor Kenneth Neseblod to learn more.
PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHY YOU STARTED NESEBLOD AND HOW YOU MANAGED TO SECURE THE ORIGINAL HELVETE LOCATION.
KENNETH NESEBLOD It's about my music fascination and especially big interest on metal and subcultures. It felt right, anyways. When the old Helvete location came out for rent, it was quite easy and obvious. Oslo is small, and the landlords knew that I had a shop with stuff that was close to what Euronymous had at his Helvete shop, and after a short email correspondence they wished me and my stuff welcome. And on the other side, they really needed someone to manage all the people from far and close who wanted to see the basement.
WHAT DOES MAYHEM MEAN TO YOU AS A MUSIC FAN? DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL CONNECTION WITH THE BAND?
Mayhem changed music history. When I first heard them, I had been waiting for a band with music that fucked with the rules and brought anger and rebellion to an extreme level. They were the kind of "kids" that laughed at critics and made their own path. The shop has always supported Mayhem, and some of the Mayhem guys have been a big support back. Maniac is a good friend and has followed the shop and donated and sold really cool stuff back to 2003 when I first opened.
WHEN WE VISITED NESEBLOD BACK IN FEBRUARY, YOU HAD SIX COPIES OF MAYHEM'S DEATHCRUSH LP ARRANGED IN AN INVERTED CROSS ON THE WALL. ARE THEY ALL POSERCORPSE ORIGINALS, AND ARE THEY STILL THERE?
Sure. Just empty covers, though. The records are highly safe, stored somewhere else.
HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO GET SIX COPIES? ARE THERE ANY GOOD STORIES ASSOCIATED WITH ANY OF THE RECORDS?
One is my old personal copy. Another is from a guy named Odd. I have bought them over time and I can't really remember any very exciting stories behind them.
THEY VERY MUCH SEEM LIKE THE CENTERPIECE OF THE SHOP. WAS THAT THE INTENTION?
As mentioned earlier, Mayhem changed music history. They changed the history of Norwegian music culture. Deathcrush deserves to be a monument to remind people of the importance.
ARE THE DEATHCRUSH LPS ON THE WALL FOR SALE? IF NOT, YOU STILL MUST GET OFFERS ALL THE TIME ...
I'm not selling them — they belong to my personal collection. I don't think of them as investment objects, but really important memorabilia that we should keep to show the kids. When I die, perhaps I will donate them to kids without money, those kids with a true passion for music, those who make music and jump off the mainstream.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO MENTION ABOUT THE DEATHCRUSH LPS?
They are pink as hell!
Many thanks to Karen at Neseblod for facilitating this interview.