On the evening of April 9, a fire broke out in the basement of Oslo’s iconic Neseblod Records, which occupies the space that belonged to Helvete, the shop of Mayhem’s late “Euronymous,” or Øystein Aarseth. This occurred just one day after the anniversary of the death of Mayhem’s deceased vocalist “Dead,” or Per Yngve “Pelle” Ohlin, though we will refrain from assuming that there is any link. As Norway’s VG reported, firefighters responded, and the fire was extinguished fairly quickly. Right now, the cause remains unclear. Police are currently investigating the case. We also await updates pertaining to the extent of the damage.

This devastating news comes as a massive blow to the extreme music community. Helvete famously housed the biggest black metal collection next to that of author and curator Finn Håkon Rødland, who has demonstrated superhuman devotion to preserving the legacy of The True Mayhem and other bands. Neseblod serves as a landmark, popular tourist attraction, and museum of sorts. Visitors from all over the world flock there, especially during Inferno Festival. Grethe and Kenneth Neseblod first opened their shop in 2013 with the assistance of the awarded musician and composer Trånn Ciekals of Djevel. Those interested in helping Neseblod recover can visit the GoFundMe page that has been set up by Darren Toms.

Helvete was operated by Euronymous from 1991-1993. There, Euronymous shared his philosophy with his customers and fellow musicians. Helvete functioned as an extremely important meeting place in the early days of the movement. Parties were held in the infamous basement, where legends, such as Emperor’s Tomas “Samoth” Haugen and Slayer Mag’s Jon “Metalion” Kristiansen, took up temporary residence. Euronymous also spread the black metallic plague through his label, Deathlike Silence Productions. The pioneering Mayhem co-founder and guitarist was killed in August 1993. He would have celebrated his 56th birthday last month.

Nevertheless, Euronymous posthumously continues to act as one of the most influential visionaries in the genre. Together with Thorns’ Snorre Ruch, he created the black metal style of riffing. He is furthermore responsible for influencing the aesthetics of the genre. Euronymous is remembered fondly by the likes of Enslaved’s Ivar Bjørnson, who views him as a mentor. The final opus that Euronymous recorded, De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas, will turn 30 this year. De Mysteriis is regarded by many as the definitive black metal album.

After Euronymous’ passing, Mayhem would rise from the ashes under the brilliant direction of guitarist and composer Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen, who has long since moved on. We mention Blasphemer because he just won a Spellemann, or “Norwegian Grammy,” for RUÏM’s Black Royal Spiritism – I – O Sino da Igreja, which was inspired by a tape of late-’90s, Mayhem-era riffs sent to him by Rødland. Today, Mayhem, in many respects, represents the most legendary black metal act, and that is, of course, in large part thanks to Euronymous.