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Madder Mortem - All Flesh Is Grass CD (album) cover

ALL FLESH IS GRASS

Madder Mortem

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.17 | 13 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "All Flesh is Grass" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian female led goth/doom/progressive metal act Madder Mortem. The album was released through Century Media Records in February 2001. I found a great deal of enjoyment in the bandīs debut album "Mercury (1999)". Itīs a doomy/goth metal album with a really pleasant and warm sound. A bit different from the usual Nightwish and Evanescence clones which mare that part of the heavy metal spectrum. There have been great changes to the lineup since the release of the debut album and only vocalist Agnete M. Kirkevaag and guitarist/vocalist/percussionist BP M. Kirkevaag are left from the original lineup. In addition to three new members their record company Misanthropy Records closed down and the band had to find a new record company for this release. But boy did they come out stronger and more determined.

I donīt know whatīs gotten into the band since the debut but "All Flesh is Grass" is a much more aggressive and focused album than itīss predecessor and even touches extreme metal territory a few times. Agnete M. Kirkevaagīs strong voice and intriguing vocal lines are still the main focus in the music but the guitar riffs and the rythm section are also strong and varied throughout the album. The music is melodic but not in the sense that the choruses are simple sing along choruses. Agnete M. Kirkevaag has a way of making her vocal lines dark and interesting which gives the music an great atmosphere. Track titles like "Breaker of Words", "To Kill and Kill Again" and "Turn the War On" speaks of the equally dark nature of the music and when the lyrics are delieved in such a venomous fashion itīs all I need to be convinced that this band mean business. This is not the most progressive album Iīve heard but songs like "Turn the War on" and the ending almost 10 minute long "Traitor's Mark" (donīt be fooled by the longer playing time displaying in your CD player. Thereīs unfortunately a silence ending) does feature progressive elements. Most tracks actually do on some level.

The musicianship is excellent. The new members of the band have greatly improved the instrumental part of the music. I have to give a special mention to the rythm section of bassist/keyboardist/backing vocalist (extreme vocals) Paul Mozart Björk and drummer Mads Solas who are in large part responsible for bringing the music to a higher level.

The production is excellent. Powerful and detailed.

"All Flesh is Grass" has taken me by storm. I wasnīt expecting to hear such a powerful and intriguing album from Madder Mortem. This is a deserved 4 star (80%) rating in my book and a very recommendable album if you prefer your female led metal a bit heavier, darker and intriguing than usual. Donīt expect to be blown away by complex playing on the album though. Dark atmosphere is the main attraction here. I have to make a note here that even though I mentioned extreme vocals before they are very, very sparse and people not interested in that kind of vocals should not be turned off by the very few times (and I mean very few times) they appear. While the extreme vocals may be sparse Madder Mortem still have more in common both musically and lyrically with the more extreme part of the metal scene than they have with progressive metal bands like Dream Theater or Fates Warning.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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