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Madder Mortem - Mercury CD (album) cover


Madder Mortem


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.33 | 9 ratings

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4 stars The Norwegian answer to Opeth's 'Morningrise'?

Madder Mortem evokes quite an atmosphere here, not by doing long Opethian compositions or black metal rasps, but by the same frost-bitten guitars and wet drum sound as Opeth had on Morningrise. They also have that Nordic folksy vibe and must use similar chord progressions as they create the same sweeping and melancholic atmosphere.

I'm not much of a fan of female-fronted metal. It's mostly more interesting for the visuals then for the music. The Gathering and Stream of Passion are the obvious exceptions, but you also can't go wrong with Agnete here. Over the course of Madder Mortem's career her voice evolved into a very prominent and acquired taste, but here she keeps things very gentle and melodious.

I'm not sure if this would be the Madder Mortem album of preference for prog fans, certainly not for the tech/extreme metal fans. Madder Mortem evolved in leaps throughout their first 3 albums. Each one being very different. Musically the debut is adequate and brooding, be it not as challenging or technical or extreme as on later albums. But it's the mood that gets me, very melancholic, grey, subtle, eerie.

The album needs some growing but slowly and irreversibly creeps under your skin. All songs compete with each other to evoke the most upsetting psychological distress, the deepest yearning or the toughest desperation. Not all succeed equally convincing but for a debut, this album is a true revelation. Not their most proggy effort but their most touching one. Recommended to fans of the Gathering and gloomy funeral music. A slightly flattering 4 stars.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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