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Madder Mortem - Eight Ways CD (album) cover


Madder Mortem


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.15 | 21 ratings

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usa prog music
4 stars At first listen, Madder Mortem wasn't an easy band for me to describe and it hasn't gotten any easier over time. Right from the opening notes of Eight Ways, it shouldn't be hard to figure out that it's... well, hard to figure out just what kind of band Madder Mortem is. Maybe they don't really "fit" any definition. Sure, there are metal moments, but there are also portions of the album that are more like rock, some alternative, some jazzy, some folk-ish and some that I really don't quite know exactly where they are on the musical landscape. I think the only comparison I can sort of make is to Faith No More. Yes, two very different bands, but each does have a kind of approach that's their own and branch out from that, sometimes making huge leaps while doing so. That said, I think Madder Mortem is simply their own kind of band. Nothing wrong with that. Agnete Kirkevaag's vocals help keep it all together. She's not operatic, she's not a screamer (well, okay she does do a bit of that, but not to the point of shrieking), a grunter or anything we're not used to hearing from a woman. Her voice has a sort of friendly, accessible quality to it. Really, I'm kind of at a loss as how to put it, other than that she's got a good voice and knows how to put it to use. The band is more than competent, offering up some impressive bites, but I didn't hear any clear indication of just how much they're really able to unleash. Some things caught my attention, but not a whole lot stood out; just more of a general impression overall. I hate to say it, but if you're looking for something in particular in your music, you may end up a bit disappointed. Madder Mortem is one of those bands that you should try to listen to beforehand before snagging this album on impulse or because of what may have been said about it. Eight Ways is a good album, but it's not for everyone. However, if you don't mind taking a trip with a few changes of scenery, it should prove to be an enjoyable listen that grows on you over time. I found "A Different Kind Of Hell", "Get That Monster Out Of Here" and album closer "The Eighth Wave" to be the best songs out of the bunch, but there are moments in the other songs that make the album as a whole worth a listen; "Riddle Wants To Be" and "Life, Lust & Liberty" got a few more repeats than most of the remaining songs did. It's one of those kinds of albums: easy to like, harder to fall in love with. I have to admit, this was my first exposure to the band, Eight Ways being their fifth album. For what it's worth, it won't be my last.
usa prog music | 4/5 |


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