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Madder Mortem - Desiderata (CD)

Madder Mortem
by Michael Dalakos at 13 April 2006, 1:04 AM

One of the problems I am facing as a journalist in a Metal music related magazine is the plethora of material (music albums) I have to listen to, evaluate and write a report about. No I am not complaining to you about getting so many free albums. Heaven forbid! But seriously, how many Power Metal albums or Swedish Death Metal albums can a mind assimilate in a period of one or two weeks? From a point on everything sounds identical. So when an album with distinct personality crosses my path, at least I am happy to listen to it (even if I end up disliking it, that's a matter of taste anyway).
Originally named Mystery Tribe, they recorded a Demo back in 1993 titled Days In Sorrow, changed their name to Madder Mortem and recorded a Mini CD titled Misty Sleep in 1997. That CD was the reason for signing with Misanthropy Records who released their debut Mercury in 1999, unfortunately only to be followed by the end of the label and the loss of the contract. 1999 was also a bad year for the band for another reason, since three members departed. It took them a year to find replacements but in 2000 the band was again a full-pack and with a three-track Demo they signed with Century Media Records and released their second album All Flesh Is Grass in 2001. After a 23 day European Tour, the band got back in business and recorded their most known work up till today titled Deadlands in 2002.
Madder Mortem is one of those tricky / hard to categorize bands. Their music carries an elitist vibe. From the first moments it is more than obvious that this is not easily digestible music and that a lot of people will not understand the band's intentions. In fact this is a classic case of love or hate type of band. Their ability to fuse elements from several genres of music is remarkable but to some people this might even seem annoying. We don't see bands incorporating so many elements from radically different genres (from jazz to thrash metal) everyday without making a mess. As for the peak of the band, there are no second thoughts on this: Agnete M. Kirkevaag is a charismatic frontwoman that manages with ease to elevate her voice to the same level as the music of the band. The funny thing about Agnete, and I guess what's so distinct about her, is her ability to sound dramatic, operatic and harsh at the same time.
This is a treat for fans of music in general. I really don't see any point in comparing with other bands or other releases in general (apart from the rest of the same band's releases of course) and that makes me really happy. Invest without second thoughts. By the way, here's a small piece of trivia: Desiderata is the Latin word for Desire…

4 Star Rating

My Name Is Silence
Plague On This Land
M For Malice
The Flood To Come
Cold Stone
Agnete M. Kirkevaag - Vocals
BP M. Kirkevaag - Guitar & Vocals
Odd Eivind Ebbesen - Guitar
Tormod Langien Moseng - Bass
Mads Solas - Drums
Record Label: Peaceville Records


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