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Meuchelmord – Mordmelodien Award winner

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 01 March 2021, 6:54 AM

MEUCHELMORD is a German black metal band who formed in 2011. In a very short amount of time, the band behind the project, Cernunnos, has put many albums under this blackened leather belt with "Mordmelodien," being the seventh full length album. Before receiving this promo, I had never heard of the band before and now I'm kicking myself.  Simply put, "Mordmelodien," is a stellar example of how to do raw, traditional black metal in a modern, exciting way.

As I said, it definitely has a raw feel to it, especially with the vocals and drums.  However, the high production values offset that—so the album is powerful and underground but also a clear and concise listening experience. And how about the double bass? Absolutely thunderous. Turn this album up in your car and those bass drums will shake it apart. It could be argued they are too up front in the mix but it is hard to complain when they make the album sound so robust and filling.

The vocals are exactly what I want in this style of black metal too. Cernunnos has that classic blackened shriek but it isn't shrill but instead throaty and full. The guitars have that famous black metal speed but unlike many other traditional bands, the same notes aren't playing over and over again. There isn't anything worse than hearing a black metal song that never changes chords and just drones. Thankfully we don't get that here—plenty of riffs to pummel and pulverize are contained within this nine track, 42 minute long album. Also, that is a good running time for this style as well. It sounds satisfying but doesn't leave you tired or drained when the last seconds in.

"Der Tod naht," begins with a choir that fades off and then the storm hits hard. The song is intense but not overly—this is black metal that doesn't deliver meaningless extreme but instead delivers these razor sharp edges with skillfully done song writing. The song well put together with good flow even when the temp speeds up. The riffs retain an atmospheric sound throughout. "Schwarzes Ehrenfeld" starts with a great scream, hammering drums and riffs that have a decent groove built into them. The guitar solo is a nice touch as it comes out from behind the riffs naturally. The double down on the drums complimented the passage well, and helped the song move forward.

"In Ketten" is one of the album's highlights.  I love the slower, more methodical approach this song takes. The song does speed up right before this sudden melodic section that gradually builds back up to to the original tempo. A very well organized and put together song. "Monument" is another slower dirge and as the title would suggest, it is a towering song. The riffs are just dirty enough to add a layer of grime to the blackness. The song as a whole has a cryptic, dangerous feel to it. Towards the end, the drums get it up a notch as do the vocals and it burns hard to the end.

Considering I went into this totally blind and I'm not the biggest fan of straight forward black metal, this really surprised me. A standout release to get a good jump start on the genre for 2021.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Der Tod naht
2. Waffenweihe
3. Schwarzes Ehrenfeld
4. Treibjagd
5. In Ketten
6. Dem Ross zur Wehr
7. Alter Geist
8. Monument
9. Totenkult (Ad Mortem cover)
Cernunnos - Everything
Record Label: Purity Through Fire Records


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