The first official day of Spring was earlier this week, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t remember that just a few weeks ago the Northern Hemisphere was mired in frigid temperatures and snow. As such, it was really the perfect time to just stay indoors, light some candles and put on the newest record from one man musical project MORK.
MORK is a Norwegian black metal project created by Thomas Eriksen in 2004. Dypet is MORK’s sixth record and it’s one of the best black metal records I’ve heard so far this year. There’s a lot to really love here and MORK fans are going to be stoked once they get their cold, frost-bitten mitts on this record.
The riffs on songs like “Et Kall Fra Dypet” are intoxicatingly cold and bleak. Eriksen demonstrates yet again why he’s the master of the caustic tremolo guitar. And it’s not just the riffs themselves that really draws the listener in here, it’s how Thomas recorded it, as he plays everything on the record and handled the production side of things as well. You can hear the picking of each respective guitar in the mix.
Speaking of grimness, “Hoye Murer” is just what I was looking for. Featuring Hjelvik (ex-Kvelertak) on guest vocals, the interplay between the two is just masterful. Hjelvik channels some early Hoest in his performance and the sonics really take me back to the Bergen scene in the early 2000’s. If I could liken it to any particular music of that time, I’d have to say this song is akin to something Helheim might have created in their more formative years.
There’s a little bit of speed Dypet with the black and roll inspired cut “Avskum.” There’s a little bit of groove here which is nice contrast to some of the more traditional black metal tracks the precede it on the record. The bass has a bit of a gallop and it mixes well with the uptempo percussion. Of course, in typical black metal fashion there’s a time change in the middle of the song that offers some diversity and texture.
If there’s anything I don’t particularly care for on Dypet, it’s the first track, “Indre Demoner.” It’s not a bad song, in fact, many folks will enjoy it, but it’s a bit too melodic for my taste. I really wish there was a different opener that was a touch more grim – more in line with the rest of the record.
For me, it’s the second cut on the LP that really opens my eyes. “Forfort Av Kulden” is ugly and harsh on the vocal but elevated just a touch with some rock melody and rhythms. There’s also a middle section that’s acts as the perfect soundtrack for those cold winter nights out in the northern Norwegian woods.
The closer on the record, “Tillbake Til Opprinnelsen” has some analog synth in it to give some unique sounds to the hypnotic-oriented track. It’s another risk that MORK takes and frankly, it pays off. MORK is able to keep one foot firmly planted in that early True Norwegian Black Metal motif while simultaneously stepping a bit of bounds with the other one and making the overall sound novel and unique. That’s the real brilliance here.
Dypet is a must have for your black metal collection. Leave no doubt.
MORK’s Dypet comes out on March 24 and is currently available for preorder via Peaceville.
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