Unlike the music I usually review Madder Mortem’s album Eight ways does not fit well into any single genre. It is definitely top-notch Rock but I can’t adequately compare them to any other band. The reason for this is that they started out playing Death/Doom Metal but have slowly drifted towards emotionally centred Hard Rock. Exotic yet familiar, experimental yet accessible, chaotic yet disciplined.
At the centre of Madder Mortem’s sound is lead singer Agnete Kirkevaag. At the drop of a hat she can switch from a soft melody to abrasive screaming or anything in between while still sounding completely in control. This sets the bar for the rest of the band who meet it perfectly. At the same drop of a hat they will switch from a gentle melodies, reminiscent of King Crimson’s Jazz phase to heavy chords sounding a little like a cross between Korn and Gojira.
The not so good
One aspect of this album which may put other people off is just how abstract the lyrics are. Small phrases sound intriguing and Agnette’s passionate delivery makes it clear she cares about the subject but I honestly don’t have a clue what even half of these songs are about.
Furthermore there are a few songs sound too similar. Armour for example is a good song but the one that immediately follows it isn’t particuarly different. This is a nitpick though, most of the songs stand out as unique creations of a unique band.
Eight Ways is a truly underrated album. It packages the virtuosity and experimentation of Extreme Metal and Progressive Metal into songs that will appeal to fans of radio friendly, main stream Hard Rock without sounding like anything else. If you are at all a fan of any of these genres this is a must have album.
Purchase from either: