Mortem – Ravnsvart27th September 2019 0 By Mark Booth
MORTEM released their demo ‘Slow Death’ back in 1989, it was a glimpse of the cold, harsh, bleak brutality they have to offer. Alas, although they never split up, the members went there separate ways with Marius Void and Steinar Sverd Johnson who would be instrumental in the avant-garde black metal scene by forming ARCTURUS. While the other member would be Hellhammer who has been crushing the black metal scene with his bleak and brutal drumming with MAYHEM (and other numerous bands such as ARCTURUS, COVENANT, TROLL and even DIMMU BORGIR).
So 30 years after their inception MORTEM have released their debut album, “Ravnsvart”, upon the unsuspecting masses. Having recruited 1349 bassist, Tor Stavenes, to round out the group, MORTEM have now come full circle from their demo and become a black metal super-group.
Peaceville will unleash the cold harsh blast of black metal on 27th September and fans of the second wave of black metal should rejoice. “Ravnsvart” is a slab of diabolical symphonic Scandinavian black metal the way it is meant to be (and was like in the 90s). Harsh, Brutal, Cold, Demonic, Ferocious, Atmospheric but yet mystic and enchanting. What MORTEM do extremely well (as did EMPEROR, early DIMMU BORGIR, early ARCTURUS, GEHENNA, CARPATHIAN FOREST) is that they don’t let the keyboard dominate the sound. Instead they are like Charon and lead the listener to the bleak aggression that awaits them, the leader of the nefarious atmospheric overtures that shepherd the unexpected listener to the darkness to unleash the callous savagery lurking in the cold snow covered forest.
(Charon was/is the ferryman of souls across the river Styx and Acheron in Greek mythology, a little lesson for you!).
Some trve kvlt black metallers will be put off by the production as its to “clean” and will scoff at the polished release. However that will be their loss as this is a sharp, piercing cold savage slab of symphonic black metal. Although it isn’t ground breaking, it’s a refreshing hark back to the original sound of the second wave of black metal. Maybe this will be the only release from MORTEM and if so they have released a solid, ferocious black metal album (I hope they release another album, or EP, but maybe not leave it 30 years!)
SCORE – 8.5/10
3. Blood Horizon
4. Morkets Monolitter
5. Truly Damned
6. Demon Shadow
7. Port Darkness
8. The Core
27th September 2019
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About the author
Devotees and followers of the Cult of Cletus, I am your true God and my word is law! I come forth to spew daemon loving music at your ears and to corrupt your little mind. My words maybe harsh but I want only the best for my minions! So when I discover a new deadly spawn of music take heed and purchase...