Madder Mortem - Marrow review

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Band: Madder Mortem
Album: Marrow
Release date: September 2018

01. Untethered
02. Liberator
03. Moonlight Over Silver White
04. Until You Return
05. My Will Be Done
06. Far From Home
07. Marrow
08. White Snow, Red Shadows
09. Stumble On
10. Waiting To Fall
11. Tethered

If you're familiar with Madder Mortem by now, you're probably tired of hearing how unique and hard to pin down genre-wise they are. But I'm gonna say it anyway.

Madder Mortem are unique and hard to pin down. I think I made that clear. Every time I listen to their music, I do sometimes get a sense of "Aha, Madder Mortem are this genre", but their approach to writing music is so varied and multifaceted that it feels neither straightforward nor like a blend of other things. Usually when bands are less conventional, they're mixing different genres, either homogeneously or chaotically jumping from one genre to another, but in around 20 years of musical career, Madder Mortem have never sounded forced or gimmicky.

Usually the challenge with bands such as this is that tags won't do them justice. As of me writing this, the band is tagged as both avant-garde and gothic metal, which aren't necessarily wrong, but it still feels like they're lumped where they don't really belong, but that would be an issue with any tag one could attach to Madder Mortem. You could pinpoint moments that sound like jazz, ones that sound like folk, ones that sound like prog metal. It is as true with Marrow as with their previous releases. And while the band's sonic identity runs through all of them, Marrow strives to perfect the balance between heaviness and beauty, a balance that has existed in metal for quite a while. Madder Mortem have always favored the latter, and it more often that one that is explored to its fullest depths, but this is also one of the band's heaviest albums.

Heavy is used here as quite a relative. Madder Mortem never really flirted with extreme metal, so other than a few occasional screams, stuff like growls or blasts or chainsaw guitar tones isn't what makes Marrow heavy. It's rather both the emotional heaviness of Agnette's voice and the progressive metal-inspired instrumentation. While the latter can feel a bit straightforward at times, it never sacrifices impact for show-off. And the emphasis on bassier sounds does make a lot of the riffs feel more chuggy. Agnette's sultry voice is less sweet and less strong than of some other singers', but she more than makes up for it with how passionate the performance feels, as opposed to effortless.

Sorry if it feels like I was repeating the usual Madder Mortem talking points, but the passionate vocal performance, the balance between heaviness and beauty, the great songwriting and the chameleonic layering of the music have been fairly consistent in their discography. While this does make Marrow feel less distinct, their approach to music makes it not feel like a tried rehash, the way a gimmicky blend or a disjointed musical Tourette's would eventually feel after seven albums. Instead...


Written on 13.12.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 80 users
13.12.2018 - 12:28
Yes, Madder Mortem are a seal of quality at this point.

Great description of their music, I agree for the most part.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.

My Instagram
14.12.2018 - 17:33
Bad English
Great band, I didscover in my early days in online time, in whit many good bands there. That was time when i decide go deeper from swomps and party, but stick in internet whit music, MA; MS and so on, 13 years in action and it stil goes. I would say if I would listen this band now, i would hate it but its good, its my roots and also some kind nostalgia about that time. I like it
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
19.12.2018 - 17:01
Production is good but vocal is too same with famous James Dean Bradfield of mainstream band, Manic Street Preachers unfortunately...

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