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Madder Mortem - Biography





In the beginning Madder Mortem was formed in 1993 as Mystery Tribe, and recorded the demo "Days in Sorrow". The name was changed to Madder Mortem, and in January 1997, the MCD "Misty Sleep" was recorded. The result was mailed around, Misanthropy Records reacted and the debut "Mercury" (X-ray Studios) was released in February 1999. "Mercury" was well received, but sadly, Misanthropy decided to close down, which left the Madders with neither company nor contract.

In 1999 Christian Ruud (guitars), Boye Nyberg (bass) and Sigurd Nielsen (drums) left the band to pursue educations and other pastimes. This was naturally a setback, but after some time Agnete and BP found new musicians. Eirik Ulvo Langnes (guitars), Pål Mozart Bjørke (bass) and Mads Solås (drums) joined the band. All former acquaintances, the new members fit in perfectly.

In December 1999 Century Media got in touch. The Madders promptly got to work, and in January 2000 a new demo was recorded (Space Valley Studios). This demo, containing three of the "AFIG" songs, saw the Madders turn in a new and heavier direction. Century Media received this demo exclusively and Madder Mortem became a CMR band. Madder Mortem's second album, "All Flesh Is Grass" (Studio Underground, Sweden) was released in February 2001, with cover art from former guitar player Christian Ruud. Reviews were very good, and the aggressive and driven music lent another face to Madder Mortem.

In September/October 2001, Madder Mortem supported Tristania, Rotting Christ and Vintersorg on a 23-date European tour. Returning back home, the Madders started writing again. Studio Underground was re-invaded in May 2002, and after a hard-as-hell period of three weeks, "Deadlands" was born. It is darker and groovier than its predecessor, but also shows even more sides to the Madder face. Music, lyrics and cover art (by Christian) was developed together, and the conceptual whole is a bleak but organic monster not fit for the faint of heart. "Deadlands" was released 21st October 2002. The End Records licensed it for the US, and on 11th February 2003 the band had their first album release in the US.

In February and March 2003 Madder Mortem supported Opeth on the European leg of their "Deliverance" tour. A chance like that doesn't come often, and the reason for it was Mr Åkerfeldt's personal interest in the Madder music. The band had 6 fantastic weeks on the road with a band that have mastered both musical and social skills, and are very grateful to the Opeth guys for this opportunity. In addition to going all over Western Europe, the Opeth tour also brought them to the UK shores for the first time, for a total of 33 gigs. The Madders also played the Inferno festival in Oslo, Southern Discomfort was next, and the band finished with several more Norwegian gigs, amongst others supporting The Kovenant in Hamar.

Madder Mortem were then asked to do a festival in Mexico City, and despite none of the band's luggage arriving in time for the performance, being in Mexico proved to be quite an adventure for the pale Norwegians. The return to Norway brought some big changes in the Madder camp. Paul announced his decision to leave the band just after returning from Mexico, as he wanted to concentrate on his young son (something hard to do while playing in a very active band). This disruption also led to the musical disagreements within the band crystallizing, and as a result, Eirik left the band shortly afterwards.

The band started looking for new members again, and, having had such success with recruiting friends the last time, they again scrutinized their circle of friends. Odd Eivind Ebbesen was a very natural choice for guitarist. He'd played in Mystery Tribe, and also with BP in Chopworm, and is a very able musician, both on the performing and the writing side. He'd also been a long time friend and the band's webmaster. For a bass player, we went to another friend, Tormod Moseng. He'd also played with BP and Mads in various projects, and he actually stepped in for Boye for the Misty Sleep release party. The timing couldn't have been better, since he had just finished his education and was looking for a serious band commitment. When Tormod also enthusiastically accepted, we had in a couple of weeks solved the problem which we were dreading would set us back for months. A couple of gigs in Norway served to give the new members their "baptism in fire".

The band went outwardly pretty quiet for a while, and had previously decided that they'd stop playing live for some time to concentrate on the next album. The band's followup was finally released in 2006. "Desiderata" made its mark on Peaceville Records this time around, and the band released a videoclip for the album's opener, "My Name Is Silence."

Madder Mortem has now returned in 2009 with their fifth album, "Eight Ways," which again features the conceptual artwork of former bandmate Christian Ruud. "Eight Ways" was recorded out in the calm of the countryside during the summer and fall of 2008. The album was recorded, produced and mixed by Madder guitarist BP M. Kirkevaag, and mastered at Maor Appelbaum Mastering (The Mission, Samael, Stephen O´Malley). The 12 songs are unmistakably Madder Mortem, travelling through a wide array of musical landscapes. The listener will detect traces of tango and shuffe beats, death metal riffing or folk music tonalities, but the main focus is as always the song. The soundscape of "Eight Ways" is meticulously textured, allowing room for both the grand gestures and the minute details.

To support the release, a video for "Armour" was made, as well as a fully 3D animated video for "Where Dream And Day Collide," courtesy of Christian Ruud.