Madder Mortem - Deadlands

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:15:00

Madder Mortem is a melodic progressive metal band from Norway with female vocals which has released three discs to date - Mercury (1999), All Flesh Is Grass (2001), and Deadlands (2003).

On Mercury they play very melodic, slightly doomy gothic metal, similar in style to early The 3rd & the Mortal. There is some occasional crunchy gothic groove, but the song-writing emphasis is on beautiful melodies driven by clean guitar and excellent passionate, though laid-back, female vocals. All Flesh Is Grass presents a noticeable change in style from Mercury. The songs are still melodic, but now dark, heavy, crunchy and dynamic with a hard, somewhat angry edge, and the song-writing is much more progressive. The change in vocal style is even more dramatic. Agnette, their vocalist, delivers an unbelievably powerful, aggressive, passionate vocal performance, very reminiscent of Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane.

Deadlands is a continuation in style from All Flesh Is Grass, but is even harder, darker and angrier, with a significant increase in progressiveness and heaviness. The melodies are, as always, very pretty. They are driven by Agnette's vocals (and sometimes clean guitar), and she sings almost constantly. Underlying the melodies is a heavy, powerful, crunchy section of rhythm guitar, bass and drums, and the interplay of the rhythms against the melodies is fantastic. The rhythms are primarily busy, nicely complex and progressive, with frequent and interesting time and tempo changes, even a bit quirky at times. The bass is unusually tight and well-defined. Quite often they suddenly slow the rhythm down to just a simple, driving bass riff, which is remarkable for the darkness and menace they convey.

Agnette's vocal delivery is phenomenal in its power and passion, even more so than All Flesh Is Grass. She is one of the most effective and emotive vocalists I have heard and her ability to blend beautiful, soaring melodies with almost vitriolic anger and intensity is simply amazing. She perfectly captures the pain, frustration and shattered hopes of this dark and disquieting concept disc.

Madder Mortem is highly recommended to fans of dark, rhythmic progressive metal, especially if female vocals are a plus, as they are for me.

Similar to: Sinphonia

[This review originally appeared February 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Enter / Necropol Lit / Omnivore / Rust Cleansing / Faceless / Distance Will Save Us / Silverspine / Jigsaw (The Pattern & The Puzzle) / Deadlands / Resonatine

Agnete M. Kirkevaag - vocals
BP M. Kirkevaag - guitars
Eirik Ulvo Langnes - guitars
P?l Mozart Bj?rke - bass
Mads Sol?s - drums

Misty Sleep (ep) (1997)
Mercury (1999)
All Flesh Is Grass (2001)
Deadlands (2002)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NO

Added: January 17th 2005
Reviewer: Chris Mitchell
Artist website:
Hits: 952
Language: english


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