MADDER MORTEM, the progressive metal band from Norway after almost seven year of absence finally returned with a brand new album entitled “Red In Tooth And Claw”. Even though MADDER MORTEM is one of the most underrated Norwegian bands, the whole album was outstanding and really promising about the band’s future.
Giving a good listen to the album throughout the end, someone can get really confused about the band’s music genre. From the grooving rock opening song, “Blood On The Sand”, to the metal one, “If I Could” followed by the stoner-like “Fallow Season”. But the genre and style change doesn’t stop there. The album features the ballad-like “All The Giants Are Dead” followed by the “Returning To The End Of The World” featuring a sneaky bossa nova rhythm, enforcing the groove elements. The diversity and constant change of style was impressive. Even though almost every song follows a really different music style and different structure, somehow, they all have the same feeling, the same MADDER MORTEM sound.
Complementing the variation of playing styles, Agnete’s singing style is impeccable. Agnete proved once again that she is one of the most underrated singers in the metal scene right now. Not only she has an extremely good vocal range, but she was able to shift from one music genre to the other with total ease. From clean vocals to growls and screams, her singing was fitting perfectly to the different occasions. Apart from her singing skills, the vocal melodies, even during the verses, were profoundly catchy forcing you to sing along. Combine all these with the weird voice effects and the well-fitted backing vocals and the result is something exquisite.
“It was a stunning effort MADDER MORTEM made here and it is definitely an album that you can pick up without knowing anything about the band’s past.”
Nevertheless, the album had a few drawbacks. Most of the opening songs were the albums finest, making the rest of the album appear less good, but that wasn’t the case. Most of the songs that followed after the “Fallow Season” were pretty good, but none of them could really compare to the first four. What was really frustrating though, was the fact that, even though both, guitars and drums were amazing, they were a little bit lost behind the vocals. Maybe it is the way the songs are structured or the power of the vocals, but unfortunately I couldn’t recall many of the guitar riffs or solos and every time was like listening them for the first time.
Concluding with MADDER MORTEM’s latest album, the positives cancel out totally the drawbacks. The whole album was so full, with different structured songs, bridges, melodies and different music genres that I would need at least five more review to cover it fully. It was a stunning effort MADDER MORTEM made here and it is definitely an album that you can pick up without knowing anything about the band’s past. It was like the band’s fresh start and it was definitely a good one.