Madder Mortem - Red in Tooth and Claw

Madder Mortem Red in Tooth and Claw cover
Madder Mortem
Red in Tooth and Claw
Dark Essence Records
You have to give it up to a band like Madder Mortem for even existing almost two decades later. Moving away from their doomy roots to a pretty trippy but also quite heavy, but not lead heavy prog that psychs the funk out, they’re really friggin hard to put into a category, or even fully appreciate.
Opener, “Blood on the Sand” is very typical of their style as it has come to be these days and comes complete with piercing agonized and overdriven wails from their frontwoman Agnete M. Kirkevaag (whoever manages to read her name twenty times out fast and loud, wins absolutely nothing at all, but it must quite the task) during the chorus. Blissful… not!
They continue their mad waltzes with stuff like “If I Could”, which however mellows down considerably – with only the guitars being the odd, mad part here, as they buzzsaw against some rather calm singing, until almost the end. Gosh, do these Norweigians have a way to make you feel uneasy or what?
“Fallow Season” sounds like a Garbage tune, if garbage were on LSD. And a doom band.
Pitfalls” is caught in the conundrum between “mad” overdriven drivel and more placid moments.
While, “All the Giants are Dead” just reassures you quite positively that you’re tripping.
“Returning to the End of the World” is a jazz-saw Armageddon hymn in doom minor...
“Parasites” continues like clockwork in the noisiest and annoying fashion. Damn it must take a unique type of aby-normal to appreciate these rumblings! Don’t you think so?
“Stones for Eyes” is almost normal in comparison, the mild down, after the trip… and “The Whole Where Your Heart Belongs” maintains a calm and soothing character, despite its small sudden eruptions.
Lastly, “Underdogs”, at seven and a half minutes, sounds like quite the nerve wrecking nightmare, but is somehow quite easier to fathom than I anticipated.
Well, If you’ve kept up with the band, you know almost what to expect and you’ll probably appreciate the band’s unique and unconventional approach. Otherwise… oh well you’ve been warned. What they do is not gonna be everyone’s cup of tea (with a ton of LSD and a twist of lime), but I sincerely doubt they really care much…