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Deadlands is the Norwegian quintet’s third album and their first album to see a proper U.S. release. Over their ten year existence, MADDER MORTEM have succeeded where many bands have failed by releasing three albums that bear little resemblance to each other (or anyone else for that matter) and that truly create something original. Lead singer, Agnete Kirkevaag deserves a lot of credit for giving the band its unique, distinct voice as she alternates between whispers and screams (often in one short breath). Her brother, B.P. and fellow guitarist, Eirik Langnes provide plenty of thick, driving riffs to keep the headbangers happy. Musically the band runs a gamut of styles ranging from the metallic crunch of “Necropol Lit” and “Jigsaw” to the dissonant doom and gloom of “Faceless” and “Silverspine” to the progressive textures of “Distance Will Save Us.” All of this provides the perfect soundtrack to Agnete’s tales of darkness and depression. Yet despite the overall somber mood of the album, the songs somehow seem to offer some form of strength and acceptance for the dark, bleak journey that lies ahead. (The End)