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MADDER MORTEM - Desiderata


Those in the know have been aware of MADDER MORTEM’s unique brand of Norwegian metal for years now. Desiderata is another stimulating and interesting album that clearly distinguishes the band from their “female-fronted” peers who have become more tired or commercially viable with time. Though firmly rooted in progressive avant garde metal, MADDER MORTEM continue to evolve their sound with the injection of heavy grooves, the occasional thrash riff, and a direct song writing approach. Desiderata retains that familiar gloomy tone minus the monotony and has a fresh, modern feel to things. The glue that holds the band together is undoubtedly charismatic vocalist Agnete M. Kirkevaag. Foregoing the cheeseball ploys of other female metal vocalists, Agnete lets her voice ring out with power, clarity, and emotion. Agnete’s performance is a reminder that pure talent can eclipse cheap gender-based marketing strategies. Utilizing a tasty and interesting array of riffs that cross over into many genres and eras of metal and rock, the songs retain their edge with the intelligent use of various dynamics. Also, the songs never lose that MADDER MORTEM-character even with all of the various genres that are implemented into the album. All in all, Desiderata is easily MADDER MORTEM’s best album to date and ranks as one of the more interesting and original albums of the year. (Peaceville Records)