Rating:
8.5
Madder Mortem - Eight Ways
18 May 2009


01. Formaldehyde
02. The Little Things
03. Armour
04. Resolution
05. A Different Kind Of Hell
06. Riddle Wants To Be
07. Where Dream And Day Collide
08. The Flesh, The Blood And The Man
09. Get That Monster Out Of Here
10. Life, Lust & Liberty
11. All I Know
12. The Eighth Wave


Nowadays, it's hard to find original bands… but if you're looking for champion, I mean THE real champion, Madder Mortem is here for you! Please just tell which other band is able to mix Metal with Jazz with a fantastic female singer… No really Madder Mortem is a real innovative combo and each new album follows this rule. If you liked their last releases, you'll love their new one "Eight Ways".

Madder Mortem is not a newcomer but some of you probably still don't know how they can sound. Their music is a beautiful mix of Jazz and Metal. This is not aggressive but cool, with a really nice atmosphere which will remind you the one of a classy Jazz club. I like a lot "Eight Ways", this release is just a synonym of the word "class", the songs are all beautiful, the rhythmic are pure jazzy lines, this is maybe a bit "intellectual" if you see what I mean but really if you think that you can enjoy something which is cool and jazzy and can turn into Metal some minutes later, it will be perfect. The great thing here is that the album just sounds crazy, it goes in a dozen of different directions, the structures are absolutely not linear and basic, this is pure Prog but not classic Prog Metal… "Eight Ways" is a beautiful album which is sublimated by the voice of Agnete M. Kirkevaag and which simply features great ambiances.

Yes, I know that bands with female vocalists are not trendy anymore but I have to say one more time that with Madder Mortem, we have something different of all the other symphonic and gothic stuff that we could listen to in the past… Agnete M. Kirkevaag is a wonderful singer with a unique voice. I know that some people find it disturbing but obviously she has a lot of charm and her tonalities are just unique. Just add that the CD is featured in a classy digipack, well that's just great...

"Eight Ways" is original, Madder Mortem is original, its members are original musicians etc etc etc… You see what I mean? "Eight Ways" is a good release and if you like the band you'll not be disappointed by this really deep album. Other people won't maybe not be attracted at first by the album because this is clearly not easy of access but if you think that you can stand Jazzy Prog Metal, this is clearly a must.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: Madder Mortem
Album: Eight Ways


 


written by Jeff | 07.06.2009



Comments

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annodomini - 07.06.2009 at 16:52  
At last I was waiting for this review. Well, Jeff, you gave "Desiderata" 8 for songwriting, so i guess this deserves at least 9 But all in all it's a good review. "Eight ways" sounds some kind of Retro. Oh how I love this album. There are no words to describe what they have done with this new masterpiece.
Isserggie - 07.06.2009 at 19:01  
Well, I thought this album would obsess me a little more, but it was nearly impossible to beat masterpieces like Deadlands and Desiderata. Anyway, it is excellent. I love again their originallity, the strength, that asymmetric songwriting, that versatile voice... everything.
silenius - 08.06.2009 at 09:37  
Sounds like something that would fit my taste perfectly, love jazz, love metal:D.
Black_Handed - 08.06.2009 at 12:16  
Well i heard them live in 2007 on a festival and vocals were so bad that me and my friend had to leave, we just couldnt stand it anymore. it terrorized our ears that much. it happened only with them. so you say she might have had just a bad day?
annodomini - 08.06.2009 at 13:14  
Sol isten to an album. If you still think that vocals are annoying, than it's not you cup of tea, but if you enjoy them, maybe that means that MM are bad live vocally (Which i am afraid off).
Black_Handed - 08.06.2009 at 13:20  
Written by annodomini on 08.06.2009 at 13:14

Sol isten to an album. If you still think that vocals are annoying, than it's not you cup of tea, but if you enjoy them, maybe that means that MM are bad live vocally (Which i am afraid off).


yup thats what i want to do.
the vocals were so off you cant possibly imagine. she seemed like a humorous dropout from those "Idol" contests.
we werent alone who left because of it. ive seem like 50% of all audience to leave in terror.
annodomini - 08.06.2009 at 13:24  
Written by Black_Handed on 08.06.2009 at 13:20

Written by annodomini on 08.06.2009 at 13:14

Sol isten to an album. If you still think that vocals are annoying, than it's not you cup of tea, but if you enjoy them, maybe that means that MM are bad live vocally (Which i am afraid off).


yup thats what i want to do.
the vocals were so off you cant possibly imagine. she seemed like a humorous dropout from those "Idol" contests.
we werent alone who left because of it. ive seem like 50% of all audience to leave in terror.


I was thinking about it because they are making so less live performances. Well if it is true its really sad. But however, she sounds perfect in releases.
ylside - 08.06.2009 at 13:48  
A new Madder Mortem. and Jazz ? Must check !
Mr. Doctor - 08.06.2009 at 14:52  
Quote:
Please just tell which other band is able to mix Metal with Jazz with a fantastic female singer…


Diablo Swing Orchestra.
Yeah, not the same music at all. But they also add a lot of jazz and other stuff. And also with a crushing female singer that make Tarja look like a amateur at best.

But back to this band. Wow, what a "warm" voice. Really amazing stuff. The music is inteligent and... damn I can't think of another woman who sings like this one. The music alone is great but... not amazing. I think that if they had another vocalist this band would be quitew average for me. But the singer makes up for it
annodomini - 08.06.2009 at 20:26  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 08.06.2009 at 14:52

Quote:
Please just tell which other band is able to mix Metal with Jazz with a fantastic female singer…


Diablo Swing Orchestra.
Yeah, not the same music at all. But they also add a lot of jazz and other stuff. And also with a crushing female singer that make Tarja look like a amateur at best.

But back to this band. Wow, what a "warm" voice. Really amazing stuff. The music is inteligent and... damn I can't think of another woman who sings like this one. The music alone is great but... not amazing. I think that if they had another vocalist this band would be quitew average for me. But the singer makes up for it


Well D:S:O singer is not so original, she is just operatic singer The more i listen to Eight Ways, the more it blows me way. The same was with Desidearata, which i still count the best album i have ever heard. The songs from 5 to 9 area musical miracle. And just listen to Formaldehyde rythm and melody...

Oh and also please add The BEst Cover Design nominee for MS awards. I believe we have the winner
Derwood - 09.06.2009 at 04:36  
After reading this review, I had to give this a listen. I don't generally care for female vocals; probably less than 5% of my music collection features female vocalists; but this album is amazing. It's been a while since I've put on an album from a band I've never heard before and been completely captivated by it. I couldn't have lost my focus listening to this if I had wanted to.

It's not likely to see heavy rotation in my CD player, but when I'm in a mood for an album that will completely absorb my attention, this will be on a very short list of albums that fit the bill.
Mr. Doctor - 09.06.2009 at 10:02  
Written by annodomini on 08.06.2009 at 20:26

Well D:S:O singer is not so original, she is just operatic singer


Maybe for you, but I see a lot of originality in her not-operatic vocals on let's say the beginning of "Wedding March For A Bullet" and also the male vocals kick ass.
Maybe the singer from D:S:O isn't original, but her quality is beyond most of the so called operatic singers that get more attention they deserve.
annodomini - 09.06.2009 at 10:07  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 09.06.2009 at 10:02

Written by annodomini on 08.06.2009 at 20:26

Well D:S:O singer is not so original, she is just operatic singer


Maybe for you, but I see a lot of originality in her not-operatic vocals on let's say the beginning of "Wedding March For A Bullet" and also the male vocals kick ass.
Maybe the singer from D:S:O isn't original, but her quality is beyond most of the so called operatic singers that get more attention they deserve.


I agree cause I am enjoying her vocals a lot. And her vocals arebetter for me than Simone's for example.
Mr. Doctor - 09.06.2009 at 10:16  
Written by annodomini on 09.06.2009 at 10:07

I agree cause I am enjoying her vocals a lot. And her vocals arebetter for me than Simone's for example.


We agree on that. I think it was my mistake to talk about D:S:O here sincethey are doing their own thing
Ag Fox - 10.06.2009 at 18:38  
Written by annodomini on 08.06.2009 at 20:26
Oh and also please add The BEst Cover Design nominee for MS awards.
I'll second that
Fat & Sassy! - 12.06.2009 at 22:43  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 09.06.2009 at 10:02

Maybe the singer from D:S:O isn't original, but her quality is beyond most of the so called operatic singers that get more attention they deserve.


I'm just going to second that. Oh, and I think a big (no pun intended) reason why she doesn't get a lot of attention is because she isn't exactly a thin female with a pretty face. As fucked up as it is... I would assume it's true.
kj - 17.06.2009 at 07:57  
1. If you like to listen to female fronted bands just because they have pretty singers, then do yourself a favour and buy a copy of Playboy instead. What the hell does appearance have to do with anything when it comes to making good music?

2. This band doesn't play a lot of gigs, so perhaps if her vocals we bad live, it could be that she wasn't that seasoned at doing live shows or didn't have enough time to rehearse.

3. Also another reason for singers to sound out of key live is if the monitoring is bad, and if they can't hear their own intonation vs. the rest of the band's playing. If you listen to the record she can obviously sing, and one bad live show doesn't change that.

4. This is a excellent record for those who have the musical listening ability to understand and appreciate it, but in the end, it might just be too complex for the average listener to appreciate. So when they said "Madder Mortem are special, do you deserve them?" they should rather have said "Madder Mortem demands a lot from their listeners, so perhaps this album is just above your brain's capability to process..."

So if you're just another average metal head, sorry - this album is way out of your league...
dismaleuphony - 18.06.2009 at 00:14  
Written by Guest on 17.06.2009 at 07:57

1. If you like to listen to female fronted bands just because they have pretty singers [.... .... ] this album is way out of your league...

Great post by the way.

I have seen numerous bands over the years that my friends/companions were wholly disappointed in, yet I was impressed by. Mainly because they either cannot appreciate certain styles of singers, or cannot ignore a poorly adjusted sound system. As someone who's never seen MM, and only youtube clips, I've been very impressed with what I've seen. One of the reasons I consider Agnete (and MM) one of my favorite bands and am most passionate about is because she puts her all into her singing, and, unlike so many classically trained or traditionally referred to as "naturals" as singing, she works hard to push the limits of the female voice in metal, and isn't bound by singing rules and structure that so many female singers fall into.

Also, Agnete is what I'd love to see more in metal as female singers. Someone who possesses a true metal spirit throughout her singing, the lyrics, and her interviews, and doesn't have all this time wasted on her image. I'd rather spend a good night out talking and drinking with Agnete anyday that some of the other popular (no matter their talent level) singers in metal, because of the personality she displays. An immense level of intellectual and personal appeal trumps beauty anytime for me.

And about the review of course: great one MM's music and appeal is hard to pinpoint, but you've given a new listener enough intrigue to check them out. And this really has to be the best artwork for an album to me in many years. Quite possibly my favorite poster (that I got with the pre-ordered album) on my wall now!!
BudDa - 22.07.2009 at 16:59  
This album is simply one of my fav releases this year. Funny, I had never heard of Madder Mortem until I read this review. Nice review Jeff!
Fritillaria - 08.04.2012 at 11:38  
This band is so different of the other female fronted which use females to sell more, not at all, Agnete vocals' ability is so special and I really admire her for that. This album have got very original song writing the first time that I listened to this album I just pushed the play button and went to lie in bed because there was something in my mind like meh it's another female fronted band with gothic atmospheric stuffs repeating the other bands music and they try to use a female voice and beauty to sell more so I rather lie in bed while they're playing maybe I got to sleep in the middle of the album, but suddenly in the middle of the first song I jumped out of the bed to my chair for listening to it more carefully !!! and checking all of their other works. It was such a shock for me cause I heard something very different and specific from them.
Fritillaria - 08.04.2012 at 11:45  
Written by dismaleuphony on 18.06.2009 at 00:14

Written by Guest on 17.06.2009 at 07:57

1. If you like to listen to female fronted bands just because they have pretty singers [.... .... ] this album is way out of your league...

Great post by the way.

I have seen numerous bands over the years that my friends/companions were wholly disappointed in, yet I was impressed by. Mainly because they either cannot appreciate certain styles of singers, or cannot ignore a poorly adjusted sound system. As someone who's never seen MM, and only youtube clips, I've been very impressed with what I've seen. One of the reasons I consider Agnete (and MM) one of my favorite bands and am most passionate about is because she puts her all into her singing, and, unlike so many classically trained or traditionally referred to as "naturals" as singing, she works hard to push the limits of the female voice in metal, and isn't bound by singing rules and structure that so many female singers fall into.

Also, Agnete is what I'd love to see more in metal as female singers. Someone who possesses a true metal spirit throughout her singing, the lyrics, and her interviews, and doesn't have all this time wasted on her image. I'd rather spend a good night out talking and drinking with Agnete anyday that some of the other popular (no matter their talent level) singers in metal, because of the personality she displays. An immense level of intellectual and personal appeal trumps beauty anytime for me.

I firmly agree with that
annodomini - 23.03.2013 at 23:22  
And so 4 years have passed, and still I foung new things. It's the structure. I realised this just now. The whole album is full of unusual war love songs and apocalyptic anthems. But all "doom" songs are building up the atmosphere through the album, till it reaches the doomsday on Eight Wave. I mean its just amazing when you realize it.

There's a man far from here who made sure to stay well clear of taking hold or letting go, always choosing not to know
But then his bridges burned
Sometimes still he stops and turns, listening to open skies for broken words and severed ties

And I believe that wordless call he hears sometimes could reach us all

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