Dypet by MorkRelease date: March 24, 2023
Label: Peaceville Records
Legendary Norwegian black metal force Mork has spent the past 18 or so years carving a grim path with tundra-sized riffs and the unrelenting, ice-blasting nature of his music, becoming a revered name, yet one still lurking quietly in the shadows. Mork‘s music is swathed in eerie, mesmeric power and backed by stellar riffs from sole recording member Thomas Eriksen. His sound has evolved over the years and that’s never been more evident than on new album Dypet, a work that truly diversifies his output and allows Mork to transcend into something more darkly nuanced.
6th full-length Dypet is a loose concept album. Translated to ‘The Deep’, the album takes a chunk of inspiration from Norse mythology, in particular the legend of the Draugen, the colossal, seaweed-draped spirit of a dead fisherman that haunts the Norwegian coastline. Dypet has the macabre and cinematic grandeur of the ghastly Cthulhu-like legend and the depths of the ocean itself.
Icy winds and grating, melancholic guitars usher in opener ‘Indre Demoner’ before sombre riffs sweep you into the tracks black n’ roll core of punky kicks and punchy bass pulses. There’s something effectively twisted in its atmosphere. The magnificent ‘Forfort Av Kulden’ begins suitably cold allowing instruments to build to a more vibrant bounce but quickly dissappears into pure pensive beauty and an emotive midsection that’ll evoke chills down to your bones. The rhythmic drum hits, the frosty tremolos, the sharp, jarring guitars and moving solos all make this a true masterpiece in black metal emotion. Who says the grim can’t tug the heartstrings?
‘Svik’ is driven by its infectious riffing, sparkling with brightness yet frostbitten and grey. Ferocious ‘Et Kall Fra Dypet’ hits off the bat with harsh guitarwork but evolves into prog dissonance and a chilling, desolate midsection. The bleakly doom-laden ‘Hoye Murer’ features insidious, dissonant riffs that are bathed in melancholy but melodic enough to bring sparks of bright emotion through each harsh guitar note.
Eriksen once again shows his talent for riff writing on ‘Bortgang’ as discordant tremolos call out and immediately colour you in mournful hues. It’s in the final moments where those riffs are elevated, ending especially powerfully with so much passion poured through those high notes, transforming them from depressive to hopeful. Dirtiest track ‘Avskum’ bruises with rumbling guitarwork and quaking bass as drums bash along to a black n’ roll groove, adding a nice upbeat contrast that isn’t gratingly harsh. Closing song ‘Tilbake Til Opprinnelsen’ flits between scything blackened metal and blackgazing euphoria with its use of analog synth sending blastbeats and fiery tremolos skywards into the cosmos.
6th full-length Dypet continues to evolve Mork‘s sound, touching on some progressive elements suggested on previous releases and the smart use of analog synths, which completely transforms the final track from straightforward grimness to something with shimmering intricacy. Regardless of additions, which only make Mork‘s music even greater, you still get the embrace of winter’s chill as well as the bite of misanthropy in every note.
Dypet is still Mork through and through but distinctively different from previous album Katedralen‘s more caustic and trve vibe, with far more mid-tempo moments and a wave of emotion permeating riffs. As mentioned, Eriksen’s prowess for songwriting is outstanding and the riffs here are especially the star, drawing you into Dypet‘s immersive depths.