I am following Madder Mortem since a few years, when I read a review claiming that Madder Mortem is a prototypical love ´em or hate ´em band. This tickled my interest immediately and made me delve in their discography. Eight Ways is their fifth full length album.
Madder Mortem, their music is hard to describe. It has bits of gothic, melodic death, doom and alternative in it. This is one of the reasons that Madder Mortem isn´t for everybody. Another reason is the distinctive sound of the vocals of Agnete. She has a very distinctive sound varying from hysterical screams to soft whispers and everything in between.
The atmosphere on Eight Ways varies from haunting and desperate to more optimistic and hopeful. Songs like ´Formaldehyde´ and ´Armour´ are exact opposites of each other, but both are highly recommended! ´Formaldehyde´ characterizes itself by a constantly switching between complete utter madness and a more haunting like atmosphere, while ´Armour´ is more melodic with an almost fairytale-like atmosphere. Both are great songs, but you have to be an open minded listener, if you want to handle the constant variation on this disc.
I also want to compliment Mads Solas with his excellent drumwork. Because of the constantly shifting of pace he didn´t have a easy task to accomplish, but he did one hell of a job. But despite the excellent musical performance of all the musicians, it is the vocal accomplishments of Agnete that attracts the most attention and rightfully so. What a great singer she is, she keeps amazing me time after time!
With Eight Ways Madder Mortem has made an excellent album. There aren´t many albums that I have reviewed for Metalrage that made this big of an impression. This is a must-have!