The low-fi fire of a buzz-saw like atmosphere, chilling and evil as it echoes out at you, is a staple for Black Metal philosophy. To sound so inherently evil and so inherently 'other' that the word: 'atmosphere', is importantly intrinsic to this Extreme Metal genre. Many recent Black Metal bands have incorporated many aspects of other genres; Folk Metal, Symphonic Metal, Ambient Metal, Death Metal. At times this has taken things a step into areas far removed from the roots or even Black Metal itself. This has led to many remarks of metal elitism. Black Metal has never died out and even if you dispute some bands, there will always be those that brings things back to this idea of the low-fi crackling evil guitar atmosphere. Enter Mork.
Mork have enjoyed a moderate success under Black Metal circles. Their fourth album, Eremittens Dal, is their third in three years. Mork, are like early Darkthrone with an early Satyricon style vocals. This album remains fairly consistent in energy as the guitars gently spread evil and the drums send chilling reminders of live music esque recordings.
We keep things fairly traditional and only occasionally break into some unexpectedly symphonic melodies. These moments are quite welcome amongst the carnage and chaos. It’s a little like similar moments in Darkthrone’s Soulside Journey. ‘Et Rike I Nord’ is one of the best examples of this. Despite this, the album falls into repetitiveness with only a few saving evils. Tracks like ‘I Enden Av Tauet’, ‘GraveCI’ and ‘I Hornenes Bilde’ keep an energy and rhythm that keeps the punishment interesting.
Mork are by design hitting at an atmospheric evil that wants their music to be only for a few. It is a misanthropy that reflects a disinterested and cold relationship to a consumer. So the way songs bleed into each other and meld as if in a trance, captivated by a distant sound of people crying out in fear, feels intentional if not too distinguishable. It isn’t to forget the moments that do ring out. When the album starts to pick up and take direction, it reflects the true powers of its influences – in tribute. This does have a tendency to fall on its own ambitions. A lot of Black Metal finds itself wanting, wanting to be a part of this evil music. This runs the risk of forgetting that Black Metal is by its implied definition, experimental and progressive. So where do albums like Eremittens Dal lie? Who knows… It is for Black Metal fans a worthwhile listen for one or two of its tracks but can almost immediately allow itself to fall into the background with the rest of them.