posted on 3/2006 By:
Heavy Norwegian black metal with evidence of bloody death metal smeared on the walls...
As is certainly popular of black metal today, Mord (Norwegian for 'murder') began as a one-man project, with all duties falling squarely on the shoulders of multi-instrumentalist, Nordra. He released a demo in ’01 before adding blazing drummer, Necrolucas (I’m dying to know if this guy’s real name is Lucas), to the roster in ’03. In 2004 they released a vinyl only demo on Southern Lord, which received very positive feedback from the black metal community. Christendom Perished, the duo’s first full length, essentially picks up where the 2004 demo left off, combining elements of Immortal, Gorgoroth (especially in the vocal delivery), and latter era Marduk. It’s a well produced, heavy black metal album with elements of death metal riddled throughout its entirety.
What makes this album impressive is the level of sheer ferocity achieved by each song individually. From track one to track eight the listener is relentlessly pounded by a barrage of surprisingly heavy riffs, drill-press bass lines, seething vocals, and competent, warlike drumming. The sound is clear and well produced, but not too polished or precise, and as I mentioned earlier, Mord are not afraid to drop a death metal cleaver into your head between razor-guitar slashings (check out the hacking riff 45 seconds into “Opus II”). Each song follows this exact formula…and therein lies the album's greatest drawback – repetitiveness – an element which certainly works for the more meditative factions of black metal, but in the case of Christendom Perished, an album that’s obviously built to obliterate, it stands as more of a hindrance. The songs are strong and true on their own, but when strung together there’s not enough variance to the formula to really pound the album deep into your skull. Compounding this matter is the addition of a very similar sounding sample at the end of each cut - a sort of a “blood-stained machine prepping for chopping” intonation that finally crescendo’s into spinning saw blades before the final (and strongest) cut of the album. I understand Mord’s decision to use such samples to escalate the murderous atmosphere, but combining similar sounding samples to 8 already similar sounding songs, only serves to intensify the album's repetitiveness.
Despite the drawback I pointed out above, fans of black metal will likely enjoy Christendom Perished, especially when taken in smaller doses. The guitar work is solid, the bass work is outstanding and the atmosphere is definitely intimidating. If Mord would have added a few more distinguishing elements to further diversify the songs, this would have been a great release, unfortunately, because of its repetitiveness, it falls short of being anything more than just ‘good’.
All things considered, I’m definitely quite interested to see what Mord has to offer us in the future. They certainly seem to be standing on the verge of becoming one of black metal’s heavy hitters.
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