By: Lord Randall
MORK is Thomas Eriksen. And if black metal is even in the periphery of your musical world, you are familiar with the name. For nearly two decades Eriksen has been a force of might and misanthropy, even more impressive that he’s churned out now six full-lengths as well as four EPs by his loathsome lonesome all within the past ten years.
What sounds like your little brother’s dungeon synth project practicing in his bedroom soon enough is joined by mournful guitars, very near to doom in delivery, and suddenly the synth belongs there, seeming natural and fluid. Set alight and blazing, “Indre demoner” writhes as flames in the frigid wind, damned yet triumphal, and into “Forfort av kulden”, which already marks itself as a standout track on “Drypet”, mid-paced and magisterial.
Let us speak of Eriksen’s vocals for a bit. Of course, there are the expected shrieks, the cold pontifications one expects from most black metal of the Norwegian sort, which makes very many vocalists in the style throwaway at worst, functional as best. Where Eriksen,and MORK succeeds is in being recognizable amid, and possibly in spite of, the glut, as in “Et Kall Fra Dypet”. At 1:48, when that should-be-patented Tom G. Warrior “Unh!” shows up, it’s clear he’s aware of his roots, hailing without one shred of paltry irony. Come to think, there’s a lot of CELTIC FROST in “Et Kall Fra Dypet” to these ears..
“Bortgang” (‘Departure’) is almost balladic in its execution yet loses none of the intensity of what’s come before, the lyric “On all the world’s oceans / Under countless nights of stars / A flake in a storm of snow / I was there once.” opening, and closing after nearly six minutes of what can only be called black metal bliss with “They shed tears of grief / A drop in the trickling rain / Among their daily walks / I was there once.” Beautiful as sadness, forlorn as true beauty’s heart can be.
After a caustic, blazing “Avskum”, “Dypet” draws to an end with “Tilbake Til Opprinnelsen”, which does exactly what the closing song on any album should do, melding the best of what’s come before into one final, valiant cry. One of victory or defeat? That’s not for me to decide, so I leave it to you.