Mork return with full-length studio release number six, Dypet, follow up to 2021’s superb offering Katedralen, delivering yet another icy blast of sensational Norwegian Black Metal.
Mork – Dypet (Peaceville)
Release Date: 24 March 2023
Words: Jools Green
“It is with great pride that I am able to present and experience the release of my sixth full-length album,” band mastermind Thomas Eriksen said. “I put every single drop of myself into the process of shaping Mork’s music, perhaps even more so with this new album. As the album title, which translates to The Deep, something from the depths has been brought to the surface, Dypet was inspired by my life over the last couple of years, the thoughts, feelings, passion and the evolving of creative free will. Dive in and let yourself sink into the abyss.”
Although unmistakably Mork, Dypet is completely different to Katedralen, the atmosphere is eerier, and vocal growls dominate rather than the mix of rugged cleans and growls. Instead of focusing on a hard dark guitar-driven sound, which this time is more melodic, he has skilfully pushed the boundaries further with new ideas including delving into the world of analogue synths. Although it is an instrument popular for adding a warm, rich character to a sound, here it adds more of a rich haunting quality, bringing an extra touch of unnerving eeriness and roundness to the still icy mood of the Mork sound.
Opener Indre Demoner builds in evocative increments, developing into a superbly haunting melody which repeats across the track and complements perfectly Thomas’ icy vocals with their superb inflection and intonation. It is made all the more powerful by Norwegian lyrics, the language of Black Metal, but you don’t need to understand the words, just feel the mood and the atmosphere from the delivery. The riffs are blackened and catchy, rising and ebbing in intense waves. An utterly superb track that leaves you wanting more.
Forfort Av Kulden keeps the icy mood with a howling wind and an icy vocal roar as it begins. Another piece with a superb haunting melody as it opens but the direction shifts, and it becomes a hypnotic pounder of a track, with the melody returning towards the close.
Svik is as superbly atmospheric as it is dark, soaring with ease and fluidity, whereas Et Kall Fra Dypet takes your mind to darker, deeper places. An intense dark offering, with an unnerving quality, with Thomas’ vocals taking on a raw rasping urgency as they tear through the pounding rhythms. A complex track that is full of dark twists and turns.
Hoye Murer features a special guest appearance from Hjelvik, the former singer of fellow Nordic legends Kverlertak. Haunting and reflective to open but building rapidly into something a little darker and more pummelling, again with a haunting melodic element coursing through most of the track, Hjelvik’s additional vocals add extra depth to the overall vocal sound.
Bortgang is dark, intense and haunting, with intriguing directional twists. It does have a melodic side but with a bleak feel. The penultimate piece Avskum pulls you right back into the here and now as it opens on a blood-curdling scream. It’s got a dark groove and packs a punch too. When the sound drops back through the mid part of the track, it becomes even more sinister.
The final offering, Tilbake Til Opprinnelsen, is a superbly haunting piece, with the synth playing a very pronounced role. But between synth passages, it’s a dark, driving beast with a powerful acerbic vocal delivery.
I love the eerie album artwork, once again created by David Thiérrée. His third collaboration with Mork is inspired by the album’s theme of Draugen/Cthulhu, as the inspiration behind the album’s title track lies in H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos but with a Nordic twist. Using the Norwegian coastline as its setting, the artwork illustrates a mysterious cult that now worships the ‘Draugen’ (a mythical sea ghost in Norwegian lore), paying homage to the sea-dwelling beast of Cthulhu. However, Dypet is not a concept album but is filled with themes of hatred, death, betrayal, inner demons and misanthropy, so massively appealing to all fans of Black Metal.
Dypet is yet another superb album from Mork. Every track is a stunning work of art, engaging, atmospheric and well-written, conjuring a myriad of images in your mind as you listen.
It will be available as a CD (Digipak), limited edition silver-coloured vinyl LP in a heavy-duty gatefold sleeve, black LP in a heavy-duty gatefold sleeve or digital download, all of which are available to pre-order here: https://mork.lnk.to/dypet
Hand-signed copies of both the silver and regular LPs will be available exclusively at the Mork band store. But fans will need to be quick to secure one of these in-demand items.