The region of Hedmark, in the eastern part of southern Norway, is a land of lakes and fields and dark fir forests, of golden, tranquil summers and snowy, silent winters. This landscape breeds stubborn, earthborn people. To an outsider, they may seem docile, but beneath the surface there’s a will and a strength of heart that’s just as unmovable as the hills. They will not show off, will not protest, but they will simply put their heads down and do exactly what they wanted to, in their own time and their own way.
This is the soil from which Madder Mortem springs. Both band and members are born and raised in Hedmark, and the view from their rehearsal room is not concrete and streets, but fields and trees set against a quiet lake. There’s nothing urban about Madder Mortem. Just like the land it stems from, the music is organic and earthy. It resounds with the sweat of hard work, and with the tongue-in-cheek view of life of those who know who they are and where they come from. It’s caressing, it’s chilling, it’s outrageously cheeky and dead serious. It’s groovy, it’s melodic, it’s clever and it’s open-hearted, but most of all, it’s music made for music’s sake.
Madder Mortem started out in 1997, and “Eight Ways” is their fifth album, following “Mercury” (1999), “All Flesh Is Grass” (2001), “Deadlands” (2003) and “Desiderata” (2006). They’ve done two European tours, with Opeth in 2003 and with Tristania in 2001, and festivals such as Brutal Assault in Czech Republic, Popkomm Berlin in Germany, Yuletide Metal Meeting in Northern Ireland, Conmusic in Mexico, and the Norwegian festivals Inferno, Southern Discomfort and Quart, among others.
“Eight Ways” was recorded out in the calm of the countryside during the summer and fall of 2008. The album was recorded, produced and mixed by Madder guitarist BP M. Kirkevaag, mastered at Maor Appelbaum Mastering(The Mission, Samael, Stephen O´Malley). The 12 songs are unmistakably Madder Mortem, travelling through a wide array of musical landscapes. You will detect traces of tango and shuffle beats, death metal riffing or folk music tonalities, but the main focus is as always the song. The soundscape is meticulously textured, allowing room for both the grand gestures and the minute details.