Mork – Eremittens dal (Peaceville)Thursday, 12th October 2017
Really, the whole purpose of Mork releasing their third album, Eremittens dal, on Peaceville is to conjure up feelings of nostalgia when Darkthrone was the label’s prized black metal band. Once Fenriz and gang made the conversion from Stockholm-inspired death metal (see: Soulside Journey) to unbridled black metal starting with A Blaze in the Northern Sky, Darkthrone, along with Mayhem and Emperor, led the second wave of black metal charge. In the process, they inspired countless bands, some who would follow in their wake, or, pop up a few decades later, like Mork, the band led by multi-instrumentalist Thomas Eriksen.
It’s almost too easy to connect the dots from Eremittens dal to any one of Darkthrone’s seminal albums, but it’s ripe for the taking. Eriksen employs a similar guitar tone; you know, that buzzing-like-a-million-bees tone, one that works like a snap when you’re trying to combine odd chord shapes and tremolo picking. Eriksen certainly makes due with it, driving it home on “Holdere av fortet” and “I hornenes bilde,” sounding every bit as 1992 as one could imagine. His compositions aren’t terribly complex, even if some are a tad long-winded. But it’s not until the semi-climatic “Et rike i nord” that any sort of personality starts to form, whether it’s because of flute ornamentations or not.
Indeed there’s a fair amount of nostalgia for those golden, but tumultuous Norwegian black metal days. It will never happen again, that’s for sure, which explains the need for bands like Mork, who really don’t possess much of their own ideas, but sure do a fine job of combing every last nook and cranny of Darkthrone’s albums for inspiration.