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Better than anyone would expect - 90%

Idrownfish, August 11th, 2010

The first work of a band is almost never extremely good; yet buying something from a band you have never heard of is extremely pleasant. It wouldn’t be weird to be excited about trying stuff out if half of the recordings from unknown bands that ended up in music stores were at least regular, but most of them simply suck. For unknown reasons, listening to something that could be simply awful is extremely exciting.

Turns out that not every band is terrible, and some are actually very good. Sometimes you can even find a real gem, a band that is so great that the fact that it is unknown is both unbelievable and unacceptable. Mork is a good example: Preposterous is their first EP, yet the production is great, the musicians are extremely technical and even the artwork makes everything sound professional.

Mork is not just your common black metal band. Actually, if you forget about their misanthropic lyrics and their artwork, you will see that they have more to do with death metal than with black metal: the songs are basically made of inhuman screams, massive growls and blast beats, while black metal is present in the form of some obvious Dimmu Borgir influence (which includes beautiful yet menacingly dark melodies brought to us by the guitars and the synthesizer). Everything is extremely creative, and these guys managed to create an identity for themselves and stick to it for the whole EP.

The vocals are not your average metal vocals either: while most death metal vocals sound like a dude with big, hairy balls that knows what he is talking about and while most black metal vocals focus on the high-pitched shrieks and snarls, Mork’s shrieks stay in the middle-high in terms of pitch and manage to sound like a moribund creature. The backing vocals, massive and somehow unique death growls, create a dark atmosphere that is at least difficult to reproduce. By the way, this album reminds me of The Arcane Order’s “In the Wake of Collisions”: The songs are all extremely fast, with almost omnipresent blast beats and beautiful melodies in the background. However, unlike in The Arcane Order’s recordings, we don’t get to see that much from all the musicians: the highlights are clearly on the (godlike) drums and the evil synthesizer.

Although every song has desperate shrieks, blast beats and more synthesizer melodies than usual, each song is different from the next one, which is a major selling point in death metal. The best songs of this album are probably the introduction, which is basically a choir with some violins and the synthesizer, and is one of the tensest death metal introductions I have ever seen, The Misanthropic, a pure symphonic death metal song with better lyrics than you would expect from a band that has barely started to write their music and Forbidden Flesh, a very nice song that grew on me recently (I can’t believe that I overlooked it in the first review that I wrote for this EP).

For me, Mork is one of the most promising bands around: their vocals are as good as shrieks go, they mix everything perfectly and they don’t disappoint during concerts either (although their concert during Marreco’s Fest sucked for more reasons than one). If they work on it, I am pretty sure that they will be able to create some of the finest black/death metal the world has ever seen. Their first full-length has just arrived (although they seem to be having some major problems in terms of distribution, since I couldn’t find it until today), and I am looking forward to buying it. This is an excellent EP, and I recommend it for anyone that is at least a little into death metal or Dimmu Borgir.