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Udåd > Udåd > 2024, Digital, Peaceville Records > Reviews > VladimirCokorilo
Udåd - Udåd

The raw and necro black metal sibling that is Udåd - 80%

VladimirCokorilo, May 14th, 2024
Written based on this version: 2024, Digital, Peaceville Records

When it comes to black metal musicians creating side-projects within the same subgenre, I always have very mixed feelings about it because they mostly end up sounding just the same as their main band/project, if not even worse or perhaps even less interesting. This trend just pisses me off most of the time, and that's why I avoid taking a look at those other projects because of all the aforementioned reasons. However, I have made a couple of exceptions in the past, mostly because they often involve a very respected and experienced artist who knows how to do things properly. Case and point is the Norwegian black metal project Udåd, founded by Thomas Eriksen of the band Mork, whose works I've adored for some years now. Despite being a part of the same tree, Udåd is an entirely different entity on its own, and we'll get to that in a second. The self-titled debut album Udåd was released on March 15th, 2024 via Peaceville Records, and although it has been a while since it came out, it's still worth taking a look and analyzing its being as a whole.

The musical direction of Udåd is a bit more raw and necro style black metal, which still carries the atmosphere and melancholy of Mork, although presented in a much more monotone fashion. Gloom, sorrow and agony flows through the shouting vocals, backed up by slow or mid-tempo riffs and drums, which create this somewhat distorted aura painted in black and grey. The songs themselves are executed in a way that they seem like individual chapters in a story where the protagonist is constantly tormented by his demons and constantly facing difficulties, while every song presents a different kind of emotion that the character is going through at a certain stage in life. Mork's latest album Dypet was certainly more focused on emotions than all of the previous works, however, there is no denying that Udåd has a much stronger emphasis on extreme feelings that dictate the flow of every song, as if it musically represents a downward spiral where every following track is a gradual descent into madness. The biggest difference in comparison to Mork aside from the overall black metal approach, is Thomas Eriksen's vocal style, who incorporates heavy shouting vocals as opposed to the traditional harsh black metal vocals which he often used. There is much more rawness and grimness in the overall sound, which could be characterized as a what if scenario where Thomas took the other direction on the road sign instead of the one that leads to Isebakke. If Mork was Theodor Kittelsen, then Udåd is Edvard Munch.

Songwriting-wise, the album is straightforward and one-dimensional in terms of the overall execution, without relying on dynamics but still leaving enough room to add melodies and guitar solos to make it more engaging. I personally had a bit of a hard time grasping Udåd as opposed to Mork which instantly hit me when I first heard it, mostly due to the drastic sound difference, but nevertheless, I still managed to let my thoughts go and just flow with the darkness and eeriness of the songs. I appreciate the fact that Thomas was trying to go for something slightly different and much more necro in terms of the overall execution, but what I appreciate more is the fact that he didn't just make a Mork 2.0 when working on Udåd, which is often the case of many black metal musicians with multiple projects that basically sound the same. Production-wise, the album has a very necro sound with the raw buzzsaw distortion on the guitars, which was engineered by Thomas Eriksen himself, while the mixing was handled by Jack Control of Enormous Door studio.

Personally, Udåd is strange at first glance, especially when you hear the first couple of songs, but once you get used to it, you are actually going for a pretty solid raw and grim black metal ride. I am not sure if this is just meant to be a one-off album that Thomas Eriksen experimented with just for the sake of trying something different, but I would actually love to hear more in the future, and hopefully it will be further expanded with more interesting ideas. If you are into bands like Mutiilation, but you also happen to like Mork as well, you should probably take a look at Udåd.

Written for www.Metalbite.com