Så kom mørket...

Written by: RUB on 12/03/2019 09:32:15

Usually you hear about the difficult sophomore album when a band’s début has been through the roof. In this particular case it is only half true, however, as the band in question made an impressive entrance onto the Danish metal stage with their 3-track EP, “VI”, containing a very powerful and atmospheric take on black metal back in 2017. Now, two years later, they’re back with their first full-length with the highly unusual album name, which comprises the titles of all of the 6 tracks present on the release. Now, with more tracks to lean on, it was always going to be interesting to see which route Morild had chosen for their proper introduction. Would it be of the more black metal-oriented or the more atmospheric-oriented style? And most noticeably of all: would it be as unusual as the title of the album would suggest?

After a lengthy and ambient first track, which serves as a mood setting intro, the album begins for real. “En sort sky af minder” (“A Black Cloud of Memories”) explodes in your face right from the first chord, and instantly takes me back to the aforementioned EP. This track underlines the band’s way of utilizing ambiance in their colossal soundscape, which was also what first made the band pique my interest. When compared to the EP, I’d say the record is a more atmospheric and progressively structured piece of music — in fact, much more so. This is both good and bad, as it makes the album unnecessarily stretched, as what could probably be a huge success in the live setting just seems like filler on the album at times. I understand that this is done to create a mood and atmosphere for the entire idea behind the album, and although my thoughts regarding this may sound quite negative and gloomy, it goes get better.

By the third track, “I afgørende stunder” (“In Essential Times”), I detect a return to the sound of their EP. This grandiose track has more space to truly unfold so that one can really feel its progressive nature. It is a song about despair and grief, and comes with an overall bleak soundscape (a general feeling throughout the entire album), only broken by soft ambient samples that help underline the build-up it contains. Again, however, I feel like a little too much time is used to drag and stretch out the track in an unnecessary way — something I never experienced on the EP despite the lengthy nature of those tracks, mind you. At last, the first major climax arrives as the track leads into “Frosset fast til mit indre” (“Frozen Stuck to My Inner Self”). This almost shoegaze-like post-black metal piece sees the vocals fall into the background to become a distant echo in the otherwise gloomy soundscape. This is again broken by light riffing and samples of a soft choir, and when the ambient atmosphere finally collapses in a vortex of a climax with a minute left of the song, I can only imagine how a venue will explode when this song is aired live. Tracks like this, featuring an intense and progressive build-up, are what makes Morild an act to truly admire and behold.

The next song, “Jeg håber det forsvinder med lyset” (“I Hope It Disappears with the Light”) is a direct juxtaposition to the former track, as it leads in with quiet acoustic guitars in a silent intro to the final show of force Morild have to offer on this album. Again, it has to be said: a build-up like this, spanning almost 5 minutes in length, is for me too much time to spend rolling out a song, and I cannot see what those 5 minutes did that 2 minutes of the same would have done less effectively. “At dø eller blive fri” (“To Die or Become Free”) concludes the album in a fitting, uplifting manner, which gives the listener the feeling of being set free, as the title suggests. The electronic ambience used to set the atmosphere for this final track is strangely fitting, adding to the colossal soundscape that Morild slowly but surely build around their name. To me, this is probably the highlight of the album (next to “Frosset fast til mit indre”), bringing a final climax an atmospheric album like this needs to conclude with.

When all is said and done, “Så kom mørket…” should really be heard, experienced and witnessed in its entirety — just like the band did when they played an exclusive and unique show at the Danish national aquarium as part of their release show, which, according to our writer LL, was quite the experience. Picking and choosing one or two songs would give a false impression of the album, as the many prolonged, ambient and progressive elements I’ve (admittedly negatively) mentioned in this review would be put in a completely different and more positive light when experienced in a single, unified manner. I can thus only urge the listener to really listen to the album, laid back on a couch with your eyes closed — the album demands attention and time to fully appreciate. That said, however, I still feel like too much time is spent creating the build-ups with atmosphere and ambiance, especially when the band showcases how to truly make it right on a song like “Frosset fast til mit indre”. This might be a matter of taste, but either they should’ve included an extra track with the same amount of power as they did with the songs on the “VI” EP or they should’ve shortened some of the tracks in the process. I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed by “Så kom mørket”, as that expression is way too negative in this context. This album certainly is something else when compared to the EP (which, by the way, was very hard to surpass in my book), and if given the attention and time it demands to unfold you will be rewarded.

Download: At dø eller blive fri; Frosset fast til mit indre; I Afgørende Stunder;
For the fans of: (older) Alcest, Deafheaven, MØL, Solbrud
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.02.2019
Indisciplinarian Records

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