There's a lot more to Norway's metal legacy than chromatic chords and Varg Vikernes's prison underpants. The country's history of really, really weird heavy music is something that gets discussed far less than its corpsepainted exports but has had no less of an impact on its cultural evolution. Oslo fivesome Madder Mortem is a wonderfully multifaceted example of that Norwegian tendency towards strange musical experiments; on their new album, Red In Tooth And Claw, the progressive metallers explore all manner of heavy sounds, and lighter ones, and epic ones, and electronic ones—they're impossible to categorise or cut down into easily digestible genre tags. You just need to listen—and we recommend doing so below, where we're streaming the album in its entirety.
This marks the band's first full-length outing since 2009's acclaimed Eight Ways. Of this album (and the band's return), vocalist Agnete M. Kirkevaag told Noisey, "We've been away for seven years. It's been a long wait, both for you and us, but we're back, and back with a vengeance. Like always before, we've made an album that represents absolutely nothing except exactly the music we want to make. We want to make music that is different. We want to make music that assumes that the listener is too smart to accept stale, second-hand ideas hidden in non-threatening commercialist packaging and production.
We want to make music that demands your attention, that you have to invest in to understand, but that will keep giving you something fresh on the tenth and the hundredth listen. We want to make music that is true and real and living, that freaks you out or thrills you, that you love or hate, but that will never leave you indifferent. That's what Red In Tooth And Claw is about to us, and what we hope it will be about to you as well. Pay your dues to howl with the underdogs!"
Kim Kelly is staying strange on Twitter.