Hailing from the birthplace of black metal, Norwegian black metal project Mork continues to spread winter’s unforgiving chill more than a decade into its active career. “Dypet” is this solo act’s sixth full-length album, and the sixth to be released in the last decade. Mork was formed in 2004 by Thomas Eriksen as a side project, but upon the positive reception of debut album “Isebakke” in 2013, the artist has continued a steady stream of releases and live performances. Mork has also been featured on numerous compilation records, including compilations by its label Peaceville Records, and also participated in two splits. Eriksen is still Mork’s sole driving force, but he has recruited multiple musicians for live performances, and is no stranger to featuring guest musicians onto albums.
Mork is not entirely true to the first wave of black metal, but the style unmistakably has its roots in this defining extremity. “Dypet” has distinct growth from Mork’s last studio album, 2021’s “Katedralen.” There is modernity and touches of doom throughout this most recent offering, these slow- and mid-tempo movements defining “Dypet” and creating its ominous atmosphere. This style gives Mork a hypnotic allure, a sense of calm, as though the listener were bathing in late-stage hypothermic bliss. The grim embrace of winter begins with opening track “Indre Demoner,” a moderately heavy foray into the abyssal depths that await. This descriptor is appropriate, as “Dypet” translates to “The Deep,” a reflection of the all-consuming mood that Mork portrays with each gloomy note or sorrowful riff.
The energy level increases as chaos blooms in “Forfort Av Kulden.” This track picks up the pace with a strong opening hook, and the vocal power from Eriksen truly shines here. Eriksen’s screams are the most notable feature on any Mork album, as his tortured howls mesh effortlessly with abrasive riffs, and the oceanic depths of “Dypet” begin to take shape. The album proceeds naturally and comprehensively, with strong tempo changes and smooth transitions found in “Svik” and “TilbakeTil Opprinnelsen.” Past critics have alluded to black ‘n’ roll influences in Mork’s work, but this latest effort seems to have forgone those same elements, leaning more heavily into classic extreme metal inspiration. The dissonance and echoes that carry throughout “Bortgang” are a strong example of Mork’s present stylistic leanings.
Another highlight of the album is Hjelvik’s feature on “Hoye Murer.” The track is accented by an instrumental interlude, further elevating Hjelvik’s vocal talents. “Hoye Murer” contains both the fury of a storm and the tenderness of sunrise over fresh snow. It adds a melodic touch to an otherwise harsh atmosphere, and it is positioned perfectly in the overall flow of the album. Varied track lengths also play in Mork’s favor, with a long opening sequence and the seven-minute “Et Kall Fra Dypet,” as well as the more compact “Avskum” and “Svik.” Even where some atmospheric passages tend towards monotony, “Dypet” propels the listener forward with certainty. This is a determined album that does not overstay its welcome.
For listeners seeking pure, sulphuric black metal, Mork is not the answer. Rather, this modern iteration of black metal calls to those who prefer their despairing laden with doom-driven influences and carefully orchestrated gloom. There is nothing revolutionary about “Dypet,” but it is consistent and calculated, and a good offering from the modern black metal scene. Eriksen’s passion is obvious in his execution, as is the skill in his vocal and guitar talents. Primal moments fit alongside polished interludes, and its experimental aspects mesh well with the traditional elements, technical prowess as a defining feature. “Dypet” is well-balanced, if not a somewhat unconventional work of revivalist black metal, but it remains another solid effort from Eriksen and a fitting addition to the Mork discography.
Release Date: March 3rd, 2022
Record Label: Peaceville Records
Genre: Black Metal
- Indre Demoner
- Forfort Av Kulden
- Et Kall Fra Kypet
- Hoye Murer (ft. Hjelvik)
- Tilbake Til Opprinnelsen
Order “Dypet” HERE
Grim and gloom drag the listener into Mork’s abyss as this black metal act offers up its latest round of sonic darkness. “Dypet” welcomes winter with open arms, and beckons others to surrender to its depths.