Madder Mortem
All Flesh is Grass


3.5
great

Review

by Voivod STAFF
October 3rd, 2010 | 10 replies | 5,144 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In their second album, Madder Mortem bring about a whole new musical aspect in their sound, highly attractive and original, yet not completely developed in every respect.

Things for Madder Mortem were not all too bright after the release of Mercury. Their record company was shut down and three fifths of the band left to pursue endeavors, with little or no relation to the music industry. However, the Kirkevaag family resisted decay and completed the band line-up from scratch. Two years after their debut, the band released its second album, All Flesh is Grass.

In most cases, big line-up changes have a profound effect on the way strings are pulled within a band and Madder Mortem's execution of All Flesh is Grass is no exception. The 90’s gloomy “laid-back” goth/doom musical persona, previously found in Mercury is almost completely absent, because the band brings about a whole new perspective in its songwriting ethics. The key difference lies in the nature of the guitar riffing, which is crushingly heavy, more energetically executed and almost “nu-metal” at times. Consequently, the energetic nature of the guitar riffing has a profound influence on both the rhythm section and the vocal performance. The songs are mid-tempo (a hybrid of energetic doom with nu-metal) for the most part with atmospheric passages or short outbursts interfering here and there, which give a pretentious progressive aura to the album.

The overall result is atmospheric metal that bares no resemblance to the mainstream ethics of the genre. However, there are certain flaws, such as the redundant repeating of refrains, while some really inspired riffs coexist with mediocre ones. Given the extended length of most of the songs, this situation can assess these songs as tiring to some listeners. Fortunately, there's only 2-3 examples of this at most. One other thing is that voice melodies may not seem so varied from song to song.

Each band member is fairly proficient in its duties (although not possessing any distinct technical virtue whatsoever), making the band sound real tight. The rhythm section is solid, as it avoids hanging in the balance during the course of each song. The two guitarists show that they really worked on their new riffing philosophy and they deliver on most part of the record, except for the aforementioned inspiration issues. Last but not least, vocalist Agnete Kirkervaag. The presence of her melodies swaying in the background throughout the atmospheric parts of the songs is remarkable, and juxtaposes well with her vigor and force when the songs build up in tension.

The sound production is a huge step forward for the band. Everything on All Flesh is Grass is loud and clear. The bass is audible and the sound of the drums is natural (no triggers). The electric guitars sound extremely heavy (almost nu-metal at times) when things go wild and clear as spring water during the atmospheric parts. Agnete’s vocals are fairly high in the final mix and they are given the appropriate depth.

All in all, in their second album, Madder Mortem bring about a whole new musical aspect in their sound, which is highly attractive and original, yet it feels like it’s not completely developed in every respect. However, they are worthy of all possible praise, since they were not afraid to change their sound from its foundations, while rejoicing the somewhat stagnant waters of atmospheric metal.


Recommended songs:
Breaker of Worlds
The Cluster Children
Turn the War On
Ten Times Defeat



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2010



5910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Breaker of Worlds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksXCr7DRZmw


To Kill and Kill Again:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mut6h0j7RUc


The Cluster Children:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKv1bL-i0A8&feature=related


Ruby Red:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UDWFBWMn7g


Turn the War On:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bobzwzUOjvY


Chambers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMe9HPi3Xjs&feature=related


Ten Times Defeat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIth_XmUzsk&feature=related


Traitor’s Mark:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0c2ypOPqZE&feature=related




Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

Darkvoid67
October 3rd 2010



383 Comments


Nice review. Only thing I would say is that some of the sentences read a bit like an instruction manual

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2010



5910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i understand what you mean.

In order not to write run-on sentences, i went to the other extreme and wrote extremely short ones in some paragraphs.

perhaps i will edit later today.

thanx for the feedback.

Scrambled
October 3rd 2010



391 Comments


Good review, pos'd, had to re-read the final sentence a couple of times (did you mean "sound from its foundations *while* rejoicing the stagnant waters of atmospheric metal"?) great album name as well hah

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2010



5910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yes you are right, i will correct.

Jethro42
October 3rd 2010



12375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Band sounds great, good review Voivod.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 3rd 2010



5910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ Jethro42

Did you listen to the YouTube links?

indeed it is a great band.

this album is an abrupt transition between their debut and their next album Deadlands, where the transformation they attempt here is complete in total success.

i will review their next 2 albums in time.

Jethro42
October 28th 2010



12375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hell Yes, out of those you rec'd, both 'Breaker of Worlds' and 'The Cluster Children' rule hard.

fireaboveicebelow
December 24th 2011



6837 Comments


In most cases, big line-up changes have a profound effect on the way strings are pulled within a band and Madder Mortem in All Flesh is Grass is no exception. Reword to "and Madder Mortem's execution of All Flesh is Grass is no exception."

This energetic nature of the guitar riffing entrains consequently Entrains is not a word.

The songs go mid-tempo (a hybrid of energetic doom with nu-metal) for the most part, The songs "are" mid-tempo and also you don't need that comma.

However, there are certain flaws. In certain songs, the refrains are repeated over and over, while at others some really inspired riffs coexist with mediocre ones. Combine: "...certain flaws, such as refrains being repeated over and over.." and replace "while at others" with "or some really inspired".

Fortunately, these songs are 2-3 at most. Reword to "Fortunately, there's only 2-3 examples of this at most.

One other thing is that voice melodies may not seem so varied from song to song. You should keep this sentence with the other sentence that talked about vocal issues.

Commenting on the performance of the band members, The clause after this infers that you're commenting on their performance, remove this bit.

The two guitarists show that they really worked on their new riffing philosophy and they deliver on most part of the record, You could move this back to where you discussed the riffs earlier...actually a lot of this could be moved to after the second paragraph so as to tie these ideas better with those in the second paragraph as they're related.

Her performance is very good.How good? Better than before? You comment in the next sentence that she's remarkable so try to add something else to make it less redundant.

The presence of voice melodies lying in the background, while she sings throughout the atmospheric parts of the songs, is remarkable. The other clue is the vigor and force with which she performs when the songs build up in tension. I would definitely reword this: "The presence of her melodies swaying in the background throughout the atmospheric parts of the songs is remarkable, and juxtaposes well with her vigor and force when the songs build up in tension."

I can tell from the writing you really appreciate the band. Don't be afraid to be a bit more subjective in that you can try to sound less rigid and more loosey goosey as it were, it will entice more readers to want to feel that way and listen to the album, which is the point of a review. You're making an argument, sell it. Good job.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2011



5910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanx for the feedback, i followed most of your suggestions.



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