Review: Morild – Så Kom Mørket…
What a bummer.
I’d say the question of whether or not “blackgaze” is a fad has been settled. Like it or not, it sure doesn’t seem like the genre is going away again any time soon. That leaves the question of where to take the genre from here. One thing is certain: Morild‘s debut brings on the proper sadboi vibes, but does it offer something beyond that? Before we dive in, let’s have a look at the peculiarly long album title. While it looks ridiculous spelled out in one go, arranging it in lines reveals not only a poem, but also the tracklist of the album:
Så kom mørket og tog mig på ordet
En sort sky af minder
I afgørende stunder
Frosset fast til mit indre
Jeg håber det forsvinder med lyset
At dø eller blive fri
According to Google, this roughly translates to “Then came the darkness and took me to the floor / A black cloud of memories / In crucial moments / Frozen to my interior / I hope it disappears with the light / To die or be free.” A good indicator of the mood that the album goes for – and that impression is confirmed by the intro track (yeah it’s four minutes and has vocals, but it’s different enough from the rest that I’ll still call it an intro). Lurching drums plod through murky-as-hell background noise, and tortured vocals round out the picture of utter despair. Thankfully, melancholy synths struggle valiantly to make it through the muck, otherwise that whole bit about blackgaze would have been for naught. As dark as the album gets, melodic and quieter parts are never too far away. The second track seems to try to do its darndest to extinguish the light, but around the two-minute mark, the aggression gives way to good ol’ sadness, which subtly accompanies the song from here on out.
“I afgørende stunder” gives in to that sadness, dragging itself through anguish at a doomy pace, before “Frosset…” slowly picks things up again. The song eventually ramps all the way up to the aggression from the second track, but there’s a beautiful choir part and a lengthy detour through quieter territory along the way. The latter makes me wonder if the interlude track “Jeg håber…” is really necessary; I don’t feel like I need another breather at this point. It’s far from unpleasant and does add a new facet to the sound, but ends up going on for a bit too long. Abundantly refreshed, the band gathers their strength for one last hurrah: “At dø eller blive fri” takes us through everything we’ve just heard, the highs and the lows, the blasts and the slows, and introduces a stabbing, dramatic synth line at the end before fizzling out. If you want a summary of the album, just skip right to this track.
To answer the initial question, blackgaze doesn’t exactly make leaps and bounds with Morild. The misery is upped a fair bit, even bringing it close to depressive black metal at times, but if you’re no fan of the genre, this is not likely to sway you. If, however, you’re looking for a darker version of their countrymen Møl or are generally in the mood for gloom, you could do a lot worse. I give it