Talking in broad strokes, black metal is all about emotion. It uses it to steamroller your senses and the ability of a successful black metal band in parlaying said emotion is an impressive one. It’s difficult to play a guitar incredibly fast but you can learn to do that much more easily than learning to convey your emotions. That’s why we knew Morð were the real deal when we saw them playing live at Eistnaflug Festival earlier this summer.
Forming over a shared “need to create and play heavy music”, they explain how “Iceland needed pure chaotic, staring into the abyss, heaviness”. So they obliged. The result is as sinister and brutal as they suggest. With the tall, skinny singer doused in black facepaint, he is in staunch visual contrast to the rest of the band as he stretches, screams and staggers his way around the stage. When I found him after the show to talk more about his band, he is simply curled up on the floor outside the stage door.
Listen for yourself and find out for yourself. All tracks are casually translated to things like Black, Havoc, Horror and Demolition. That’s the vibe.
The literal translation of Morð (pronounced: Morth) is murder but we are reassured that it means much more than that in Icelandic. A cursory researching uncovers the name in the Icelandic Sagas and it’s used in Game of Thrones. The names of the band members are, as with so many black metal bands, not stated and the interviewee goes by Nihilo and Nure Onna – both nods to philosophy and folklore. A little mystery, a little mystique… it never hurt anybody.
They list their influences as Gorgoroth, Wormlust, Momentum, Sepultura, Converge and Opeth and play live in full corpsepaint. They acknowledge that it makes the show more “character-driven and evil” but seem to only begrudgingly accept their position within the Icelandic black metal scene (“I despise everything about ‘acting metal.’”) This points to artistry, perhaps; pretentiousness, perhaps; but it points to an involuntary outsider status even more. That lack of belonging, if harnessed, could lead to great things from this band. A debut album is coming and only time will tell where Morð will go.
See them perform live at Dillon at 6.15pm 06 November 2014 as part of the Iceland Airwaves off-venue programme. 1+5=6 so there’s a 666 in their stagetime, FYI. Cool