Crushing duo Myrdød finish off prolific 2021 with snarling black metal on ‘The Mourning Hollow’

It’s not been a super easy year for me to stay busy for so many reasons that it would take multiple posts to explain. Tragedy has taken its toll on me, and I’ve delved deeper into comfort and further from exploration than any point in my life. But that’s this year. Others have stayed plenty busy and have found our new reality as a way to be productive and keep grinding away.

That’s a cute way of me getting ready to say OK, Myrdød, we get it.  You had a lot of energy to release, and that came in the form of three goddamn full-length records and four EPs in 2021 alone! All joking aside, that’s really impressive, and their latest “The Mourning Hollow” isn’t arriving until this final month, but shit, what an impact it makes on first listen and subsequent visits. I’m as jaded as anyone who has to sift through 900 black metal albums every year, because they’re not all worth your time. But this duo—vocalist Fractal Creature, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Søppelskaler—swarms you with chaos and immersive visions, making you feel like you’ve entered a new plane of existence while you’re being ravaged at the stake. It’s a good time.

“Orb Weaver” dawns in cosmic noise as the guitars come to life, and the voices sit beneath the carnage. Demonic shrieks mix with strange synth, things feel woozy and weird, and a gravelly finish pushes cinders into your wounds. “Ritualized Cave Birth” just unloads as the vocals smear, and the playing trudges heavily, turning into a vicious assault. Gargantuan hell is unleashed as the vocals corrode and the thrashing picks up speed, jolting you and icing your brain with strange effects. Industrial-style crushing taxes your muscles, a blackened fury stretches, and the final moments are absorbed by a storm. “Drom” begins with strange gears turning before things gets ugly, and the growls get underneath your skin. The guitars launch an attack with the basslines following behind in a storm, stomping and dragging through soot. Maddening riffs ignite, scrambling your brains, and then the playing chugs forward, blasting out with violent precision.

“Spellbound Tree” has the riffs charging and forming a united front as the melodies rampage, pushing into a blinding terror. Once again, your sanity is tested, the pace blackens, and a synth fog rises, swallowing everything whole. “Elders Cave” blows in with snarling riffs and a lightning pace, smashing away as a ghostly aura forms in front of your eyes. The bulk of the track absolutely batters as the savage vocals crush your soul, and a blanket of synth enshrouds you, making the room spin out of control. You enter into what feels like a fever dream before the pace speeds up, the drums blast with power, and the track bleeds away. “Diabolical Ancient Blessing” closes the record by instantly exploding with the growls decimating and the speed threatening your safety. The riffs lather as hell spills onto the earth’s surface, the pressure increases, and the last shot buries you for good.

Myrdød’s black metal is a heavy stormfront that catapults toward you and spits shrapnel into your exposed face. It’s nasty. But there is a lot of melody and mystery in “The Mourning Hollow,” an excellent display of chaos from what’s becoming a rather prolific band if 2021 is any indication. Black metal needs more imaginative bands to keep the sub-genre moving and vital, and this duo and record are just what it needs to stay savage.

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