Bands

Madder Mortem

Expanding and improving upon every element, ‘Eight Ways’ is undoubtedly Madder Mortem’s greatest achievement. With the same stunning dynamics of all-out punchy riffs & catchy metal mixed with delicate beauty & avante-garde twists, these 12 songs deliver an emotional journey heightened by the stunning voice of singer Agnete Kirkevaag, alternating between haunting mellowness and sheer rage & frustration.

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Madder Mortem
Eight Ways

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Biography

In the beginning Madder Mortem was formed in 1993 as Mystery Tribe, and recorded the demo 'Days in Sorrow'. The name was changed to Madder Mortem, and in January 1997, the MCD 'Misty Sleep' was recorded. The result was mailed around, Misanthropy Records reacted positively and the debut 'Mercury' (X-ray Studios) was released in February 1999. 'Mercury' was well received, but sadly, Misanthropy decided to close down, which left the Madders with neither company nor contract.

In 1999 Christian Ruud (guitars), Boye Nyberg (bass) and Sigurd Nielsen (drums) left the band to pursue educations and other pastimes. This was naturally a setback, but after some time Agnete and BP found new musicians. Eirik Ulvo Langnes (guitars), Pål Mozart Bjørke (bass) and Mads Solås (drums) joined the band. All former acquaintances, the new members fitted in perfectly.

In December 1999 Century Media got in touch. The Madders promptly got to work, and in January 2000 a new demo was recorded (Space Valley Studios). This demo, containing three of the 'AFIG' songs, saw the Madders turn in a new and heavier direction. Century Media received this demo exclusively and Madder Mortem became a CMR band. Madder Mortem\'s second album, 'All Flesh Is Grass' (Studio Underground, Sweden) was released in February 2001, with cover art from former guitar player Christian Ruud. Reviews were very good, and the aggressive and driven music lent another face to Madder Mortem.

In September/October 2001, Madder Mortem supported Tristania, Rotting Christ and Vintersorg on a 23-date European tour. Returning back home, the Madders started writing again. Studio Underground was re-invaded in May 2002 and after a hard-as-hell period of three weeks, "Deadlands" was born. It is darker and groovier than its predecessor, but also shows even more sides to the Madder face. Music, lyrics and cover art (by Christian) was developed together, and the conceptual whole is a bleak but organic monster not fit for the faint of heart. 'Deadlands' was released 21st October 2002. The End Records licensed it for the US, and on 11th February 2003 we had our first album release in the US.

In February and March 2003 Madder Mortem supported Opeth on the European leg of their 'Deliverance' tour. A chance like that doesn't come often, the reason being Mr Åkerfeldt's personal interest in the band. The band had 6 fantastic weeks on the road with a band that have mastered both musical and social skills, and were very grateful to the Opeth guys for giving them this opportunity. In addition to touring all over Western Europe, the Opeth tour also saw Madder Mortem entering the UK shores for the first time.

A total of 33 gigs with Opeth left the band hungry for more. They then went on to play the Inferno festival, Oslo in front of an AMAZING audience, with big-time sing-along tendencies. Southern Discomfort was next, and the arrangers need be mentioned for their unbelievable zeal, idealism and goodwill. This was followed by several more Norwegian gigs, amongst others supporting The Kovenant in Hamar.

The Madders were then asked to do a festival in Mexico City, and though the travel arrangements came through in the very last minute, the band pulled it off with style. Due to United Airlines professional manner of luggage handling, they had NONE of their own equipment for the show, but the Mexican audience appreciated that the band did their very best and enjoyed the show nonetheless. Being in Mexico was in itself quite an adventure a bunch of pale Norwegians but one they would repeat in an instant.

The return to Norway gave way to some big changes in the Madder camp. Paul announced his decision to leave the band just after returning from Mexico. Though the decision was a very responsible one, since Paul wanted to concentrate on his young son (something hard to do while playing in a very active band), the band were very sorry to see him leave. This disruption also led to the musical disagreements within the band crystallizing, and as a result, Eirik left the band shortly afterwards.

The band then started looking for new members - again....Having had such success with recruiting friends the last time; they used the same procedure, and scrutinized their circle of friends. Odd Eivind Ebbesen was a very natural choice for guitarist. He'd played in Mystery Tribe, and also with BP in Chopworm, and is a very able musician, both on the performing and the writing side. He's also a long time friend and the band's webmaster. For a bass player, another friend was recruited, Tormod Moseng. He'd also played with BP and Mads in various projects, and he actually stepped in for Boye for the Misty Sleep release party. The timing couldn't have been better, since he had just finished his education and was looking for a serious band commitment. A couple of gigs in Norway served to give the new members their "baptism in fire".

The deal with Century Media came to an end & the band began searching for a new home, with a new album, already recorded & ready to be released, it wasn't long before Peaceville Records knocked on their door. The band was incredibly happy with the new deal & could not wait to get this release out to their fans, old & new alike. That album, 'Desiderata', was recorded in at Space valet Studios way back in the summer of 2004. It was re-mastered at Tailor Made Studios in Sweden and was released on March 27th 2006, by Peaceville Records. The band filmed a promo video for the opening track, 'My Name Is Silence' and held their release party at Oslo's John Dee venue on Friday 31st March - performing a live set of the new material, and supported by Dr Feedback, who performed acoustic versions of classic Madder Mortem tunes.

The band continued with live work to support the album, all the while composing and refining new material for their next album, as Desiderata had already been completed a long time previously. A demo of new material was produced to show the band s unique and uncompromising style before work began on recording the album in mid-2008. The result of many months of hard labour was 'Eight Ways' - a masterclass of avantgarde & uncompromising art painted from numerous influences across the musical spectrum. The album was produced by BP of the band and was always destined to impress...& impress it did, with the band gaining many accolades, even being hailed as Norway's best band since the 70's!, as well as featuring in Terrorizer magazine's end of year poll for best album.

The band did not rest for too long though, & began work on a follow-up EP featuring several new tracks whilst former member/computer animator Christian Ruud & his team at Toxic in Norway, started composing the stunning video for lead EP track, Where Dream & Day Collide; entirely CG based, with a vision completely fitting of Madder Mortem's individualistic works of the avantgarde. The EP would see light of day in May 2010.

The band continued their live activity with some select shows around Europe before beginning writing for their anticipated follow-up to ‘Eight Ways’, with many curious to hear the next stage of evolution of Madder Mortem. Writing & pre-production of new material continued throughout 2011, with a view to releasing a new album sometime in 2012.

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Band Members

  • Agnete M. Kirkevaag Vocals
  • BP M. Kirkevaag Guitars, vocals, programming & percussion
  • Odd Eivind Ebbesen Guitar
  • Tormod L. Moseng Bass
  • Mads Solås Drums & percussion

Official Website