Mork - Eremittens Dal album review
Norse extremity with a heart of pure grimness
There’s always a danger when truly underground artists poke their heads above the music biz parapet that rough edges will be sanded off and intensity diminished. But while there is no denying that Eremittens Dal sounds bigger and more powerful than either of Mork’s previous, ultra-kvlt full-lengths, this is still a viciously raw, primitive and uncompromising blast of oh-so-Norwegian black metal that shares Darkthrone’s myopic, stripped-down predilections while vigorously tapping into the eerie essence of the early 90s. From slower, more menacing barrages like Forsteinet I Hat to the flat-out bleakness of the title track, Mork mastermind Thomas Eriksen’s vision is straightforward enough. But despite plenty of nods to the old school, the likes of Et Rike I Nord sound less like retro exercises than a subtle but much-needed update of black metal’s original quest for total darkness.