Old Eyes, New Heart
LABEL: Dark Essence Records
AUTHOR: Peter Sym
MADDER MORTEM, a seasoned Norwegian progressive metal band, are veterans of the scene now 30 years into their storied career. Having released seven albums to date, the release of their eighth album “OId Eyes, New Heart” is set for 26th January 2024 via Dark Essence Records.
The nucleus of the band are the siblings and founders Agnete M. Kirkevaag (vocals) and BP M. Kirkevaag (guitar). They are supported by Anders Langberg (guitar), Tormod L. Moseng (bass) and Mads Solås (drums).
“Towers” was the first single released, and what a brilliant example of the quality of the upcoming album! The second single was “The Head That Wears The Crown”, another excellent indication of the album to follow. The latest single “Unity” just came out on January 12th.
The album itself is a very mature release, taking the listener on a journey through parts of doom, gothic and progressive metal and some lighter touches via the 10 tracks on offer. To me the album title has two meanings: the “Old Eyes” looking back over their long career and using their experience to bring their sound forward, the “New Heart” is bringing the listener more emotive songs with tender lyrics.
Opening track “Coming From The Dark” is a strong start, followed by the touching song “On Guard” and the bass heavy “Master Tongue”. All three are prime examples of the diverse styles included here.
“Here And Now” is another surprise with a mixture of styles in one song highlighting the range of Agnete. The final song “Long Road” might be semi autobiographical given the road the band have travelled to get here to release this album. I really can’t fault this album. Such a strong confident release.
The band perform superbly throughout with monster riffs leads and solos by the guitarists, supported by the formidable bass and drums. And the vocals by Agnete are clear concise emotive and powerful.
I highly recommend this album to fans of female fronted metal bands and encourage everyone to investigate the back catalogue, as I did, and you’ll find a consistent quality throughout all MADDER MORTEM albums.