CD review MORTEM ‘Ravnsvart’

(8/10) ‘Ravnsvart’ is the title of Mortem, a new outfit with well-known musicians. Steinar Sverd Johnsen (g) (Arcturus, Covenant, Satyricon), Marius Vold (v) (Stigma Diabolicum, Thorns, Arcturus) Hellhammer (d) (Mayhem, Covenant, Arcturus) and Tor R. Stavenes (b) (1349, Svart Lotus, Den Saakaldte) are all experienced Black Metal pioneers. The guys found together under the banner of Mortem with ‘Ravensvart’ being the debut album.

Mortem is new and not. Void and Johnson released a first demo back in 1989. ‘Slow Death’ received quite some attention but the band was put to sleep after having had released the demo. Many years later the morbid appetite arose to bring Mortem back to life. Crawling out of the wet soil of Norwegian forests the band started to work on new material and step by step the debut album got shape and form

The quartet recorded eight songs, all mean and hellish Black Metal anthems, combining anarchic wildness and musical skill. ‘Ravnsvart’ is brutal and uncompromising. It features fierce Black Metal songs with a savage expression keeping things together. Mortem’s debut is brute, has edges and comes with an oldschool expression. Still there’s enough room for soundscapes counteracting with crude brutality and merciless riffing.

The winds of hell is what you hear after having pressed the ‘Play’-button. This ice-cold breeze from the abyss leads to a first musical outburst called ‘Ravnsvart’. The calmer moments are very limited on this debut. There is a cinematic intro to ‘Truly Damned’, but even these moments give you some pleasant discomfort. Another blackened tune you shouldn’t miss is ‘Demon Shadow’. Not only that the solo part halfway is extraordinary, the songs comes with a bigger portion of melody, locked into a corset of evil.

‘Ravnsvart’ is a debut that was highly anticipated. Fans of the demo had to wait for 30 years to hold this record in hands and after having listened to the album it was worth to wait.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


  1. Ravnsvart
  2. Sjelestjeler
  3. Blood Horizon
  4. Mørkets Monolitter
  5. Truly Damned
  6. Demon Shadow
  7. Port Darkness
  8. The Core

Label: Peaceville

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: September 27th, 2019



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