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Mortem Agmen – The Path To The Abyss Of Evil

mortem agmen – the path to the abyss of evil


In Spring last year I was surprised by the great demo of a new German Black Metal band called Mortem Agmen, the haunting and sinister sound of ‘Where Life Ends Forever’ reminded me of some classic American Black Metal. Not only was it a demo that tastefully allowed the inspirations to blossom into their own compositions, it was also clear that there were some seasoned musicians at work here. For me, reason enough to look forward to the debut album, and that first album has now arrived in the form of ‘The Path To The Abyss Of Evil’.

After having heard the album a few times, I can say that ‘The Path To The Abyss Of Evil’ is a solid and worthy follow-up to the great demo. Yet, on a musical level, the band took a bit of a different direction. While the demo mostly seemed to be built upon the cornerstones of what we could call the Second Wave of American Black Metal (Xasthur, Leviathan, I Shalt Become, Krohm), this album is founded more on the historical base of their native German Black Metal scene.

Not everything of ‘Where Life Ends Forever’ is thrown overboard, but the overall feeling that is left with me is one that reminds me of the thriving German Black Metal scene of the mid to late 90’s, maybe even early 00’s. For a lot of people this has a bit of a foul taste, as much of the music from that time and place got contaminated with the questionable image of the Last Episode Records label. It went so far that all things Black Metal from Germany became synonymous with what stuck to Last Episode Records: not a very good reputation. But in many cases that was unjustified and unfair, even for many bands on the maligned label.

On ‘The Path To The Abyss Of Evil’ the band has taken a lot of the trademark (and rather standard) musical ingredients these late 90’s and pushed it to todays standards. That means that you are presented with a pacey sort of Black Metal that is heavily laced with icy cold and sharp sounding guitars and an equally chilling vocal delivery. That in itself is, as said, not all too original, and frankly, nothing on this album can remotely be called original, but it is executed almost flawlessly. The repetitiveness of the American Black Metal bands from the early 00’s is what remained from Mortem Agmen’s first offering, which together with a more melodious approach result in a catchy and compelling debut album. Add to that a slightly more clean and heavy production and you have completed the picture of what to expect from ‘The Path To The Abyss Of Evil’; indeed a splendid debut album from a promising German Black Metal band that, intentionally or not, is paying homage to their native Black Metal scene of yore.

Mortem Agmen

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