Mord - Christendom Perished - 2006 - Southern Lord
1. Opus I 2. Opus II 3. Opus III 4. Opus IV 5. Opus V 6. Opus VI 7. Opus VII 8. Opus IX
Mord are the newest product belched forth from Southern Lord’ recent dip into the black metal market. As the band themselves admit, their debut ‘Christendom Perished’ is a highly orthodox (or as they call it: “true”, “pure”) entry into misanthropic black metal. As expected, this includes all the mandatory grim corpsepaint, blaspheming imagery, and lo-fi hate anthems.
Yet, simultaneously, Mord claim to deviate from that formula by integrating old-fashioned death metal into their equation on a riff-by-riff basis, alternating between standard black metal strophes and more agitated, surly passages. All this occurs while supposedly maintaining, lest we forget, the lofty standard of the ‘purest…blackest unholy black metal in existence’. What’s more, Southern Lord’s press material also makes Mord’s Norwegian roots so painfully clear that one cannot help but question their authenticity. And so, the news that ‘Christendom Perished’ was recorded in Poland and features Polish lyrics is the final straw, so to speak, for this mess of an endeavor.
Posturing and childish antics are tolerable for acts whose music can back up their eccentricities. Yet, with Mord, there is little distracting us from their outdated mimicry. These eight songs, titled ‘Opus I’ through ‘Opus IX’ (Yes, track eight is ‘Opus IX’) do manage to evoke some rather bleak emotions from time to time, but just as often they are stagnant and unimaginative, relying on dismissible ambient samplings to distinguish each track from the next. Although ‘Opus I’ itself is admittedly rather stirring at first, by ‘Christendom Perished’s end it’s quite clear that Southern Lord should stick to what it knows best—self-promotion and drone—and leave the black metal to the labels who really know what they’re doing.
Rating: 1.5 of 5
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