Released: 2015, Mordgrimm Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
After witnessing their solid live performance last year while they were supporting Abgott’s last European tour date in London, I was really looking forward to hearing Mørktår’s new EP. The element I enjoyed the most during their show was clearly the raw guitars that sounded so atmospheric and grim, reminding a bit Striborg. Released in 2015 by the very good English label Mordgrimm Records, “Dark Years” is the band’s second EP and appears to be their best work to date.
Formed in 2006, this UK raw black metal horde has released many demos, split-CDs (with other local underground acts) so far and encountered several line-up changes that slowed down their evolution. Since last year, it seems they have a stable line-up and are ready to do more gigs. After listening to those new suicidal and misanthropic compositions, I was very surprised to notice how different they sound in studio. Indeed, the production reminds automatically the famous Black Legions which have been very influential in the development of the so-called “True Black Metal” sub-genre. Being a friend of Noktu and his Drakkar Productions team, it makes me happy to see that many hordes in the world are still influenced by this maleficent circle of cult underground entities such as Mütiilation, Vlad Tepes, Torgeist and Belkètre. “Dark Years” is a kind of tribute to these Black Legions.
Despite a flagrant lack of originality and some repetitiveness regarding the riffs, the songs remain all good thanks to their depressive feeling, grim guitars and Repktkor’s hateful screams. In the past, many bands have been trying to copy the LLN style, reproduce exactly the gloomy ambiance of Mütiilation’s classic masterpiece “Vampires of Black Imperial Blood” but failed miserably. As for Mørktår, they did it really well, with sick compositions crafted in the spirit of the early 90s black metal. The only difference we can spot between both parts remains in the atmosphere. While most of the LLN’s evil rites invite the listener to enter an ancient French manor from the 18th century, “Dark Years” would welcome us to a haunting abandoned asylum instead.
If you enjoy extremely raw and minimalist black metal art played in the old French way, then I strongly recommend you check this EP out. In my opinion, they still sound better live than in studio and it would be good if more promoters give them a chance to spread their diseases on stage. Very promising.
Review by Oliver Manso.