Album Review: Udåd – Udåd (Peaceville Records)

Udåd is the new act from Thomas Eriksen of current Norwegian black metal masters, Mork. As his main band evolves ever further into complex and elaborately textured moods and atmospheres, Eriksen reflected back on Mork’s first album ‘Isebakke’ as the framework for this new vessel in the pursuit of pure black metal grimness. He delved deeply into this stream of influence to create something utterly “nekro” in its motivations and execution, for an unpretentious exploration of the brutal reality of death and the lack of meaning in life.

As Eriksen explains:

Since Mork is constantly evolving for each release and has become its own beacon; I have decided to create a space for me to be more primal. You can take “Isebakke”, which is quite primitive, and see Udåd as a step backwards from that. Udåd allows me to express a much more primal black metal feeling. Ripping off the flesh and exposing a more raw, pure atmosphere. It’s been many years since I last felt this strong vibe of pure black metal in my veins. It’s alive!

The self-titled debut album will be released on March 15th, 2024, via Peaceville.

If you’re promising a cold and bleak showcase of raw and real Norwegian black metal, you best deliver. There’s simply nowhere to hide if you’re half-assing it. Good thing then, that Thomas Eriksen believes in delivering the rawest and realest of Norwegian black metal possible.

The black flag of Udåd is high in the sky, and all demonic creatures who yearn for the darkness will gather under the banner of evil. Even if the initial drawn out guitar intro of Den Evindelige Ende doesn’t quite inspire. While it is cool to hear the layering of tones, it just goes on for far too long and the fact that a similar style is what greets at the start of Bakenfor Urskogens Utkant, is worrying.

Thankfully, things devolve from here, in the black metal sense of the word. The rawness becomes so much more prevalent and the vocals arrive in howling fashion. Literally. As the style of this record makes them seem like they are coming from a deep and dark void. You could almost believe that this record has been unearthed from a long-ago period of black metal. The cassette it was recorded on, warped by time, but through the magic of modern technology, the sounds that emanate on it, are recovered.

Although, if these sounds are fit for human consumption is another thing altogether.

How these first two tracks sit with you will dictate your decision to carry on. After all, it isn’t going to get any easier to hear, as proven by the following cacophony of noise that is Avgudsdyrker and Blodnatten. Although, in the case of the former track, a traditional focus does make it more palatable. True to form, Udåd makes each track a gargantuan effort too, where discomfort grows and grows as the experience never seems to end.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing though? That is going to massively depend on your personal tolerance for this kind of music. There’s no sugar-coating the fact that this is for black metal fans, and a certain type of black metal fan.

If that matches your taste then you’re going to fall deeper into the pit of bleakness that Den Virkelige Apokryf, Vondskapens Triumf, and Kald Iver offer. Udåd promised a soul-destroying experience like the days of old, and that is what is delivered. Right up to the point where Antropofagens Hunger creates revulsion through the sheer power of its black metal soundscape.

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Udåd – Udåd Track Listing:

1. Den Evindelige Ende
2. Bakenfor Urskogens Utkant
3. Avgudsdyrker
4. Blodnatten
5. Den Virkelige Apokryf
6. Vondskapens Triumf
7. Kald Iver
8. Antropofagens Hunger


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Udåd - Udåd (Peaceville Records)
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