Written by: Skarsnik
01 The Blue Silence
02 In Bleak Loneliness
03 Cold and Grey
04 Devoid of Warmth
05 Forgotten Soul
06 Death Serenity – 2011 edit (bonus track)
Oh how you keep on impressing me Mr. Shatraug. Mortualia, or bluntly put a dim essence of the creator behind bands such as Sargiest, Behexen and Horna delivers what can only be described as brooding bottomless depressive black metal. The dark space beyond death, the blinding white light of a desolate landscape by winter, it’s all there and delivers an overdose of bleak and utterly lifeless emotions straight to your mind. Plenty of times projects in the vague zone that is depressive/suicidal/bleak or whatever they call it black metal have a way of forgetting that there is a touch of hypocrisy to the whole theme. Especially the suicidal theme comes of as quite lame since there is only a few that actually takes the step and blows their brains out with a shotgun due to their inability to cope with the fantastic phenomenon called life. Nowadays most of the famous acts have at least a few songs that borderline to this intriguing new realm of even more black metal then before. However its one thing howling out ones agony into the void of space and one thing actually making it sound real and genuine. Mortualia manage to capture a bristling part of that feeling, just enough to make one hunger for more without making it over the top whiny or monotonous.
The biggest problem I have with this album is that some of the songs are outright amazing yet its hardly any variation to it what so ever. Listening to it over and over I get the feeling that this is something I could emulate quite easily with a drum machine, a tape recorder and my old Gibson. It’s that simple, and yet so genial at points that it borders to insane while other similar acts that burst into mind such as Lifelover and Dark Endless both works hard capturing the sound of something bleak and desolate. Although it sounds weird Mortualia is really a album I came to enjoy over time, working in the Scandinavian summer listening to Cold and Grey and Devoid of Warmth really heightened my general mood. Perhaps there is a diagnosis for that but who cares..
By the end of the review there must be a reckoning and although I feel that this album is something that will return to me during the coming year it still has its dents and bruises. One of the few minor problems I can point out is that some sections of the album could feel overly repeated at times. Overall it is a strong and potent deliverer of a wintery landscape crafted mainly from sound, like pure hoarfrost on a midwinter’s eve. Highly recommended to gits interested in good desolate black metal as well as followers of Shatraugs other acts.