Since the mid 00s the Finnish underground label Werewolf Records has been releasing many outstanding albums. It has become one of the best, specialized labels in promoting new black metal bands such as Goatmoon, Druadan Forest, Satanic Warmaster, Vargrav and the list goes on. While the roster mainly includes black metal bands from Finland which aren’t influenced by the mainstream black metal bands, the Finnish group Mørketida has proven to be the most obscure and rawest band within the roster of this underground label. Mørketida released their first debut album ‘Panphage Mysticism‘ through Werewolf Records in 2018. This is an album that has grown on me and now two years after releasing the first album, they have returned with a brand new EP.
Musically the Finnish group incorporates fuzzy guitars and ambient elements of atmospheric synths. In the two year gap between their releases, Mørketida on their EP ‘Traveler of the Untouched Voids’ delves into the rudimentary style of the second wave of black metal. Although there is a certain emphasis on the synths, the music in general creeps with ghostly growls. Since the debut album, they’ve shown their influences to raw black metal bands such as Manes, Darkthrone and early Covenant.
The opening track ‘Descent of Purple Mist‘ begins with mystifying synth work and dense guitar riffs. The drums always find a certain level to bring balance to the songs that are fixed at mid-tempo sections. While keeping the slow rhythm flowing with dirge like riffs, the synth is basically used to increase the atmospheric vibe and adds an extra touch of mystical air. The Finnish band made its first entry into the underground realm of black metal with a raw and conservative approach. However, the newest EP isn’t focused on slow and brooding tempos, Mørketida now creates heavier tempos. The synth layering is magically manifested into songs. The swirling riffs are more effective and they’re mixed with creepy vocals. Therefore, the music as in whole is adjusted to fit into the early Norwegian style of black metal rather than the Finnish old school template. Mørketida‘s effective song arrangements and layering show a sly perspective of complementing the roots of black metal.
Despite the short length of the EP, which spans under twenty-two minutes, the songs are layered with raw riffs and tremolo pickings. Replete with grim vocals, ‘Upon the Aged Heavens‘ provides a magical enchantment through the nebulous production of the EP. The most memorable moments of this song are the interplays between the bass guitar and the slow-paced riffs. The band makes use of the lo-fi methods of the second wave of black metal and this why they plunge into a dark and grimy tone.
The fascination of attaining the grim sensibilities of black metal is achieved through a slow and mid-tempo drum pace. ‘Traveler of the Untouched Voids’ is obscured by thick riffs that make this EP more of a continuation of the debut album. In such a mesmerizing way Mørketida restores the ancient nature of grim black metal. ‘T’raveler of the Untouched Voids’ is also dark,gloomy and beautified by the shimmering melodies. While ‘Panphage Mysticism’ was focused on slower-paced songs, it somehow lacked the variation factor and was filled with a dark atmosphere and frightening moments due to the demonic shrills.
Towards the third and the longest track of this EP, ‘Traveler of the Untouched Voids’ begins with lush synths and flowing melodies. Then suddenly the drums shift into a fast-paced tempo and deliver an exuberant amount of blast beats, which reminds of early Immortal. On this track, Mørketida incorporates abrasive riffs and boisterous tremolo pickings and applies a darker tone of melodies and strings. By blending elements of ambiance, this track transforms into a grim black metal experience . The drums quickly shift into blast beats, but later the song becomes fixed at mid-tempo.
The second outing from this Finnish mystical black metal entity sees them evolving while maintaining the signature sound of their black metal dirges. The final track of this EP includes a cover song of Immortal‘s ‘Unsilent Storms in the North Abyss‘ which appeared on their classic ‘Pure Holocaust‘ album. Mørketida once again invokes the ancient style of the second wave of black with effective lo-fi riffs. This is yet another strong release from the Finnish black metal label.
Release Date: April 24th, 2020
Label: Werewolf Records
- Descent of Purple Mist
- Upon the Aged Heavens
- Traveler of the Untouched Voids
- Unsilent Storms in the North Abyss (Immortal cover)