One of the foremost precursors of Polish doom metal, Mordor were established in 1990 and quickly become one of the most respected Polish doom/death bands in existence. Mordor’s demo, titled Nothing, arrived in 1992 and their debut album, Prayer to…, followed a year later, solidifying their burgeoning reputation and culminating in 1997’s challenging, The Earth.
And then all went dark. Very dark. In fact, 21 years of silence washed over Mordor until the band returned this year, armed with new material and a desire to make up for lost time.
Fortunately, time spent sitting in a cave (they probably weren’t, to be fair), dreaming up new ways to disturb us was well spent, as Darkness…is an album built on stifling atmosphere and a relatively unique approach to their craft.
It’s Mordor’s experimental tinkering which adds the required layers while crushing doom/death riffs do most of the talking. It’s a pretty good combo from a band who blatantly know their shit and Mordor are at their best when they invoke merry hell by also throwing black metal-esque bluster and borderline symphonic spectacle into the mix.
Toying with dynamics and alternating between slow death/doom passages and black metal blasting provides plenty to chew on – check out “L.U.C.I.F.E.R” in particular – but it’s Mordor’s alchemic mixing of experimental, sometimes ambient, sometimes industrial, sometimes folk elements which propel Darkness… into the upper echelons of 2018 releases.
A welcome return to Mordor….who’d have thought it?! 8/10