Mortem was formed in 1987 in Oslo by bassist and guitarist Steinar Johnsen, aka Sverd (keyboardist of Arcturus and former pianist of Ulver) and by drummer Marius Vold (former bassist of Arcturus and former vocalist of Thorns). Hellhammer, drummer of Arcuturus and Mayhem, joined them in 1989. In 2018 Tor Stavenes, aka Seidemann (bassist of 1349) joined Sverd and company. In short, today the features Steinar Sverd Johnsen (Arcturus, Covenant, Satyricon ), Marius Vold (Stigma Diabolicum, Thorns, Arcturus), Hellhammer (Mayhem, Covenant, Arcturus) and Tor R. Stavenes (1349, Svart Lotus, Den Saakaldte).
Due to the presence of members or former members of Arcturus, Mortem has often been related to Arcturus, with whom they share some sound peculiarities, for example the symphonic arrangements. In my opinion, though, Mortem isless avant-garde and progressive but harsher; besides, the vocals by Marius Vold are really evil. I would say that Ravnsvart is something in the middle between early Arcturus and Covenant, but of course they do not have the fantastic guitarist Carl August Tidemann. The substance is that this is a masterpiece, so listen to it!
Ravnsvart was released on September 27, 2019 through Peaceville Records.
Steinar Sverd Johnsen: Guitars, Keyboards
Marius Vold: Vocals
Tor Stavenes: Bass
Text by Herjann