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Mork Discusses New Album "Katedralen", Art And Guest Appearances

It's a strange thing when it comes to black metal. While there's technically nothing stopping a person from recording a power, thrash or death metal album on their own, it seems that only black metal takes this idea and runs with it. Such bands as Taake, Nortt and Nattefrost (as well as some other guy who had something to do with Mayhem,) have become notable names in the sub-genre and in the past decade, another artist has emerged named Thomas Eriksen, whose project Mork has made him an ever growing name in black metal.

This year, Mork unleashed the fifth full length album, "Katedralen," which has already earned plaudits from fans and critics alike. To find out more about this opus, I spoke with Eriksen himself and discovered more behind the record, how Mork has come through the pandemic unscathed and much more.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on the new album, "Katedralen." So far the album seems to be garnering some very positive reviews. What would you say makes it different than "Det Svarte Juv"?

Mork: Thanks. Yes, so it seems. That’s of course well and good and even more people will get infected, hopefully. It differs as it’s a natural progression onwards. Every album has been looser and looser, creative wise. The “rules” goes out the window a bit more for each album. I follow my feelings and intuition.

Oz: Could you explain the meaning behind the album title?

Mork: Not really, since the listener should take his or her own journey and take in it. The title is based on a old idea that I sort of dusted off and brought back. Not a concept album but I feel the tracks flows good throughout it all. The good old cliches, misanthropy, darkness, desolation, pain, anger and frustration endures.

Oz: You've once again used artist David Thiérrée for the front cover art. How well do you think the music is represented in the cover and what is it about his art that you feel is right for Mork?

Mork: The two times we’ve worked together it’s been perfect, in my mind. Some have pointed out that his works done for me seems a bit different from other things he’s done. That great. And it tells you what an talent he is as an artist. I tell him what I am after and he reaches down/in and pulls out these great visuals for my audible art.

Oz: Was recording of the album affected by the COVID pandemic at all?

Mork: No, only some vocals were recorded after the outbreak and lockdowns. The pandemic did infact delay the release of the album. It was supposed to be out during late 2020, if I remember correctly. However, it all gave us “Rota Til Ondskap” and “Pesta”, so can’t complain there.

Oz: I particularly like the music video for "Arv." It's very bleak and stark. Do you feel it represents the song well and did you have any issues filming at Fredriksen Fortress?

Mork: I suppose we could have put more effort into a “storypart” to be able to add more variation, but at the end of the day it turned out quite nice. Fun-fact: It was colder to shoot inside those bunkers then outside. Ugh! Another one is that we had a laugh when some tourists came walking by as we shot the scenes outside with me singing and gesturing.

Oz: The album boasts several guest appearances from the likes of Eero Pöyry, Dolk and of course, Nocturno Culto. How did these collaborations come to be?

Mork: I know both Culto and Dolk, so that was a quick call. Luckily both obliged. On separate occasions they came over to my studio and we did their parts. Both really fit the songs they’re featured on and really gave them a bit of spark. Great people I am proud to call my buddies and brothers. What made me track down Eero was a special deal for me. I discovered his band Skepticism way back in the days I also found black metal, more or less by coincidence. However, the somber, lonely and somber feel that band gave me has been in the back of my mind ever since. So when I came up with the slow and doomy ending of the title-track it hit me that it would be awesome to include the organist from Skepticism on this. More or less a joke, as I didn’t see that ever happening. Turns out I play bass on a album that’s out on the same label as they’re on. One thing led to another and now Eero has put his mark on Katedralen. I am ever thankful.

Oz: This is your third album through Peaceville. How has the relationship with the label been so far?

Mork: Today Peaceville has released all of my stuff and then some. I think we’re up to 7 physical releases by now. It’s been great, really. They have a good reputation, and now as I am a partner, I can concur. We are communicating almost daily, and keep building our relationship further.

Oz: How difficult has it been to promote the album given the pandemic and what plans have you made for the near future?

Mork: Honestly, I don’t think the pandemic has effected it much. We’re not able to tour or do physical appearances out and about. But, the album has been riding it’s own wave on the internet, socials and word of mouth. It’s probably not a “trve cvlt” thing to say, but you have to appreciate the fantastic communication social media delivers. The album seem to be reaching the right people and keeps growing. Of course I do my part and maintain Mork’s socials and do interviews and all the rest. At the end of the day I suppose a worthy album will get discovered at one point or another.

Oz: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me today. I wish you every success with the album.

Mork: No worries. I thank you for taking an interest in my little band here. Hopefully we’ll get to play for you guys in the flesh sooner than later. Ugh!

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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