Daily Dose: ‘The Purest Strain’ by Madder Mortem

So I’m on record as being a huge fan of Madder Mortem and the things they get up to. This approval only went up when I listened to this song where they decided to combine backroom swing jazz with avant-garde, almost punk metal. This thought experiment led to an EP, Where Dream and Day Collide, which is the last thing they have done to date (although there is apparently a new album on the horizon), and I can see why, because once you’ve made a song like this, why go back to other things? The production is so tight, it feels like the swap between tones is completely natural and normal, despite the fact it clearly shouldn’t be. It sounds amazing, and I don’t care if you don’t like jazz or metal or progressive music, you should be able to at least appreciate the novelty. It whips along enjoyably (it’s only three and a half minutes long), doesn’t have the self-satisfied smirking grin of a lot of people that want to get a bit jazzy, and just generally sounds like a whole bunch of fun. Also, the softer bits are very reminiscent of Al Stewart, which is making me yearn (in a good way) for someone to do heavier covers of some Al Stewart songs. I know some of them are already quite heavy, but seriously, I need a ramped up cover of ‘Sirens of Titan’ in my life. Since this is the closest to which anyone has come to that sound, I applaud it and am very grateful for its existence. I’m very keen on this new album talk that’s been swirling around, because as far as I’m concerned Madder Mortem handle metal better than almost anyone else around right now, and the ability to make songs like this and it still sound fresh and unpretentious is a big reason why.

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