Mother of All is the brain-child of veteran Danish multi-instrumentalist Martin Haumann, who for many years has been a sought-after drummer, performing with such bands as Myrkur, Mercenary, and Afsky (notably, he performed on Afsky’s fantastic 2020 album Ofte jeg drømmer mig død). For Mother of All, Haumann’s conception was to concentrate on death metal with melodic and progressive elements, and that conception is now fully realized on the band’s debut album Age Of The Solipsist — though you’ll discover that it incorporates even greater musical variety than just those elements.
To help bring these musical visions into reality, Haumann enlisted some very talented allies. The new album features the stunning bass performances of none other than Steve Di Giorgio (Death, Testamant, Sadus), as well as eye-popping work by Danish guitarist Frederik Jensen. But even in such impressive company, Haumann’s song-writing, drum-work, and vocals still strongly stand out. And speaking of talented allies, we should also note that the record was mixed by Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist, ex-Obscura, Alkaloid) and that the cover art was created by Travis Smith, who is an artistic institution himself.
All these names by themselves should build considerable intrigue about what they’ve accomplished, and now we can at least partially satisfy that curiosity by presenting a lyric video for the opening track from the new album, named “Autumn“.
We are of course well past autumn in the northern hemisphere, but rather than commemorating the season the song uses it as a metaphor, “about the inescapable decay of our bodies and minds as we turn older — cathartic, with a pinch of tragedy”.
Musically, “Autumn” is a song of sharp contrasts and changing moods. On one side of that spectrum, a beguiling acoustic guitar instrumental opens the track, and later surfaces again, joined by bass and drums. But while these light, dancing instrumental pieces (which seem to have a Spanish influence) are vastly different in tone and energy from the blazing explosiveness of the experiences that separate and surround them, it turns out that their melodies are carried forward in those other, more dramatically intense phases. How that happens becomes reason enough to listen to the track over and over again.
But the sheer electrifying intensity of the song is another reason. Accompanied by Haumann’s torrid screams, the music combines jet-fueled drumming and hurtling bass lines with riffing conflagrations, as well as piston-like rhythms and pulsating chords that seem to radiate exultation. On the other hand, the emotional timbre of the song also sinks into more bleak and desperate moods, and soars on the wings of a spectacular guitar solo that begins in moody fashion but then becomes a fireworks display.
In addition to the memorability of the melodies in the song, it’s a showcase for this trio’s top-shelf instrumental skills, and that’s another reason to continue listening to it. All the performers are so good at what they do, and what they do here is full of dynamic changes. Listening to the interplay of all these pieces together is an electrifying rush, but there’s also a great temptation afterward to just to pick out one performer and follow him for that session, and then focus on each of the others the next time and the next, and that’s made easier by the evenness of the mix, which allows each of them to shine through.
Age of the Solipsist is set for release by Black Lion Records on April 23rd in both CD and digital formats, and it’s available for pre-order now:
2. We Don’t Agree
3. Curators Of Our World Scope
4. Age Of The Solipsist
5. At The Edge Of A Dream
6. Blood Still Owed
7. Feel The Pain