Peccatum – The Moribund People EP

Peccatum
The Moribund People EP

Norwegian duo Peccatum, a married couple who go by Ihsahn and Ihriel, has apparently released a few full-length albums before 2005’s The Moribund People EP. It comes as a surprise then, after a fairly productive history, that Peccatum chose to release such a short disc. Although all the material is new, The Moribund People EP only includes a mere 15 minutes of music (three songs) plus a video. I imagine this serves as to satisfy existing fans until the next release, but those unfamiliar with the duo will likely end up disappointed with the short offering.

Peccatum’s music is rather hard to pin down to any one genre. The title track, which opens the disc, has an almost progressive metal feel with soaring vocals and an epic feel so common for European hard-rock and metal bands. “A Penny’s Worth of Heat” is reminiscent of Dead Can Dance with an eerie electronic landscape and Ihriel’s ultra-feminine voice, but it quickly gives way to something much darker. The middle of this track drops the listener in the middle of Ihsahn’s screaming nightmare, and this is where the EP begins to flex its metal muscles. Both singers manage to convey extreme moodiness – and tons of doom and gloom – regardless of the pace of the music. The third track is a cover of Bathory’s “For All Those Who Died,” which is given similar slow/fast treatment and may throw-off Bathory fans hoping for something a bit more closely tied with the original. Unfortunately, despite trying on multiple computers, I was unable to view Peccatum’s video for the EP’s title track.

The Moribund People EP is an effort that would best be expanded into a full-length release. The three songs here are not nearly enough material to truly generate much interest from those who have never heard the duo before. Even two or three more tracks would have been sufficient for listeners to judge whether Peccatum is a group that warrants more time and attention. Existing fans of the Norwegian twosome will likely enjoy this short interlude between albums, but 15 minutes won’t keep them occupied for long.