mighty music

HOWL OF THE UNDERDOGS | DOCUMENTARY REVIEW

This highly effective documentary from Randy M. Salo is the story of the Norwegian band Madder Mortem. Its primary focus is on vocalist Agnete M. Kirkevaag and her struggle with a life-long eating disorder in an image-obsessed industry. She undergoes weight loss surgery to battle the demons that have given life to the band’s music.

While the main emphasis is on Kirkevaag, the documentary also tells of the development of the band, personal and professional tribulations and offers a wonderful insight into Norwegian intellect.

Through breathtaking imagery and engaging interview footage, I felt like I was reliving the moments as if they were my own. Aside from a few specific mentions, the band’s music chiefly took a back seat, being used as a backdrop, rather than a character. I have since listened to much of their discography; I highly recommend it.

I was inspired by how tightly knit and supportive the band is, more of a family than a group of musicians. I was profoundly affected by Kirkevaag’s moments of self-loathing and her worries that her band could be more successful if only she “were pretty.” It was a gut-punch moment, and I hope it opens a much-needed dialogue in our community.

Towards the end, a grinning Kirkevaag models a twenty-year-old dress that she is practically swimming in. Much more than a feel-good weight loss story, this is the tale of the beautiful evolution of a fellow human being.

“Chaos and darkness are only negative if they are not balanced. Some of the darkness is the root of creation.”

               

Agnete M. Kirkevaag.

Special thanks to my friend Chelf Dortlouke; boy, can she pick ’em!

9/10

Craig Obert

Metal-digest.com

https://fb.watch/6nJXeNFhg5/

https://maddermortem.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mmortem/

https://www.instagram.com/maddermortemofficial/

https://twitter.com/hashtag/maddermortem

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