Mortiis

Picture of Mortiis

Født Til å Herske

Mortiis - Født Til å Herske ©1993 Dark Dungeon Music
1. Født Til å Herske Pt. 1
2. Født Til å Herske Pt. 2

Troll makeup and goofy costuming aside, Mortiis is one fascinating character. This is the guy who left one of the most intense black metal bands around (Emperor) to create his self-described "Dungeon Music", which basically entails compositions entirely composed on his handy-dandy Casio keyboard. (I'll pause while black metal purists find more evil parts of the internet to browse.)

Much of Mortiis has been unreleased in the United States until recently when Sam Rosenthal of Projekt Records stepped in to help our favorite troll release his material this side of the ocean. And good thing, too. While the two lengthy compositions are very reserved, slow to build, and extremely solemn, it makes for a great 2 a.m. listen. Mortiis employs a lot of funeral-esque keyboards in these compositions and takes his time in letting them develop. I wouldn't recommend to this to anyone who breaks out in a cold sweat if there are no guitars to be found, but to fans of Projekt Record's more ambient artists or anyone who appreciates true deviation from the norm, this is very good.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1998

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The Smell Of Rain

Mortiis - The Smell Of Rain ©2001 Earache
1. Scar Trek/parasite God
2. Flux/Mental Maelstrom
3. Spirit In A Vacuum
4. Monolith
5. You Put A Hex On Me
6. Everyone Leaves
7. Marshland
8. Antimental
9. Smell The Witch

Mortiis has certainly travelled a long path since leaving Emperor many years ago. His first initial stops were in ambient Casio-tinkling mood music (which often were referred to as "dungeon music", but I sense there were few electric outlets for keyboards back in medieval times). It was the sort of music that perhaps a neophyte may enjoy but compared to more established and experienced ambient acts, Mortiis' early music was rather trite and underdeveloped. That resulted in an embarrassing initial interest in the trollboy's music followed by years of disinterest. However, upon hearing Mortiis had made a plunge into what his label termed as a "darkwave dance album", my interest was rekindled. And now that I've had his The Smell of Rain constantly playing for a week, I can safely say that Mortiis is definitely on the right path. Finally.

The Smell of Rain is definitely very danceable and would be right at place in any goth club that specializes in heavy, dark but danceable music for writing blackclad boys and girls. Mortiis harnesses elements of early Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, 80s new wave melodicism and sense of a catchy hook and puts it to a very well developed musical base. Mortiis even provides constant vocals throughout the album with a voice that reminds me of Mike van Portfleet of Lycia would sound like if he tried to speak his way through a song rather than whisper. The songs employ a lush atmosphere that includes a bombastic percussion onslaught, echoing choruses, reverberating sound effects and above all, infectious melodies. Admittedly I've been playing this album a couple times a day since receiving it in the mail and the majority of the songs are catchier than a biologically altered disease.

The Smell of Rain is a very surprising work from someone I had lost interest in. As with The Kovenant's Animatronic and Samael's Eternal from a couple years ago, there is much that can be explored in dark and heavy electronic EBM music as applied by those who come from a metal background. If nothing else, The Smell of Rain is one of the most enjoyable and catchy releases of 2001.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2001

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