The 3rd and the Mortal

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In This Room

3rd And The Mortal, the - In This Room ©1997 Voices Of Wonder
1. Stream
2. Monody
3. So Pure
4. The Wooden Lodge
5. Sophisticated Vampires
6. Harvest
7. Did You
8. Myriad Of Peepholes
9. Sort Of Invisible
10. A Touch Of...
11. Hollow
12. The Barge
13. Sleep

If you look down in the stadium, just past the pitcher's mound, past second base and certainly not in center field, but just to the left of there, you'll see 3rd & the Mortal. On In This Room, this oddball Norwegian outfit had shed much of its metal roots to the point where it's strange anyone would even put them in the genre. Rather, they dwell in a somewhat ambient, dark, etherial realm that hints at Portishead on the outside. Other than that, they are quite hard to classify. Throughout the album, the band employs a lot of electronics, very transluscent guitar playing, somewhat jazzy and echoing percussion, and of course haunting vocals courtesy of Ann-Mari Edvardsen. The end effect is a record you can lose yourself in late at night. With a few momentary exceptions, much of the avant-garde weirdness is kept to a minimum; rather, the band strives for a truly deeper listen. If you have any fondness of the Projekt Records world or love female fronted ambient-oriented music, this is getting a total thumbs-up.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/1999

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Memoirs

3rd And The Mortal, the - Memoirs ©2002 Voices Music & Entertainment
1. Zeppoliner
2. Good Evening Mr. Q
3. The City
4. Reflections
5. Thin Dark Line
6. Fools Like Us
7. Those Of My Kind
8. Simple Mind
9. Spider

It's been quite some time since anyone has heard from Norway's The Third & the Mortal. Their last album, In This Room, was released in 1997 and although the band set to work on another release a year or so afterwards, it has taken nearly five years for the album to reach fruition. During that time, two members left to pursue academics, leaving behind a four-piece core of the band and the necessary recruitment of guest musicians to take care of various things in the studio. The result is Memoirs, a very unique and satisfying departure for a band that already dwelled firmly in left field.

The departure of vocalist Ann-Mari Edvardsen left The Third & the Mortal without a permanent vocalist. Thus, the vocals on this new album were handled by guests and alternate between pretty female singers and somewhat goth-oriented male vocalists. The music, meanwhile, has foregone most any metallic influence from their early years and focuses on electronic based compositions in the vein of Recoil or perhaps a fleshed out, more lush Portishead. The band covers plenty of territory on the nine songs from quasi-spoken word over a throbbing, echoing canvas of music ("The City", one of the better tracks on the CD) to a big-band swing of the album's opener, "Zeppoliner". The music, given its many years of development, is extremely well fleshed out. The band allows the music to breathe, pulsate and resonate, while allowing a natural flow throughout the CD. There are slight hints of the alternative trip-hopping of Garbage on a couple tracks, "Reflections" being the most notable. But despite their venture into new territory, Memoirs is the type of album that continues to grow on the listener after multiple listens. The music is very multilayered and arranged so that the songwriting is maximized above all else.

Memoirs can certainly find its way into the record collection of anyone who cares for electronic, goth-ish music or followed Ulver into Perdition City. Although the music of The Third & the Mortal has morphed considerably over time, there are no doubts about the band's continued ability to impress no matter what sound they are exploring.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2002

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