Mortiis - <em>Era 1</em> CD Reviews ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mortiis - Era 1 CD Reviews

Mortiis Live @ CBGB, Sept. 20, 2006Mortiis is a tough act to keep up with as he radically changes his sound every few releases. Mortiis signed to Earache in 1999 and this started Era 1. After three releases, Era 2 started in 2001 with the release of The Smell of Rain. Era 2 lasted for three years and this one release. Mortiis' latest release The Grudge (2005) started Era 3. Era 1 is typified by lush, ambient musical soundscapes with little or no vocals. With Era 2, Mortiis became a band. On The Smell of Rain, Mortiis (the man) took up lead vocals and his musical direction shifted to what is described as "darkwave". With Era 3, Mortiis' sound went purely industrial.

Mortiis - Født Til Å HerskeFødt Til Å Herske was Mortiis' first release after leaving Emperor. Originally independently released in 1993, Earche issued this release worldwide in 1999 and has just issued a remastered edition that includes new liner notes and the original artwork. Mortiis describes his early music as "dark dungeon music" (which was also the name of the pre-Earache independent label that he ran) which is a good description of his first two releases. The release features two 25 minute compositions that highlight and build upon Mortiis' skills on the synthesizer. The music is slow,solemn and dark and, with active listening, will draw you in.

This is a perfect CD to listen to late at night.

Mortiis - Crypt of the WizardAs much as I like Mortiis' first CD, Crypt of the Wizard never held my attention. This CD is a compilation of five independently released 12"s that Mortiis released prior to signing with Earache. Like Født Til Å Herske, the music on this CD is dark and ambient and is performed almost entirely by Mortiis (the man). There are 10 tracks on this release and the shorter running time of each track (as compared to Født Til Å Herske) detracts from the overall CD in that the music never has time to build and none of the tracks really stand out. Also, with the music coming from five separate releases, the CD as a whole sounds somewhat inconsistent and it comes across as the compilation that it is.

This isn't a bad release -- it just isn't memorable

Mortiis - StargateStargate more than compensates for the shortcomings of its predecessor. This release is rich, atmospheric and really should be listened to from beginning to end. The production is top-notch and the songs draw the listener into a world that is to be sensed, felt and imagined. This world isn't the dark dungeon of Mortiis' first release, but rather a medieval world where magic still exists and anything is possible. The use of non-traditional (especially for a metal CD) orchestral instruments along with Cradle of Filth's Sarah Jezebel Diva's operatic singing highlight the strength of these songs and the entire release.

Mortiis cuts across musical genres with this release and should reach a wide audience if they give him a chance. Highly recommended!

Here is a link to a review of Mortiis' Era 3 release The Grudge along with a link to pictures and a recap of Mortiis' show with The Genitorturers at CBGB last month.