Archive for Mortiis

Mortiis announce remix album and UK tour dates

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , on 6th February 2017 by izaforestspirit

The Norwegian industrial band Mortiis will release a remix album entitled ‘The Great Corrupter’ on 21st April 2017. This is meant to be an addendum to their latest album ‘The Great Deceiver’ which was released last year. ‘The Great Corrupter’ will feature various remixes of the tracks from ‘The Great Deceiver’ by industrial acts including GODFLESH. Die Krupps, Apoptygma Berzerk and PIG as well as a few unreleased tracks from the recording sessions.

The band have also released a free single featuring two remixes by Die Krupps and Leaether Strip which can be downloaded from their Bandcamp page:

http://downloadmusic.mortiis.com/album/the-die-krupps-le-therstrip-mixes

Prior to the release of ‘The Great Corrupter’ Mortiis will visit the UK shores in March accompanied by the industrial artist PIG. For more details about the Mortiis & PIG Swine & Punishment’ UK Tour check out the poster below:

http://www.mortiis.com/

https://www.facebook.com/officialmortiis

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Iza’s Highlights of 2016 (Part 2: Metal)

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Metal, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2016 by izaforestspirit

Time for the second part of my highlights of 2016, the metal edition. This part was much harder to write than the first because it took me a long time to chose my top ten metal of albums and even longer to decide on the winner. So here are my top ten favourite metal releases of 2016:

1. Vader – The Empire
Genre: Death Metal

This year, Vader strikes back with ‘The Empire’… Let’s face it, they were kind of asking for comments like this with that kind of an album title. Star Wars jokes aside, this is a really good piece of work. If you’re looking for some new death metal to check out, I would strongly recommend this album. Unlike their previous work, the masterpiece that was ‘Tibi et Igni’, ‘The Empire’ shows a back to basics approach. No complex structures or atmospheric intros, just good, old-school thrashy death metal. Best tracks: ‘Iron Reign’, ‘No Gravity’ and ‘Army-Geddon’.

2. Rob Zombie – The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
Genre: Hard Rock/Industrial Metal

This year’s runner up deserves an award for coming up with the one of the longest album titles in years. I tend to refer to it simply as ‘The Electric Warlock’… Whilst still no match for his first two albums, ‘The Electric Warlock’ is Rob Zombie’s best work in years. Favourite tracks ‘The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore’, ‘In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High’ and the ultra cheesy but super catchy ‘The Life and Times of a Teenage Rock God’.

3. Devilment – II- The Mephisto Waltzes
Symphonic Gothic Metal/ Groove Metal

For those of you who read my highlights of 2015, you might remember my comments on the latest Cradle of Filth album. This year their vocalist Dani Filth has been busy working on the second album for his other band Devilment. ‘II- The Mephisto Waltzes’ is a delightful opus which happily mixes a variety of metal genres including Gothic, symphonic and groove metal. There’s even a touch of humour in the lyrics and several references to horror movies, modern horror literature and art – most notably Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. Best tracks are ‘Hitchcock Blonde’, ‘Dea Della Morte’ and ‘Full, Dark No Stars’.

4. Mortiis – The Great Deceiver
Genre: Industrial Metal

Ever since the Norwegian musician Mortiis started his own band in the mid ’90s, there has been some debate as to what category their music fits into. The older works are very much dark ambient, followed by the synth-pop period of ‘Smell of Rain, turning into the latest era of industrial rock. Their latest effort, the ultra creepy -sounding ‘The Great Deceiver’ is undoubtedly their heaviest and most complex album to date which is why I chose to include it in my metal top 10. Best tracks: ‘Doppelganger’, ‘Demons are Back’ and ‘Shining Lamp of God’.

5. Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika
Genre: Pagan Black Metal

Moonsorrow caught my attention after I saw them live at Tampere Metal Meeting Festival in the summer. I like some of their older material and after hearing some of the new songs live I decided to check out their newest album ‘Jumalten aika’. This is one of those releases where there are no real outstanding tracks, but rather the whole album is worth listening to in full. It’s one of the best pieces of pagan black metal that I’ve heard in a long while.

6. The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
Genre: Gothic Horror Metal

German Gothic horror metal duo The Vision Bleak are back with a new album. ‘The Unknown’ struck me as being somewhat “Lovecraftian”, both in the visual concept of the cover art and the the lyrical themes. Musically it is in every bit that you can expect from a Vision Bleak album; eerie Gothic horror metal with some doom influences added creating the soundtrack to your worst nightmare. Best tracks ‘The Kindred of The Sunset’ and ‘Into the Unknown’.

7. Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Genre: Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal

Just in case anyone is wondering why the new Metallica is so low down on this list, the truth is that I expected it to be better than it turned out to be. After all, it’s been eight years since their last studio album. Needless to say that the expectations were high. I wasn’t expecting this to be another ‘Master of Puppets’ or ‘Ride the Lightning’ but I was hoping for something along the lines of ‘Death Magnetic’ which I really enjoyed. Luckily ‘Hardwired…To Self-Destruct’ isn’t as bad as ‘St. Anger’ but it’s hardly a masterpiece. To be honest I think that it would be have been better off as an EP with just four or five tracks instead of the 12 songs and 13 music videos. I definitely like the first disc more than the second one and my favourites include: ‘Moth To The Flame’, ‘Dream No More’ and ‘Spit Out The Bone’.

8. Sabaton – The Last Stand
Genre: Power Metal

Sabaton are one of the very few power metal bands that I like. I’ve always enjoyed their live shows and I’m very fond of the concept album ‘Carolus Rex’. As with all Sabaton albums, their latest piece of work doesn’t disappoint as far as the historical themes go. This one tells the stories of eleven defensive “last stand” battles. Each song focuses on a different battle from various historical events ranging from ancient Greece, medieval Scotland, the two World Wars to Japan at the time of the samurais. That sounds awesome in principal, if only the actual music was that good. Sadly it isn’t. It’s ok but not great and most of the time Sabaton are just recycling old ideas, changing the themes but making similar music. The only tracks that I liked are: ‘Shiroyama’, ‘The Last Battalion’ and ‘Blood at Bannockburn’.

9. DevilDriver
Trust No One
Genre: Groove Metal

DevilDriver - Trust No One

The only real groove metal entry on this list, ‘Trust No One’ is DevilDriver’s best work in years. It is an aggressive beast of guitar-driven groove metal made all the more powerful thanks to Dez Fafara’s vicious growls. Best tracks: ‘Trust No One’ and ‘Daybreak’.

10. Theatres des Vampires – Candyland
Genre: Gothic Metal

It’s been a while since the Italian Gothic metal band Theatres des Vampires have released anything new. I’ve been a fan of their music for many years and so I was keen to get my hands on a copy of their latest piece of work. ‘Candyland’ is somewhat more metal-sounding than its predecessor ‘Moonlight Waltz’. There are notably less vampire themes on here compared to the previous album but other than that not much has changed. Sonya Scarlet is still the key figure in Theatres des Vampires. Whilst I still prefer their older works, back when Lord Vampyr was still a member of the band, I did enjoy this album. Best tracks ‘The Morgana Effect’ and ‘Resurrection Mary’.

 
Biggest New Discovery: Powerwolf
Best live show of 2016: Powerwolf live in Tampere
Most anticipated albums of 2017:
Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars
New albums from Cradle of Filth and (hopefully) Behemoth.

That’s all from me for now. Happy New Year!

Mortiis – The Great Deceiver

Posted in Industrial, Metal, Rock with tags , on 10th March 2016 by izaforestspirit

Mortiis
The Great Deceiver
Released 4th March 2016
Industrial Rock/ Industrial Metal
Released via Omnipresence

The Norwegian musician Håvard Ellefsen a.k.a Mortiis first became known in the metal scene as the bassist and lyricist of the renowned black metal band Emperor. He then left the Emperor in the mid- 90s to form his own band. Unlike Emperor, Mortiis’ music has always been predominantly electronic, ranging from the first era of dark ambient, the synth-pop/darkwave -style of ‘Smell of Rain’ to the more recent era of Nine Inch Nails -style industrial rock. Personally, I discovered Mortiis with ‘The Smell of Rain’ album and I enjoyed the heavier, industrial rock of ‘The Grudge’. Last year I stumbled across their video for the track ‘Doppelganger’ and I decided to give their new album a go.

The opener, The Great Leap , is an aggressive-sounding, adrenaline-fueled industrial metal track that hits you like a freight train coming at full speed. I can hardly believe that this is the same band that released catchy synthpop tracks like ‘Scar Trek/Parasite God’ or the fantasy-themed dark ambient of ‘The Stargate’… This sounds more like Ministry. Doppelganger was the track that got me into this album in the first place. Here Mortiis’s haunting and angry vocals are mixed with a forceful bombardment of frantic guitar riffs intertwined with industrial synths. And just in case that’s not creepy enough to get your attention, then the nihilistic yet strangely catchy Demons Are Back is bound to leave a lasting impression.

As the album progresses, it’s fairly difficult not to became aware of the emotions that went into each song lyric. There’s a sense of anger, the occasional bout of confusion, frustration and even self-doubt. For example, there’s the bleak Road to Ruin where you get the feeling that all hope is lost and the end is near. The Shining Lamp of God is one of the weirdest song titles I’ve seen in a long while but the song itself is actually pretty good. It’s also the most “metal” sounding track on the whole album; and by metal I’m referring to industrial metal. Yet the electronic elements still play a key role in the band’s sound. Faster, more catchy tracks made me think of the dancefloor-friendly industrial hard rock featured in the early works of Rob Zombie combined with the odd hint of Nine Inch Nails in keyboard/synth patterns with relentless guitar sounds of Ministry.

Overall, ‘The Great Deceiver’ is Mortiis’s most complex and mature album to date. It’s also the heaviest, and dare I say it it’s also  the most “metal” album that they ever made.

4/5
Iza Raittila