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'The Great Deceiver'
(Omnipresence Productions)
Release Date: 4th March 2016

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


Fans of Norwegian Dark Metal band Mortiis could have been forgiven for thinking that their eighth studio album 'Perfectly Defect' was going to be their last. Main man (actually THE man when it comes to all things Mortiis) Havard Ellefsen had become disenchanted with the state of the music industry so that album was released as a free download in protest back in 2010.

Nothing more was heard but suddenly last year it was announced that a new album was being recorded and here in 2016 we get 'The Great Deceiver'.

Mortiis have never been a band afraid to change their style but the more recent releases have been a mix of industrial, electronic and Metal and this album continues in that vein. The songs are inspired by greed, self-doubt, confusion and of course anger so this is a bleak soundscape of twisted electronica, distorted guitars and nasty, tortured vocals.

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There is actually plenty of variety on offer so you get songs like the speedy 'Scalding The Burnt' with a chugging riff and insistent electronic sequencing set to a rockabilly drum beat. These dense sounds actually sit quite comfortably beside the desolate yet beautiful spaces in songs like 'Sins Of Mine' where it's the atmospherics of their sound that get to shine.

There is even the odd nod to some of the electropop songs of the band's distant past in the catchy 'Demons Are Back' and some of the most effective songs are the mid-paced riff heavy tunes like 'Road To Ruin'.

There are certainly moments in this album where you can compare the sounds and songs on offer to the likes of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails and the overall vibe is unquestionably in the same ballpark as those giants of the genre. However what I like most about this release is that there is a lot going on in some really painstakingly put together material and each listen is like pulling back layers.

You hear new things every time. An album of true depth then. Rarely is anger expressed in such diligent and eloquent detail.


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