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Audio, Glasgow
24th May 2016

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


Fans of Havard Ellefsen's Mortiis project don't get the chance to see them play live very often. The latest album from the Norwegian dark metallers, 'The Great Deceiver', is their first for six years so Audio is packed and a hot and sweaty place in anticipation of a rare opportunity.

This was my first chance to catch them live myself and given the deep and dark nature of their material and the serious tone in Ellefsen's interviews I was expecting a brooding, heavy vibe from the show. That's not quite what I got though.

Playing the gig as a three piece with Levi Gawron on guitar and Tim van Horn on drums augmented by samples, the enigmatic singer bounded onto the stage like a demonic imp. He couldn't stand still for a second and skittered around the stage in his bare feet spitting out all those stories of darkness and the devil with great enthusiasm. How much his attitude and stage attire was down to the airline losing their luggage en route to the first gig in Newcastle the previous night I'm not sure.

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Musically the balance of the sound where I was standing focussed more on the live instruments than the samples and I was particularly impressed with van Horn on the drums. He showed fantastic skill, energy and imagination matched with a huge amount of intensity to drive everything along.

The first part of the set was all high energy stuff with lots of the rockabilly style beats and the kind of big riffs you would expect. The vocals were less raw than on album and I have to say didn't have the menacing air I might have expected. There was little communication between songs, just shouts of "Hey Glasgow" and some muttered comments but no one around me cared. They hadn't come for that kind of show, they really just wanted to hear the man's songs.


Things slowed down in the middle of the set for a couple of tunes but soon the breather was over and things accelerated towards the end. Much of the crowd seemed to have been waiting for 'Parasite God' and I could hear them singing along over the music. New song 'Demons Are Back' was chosen to finish the main set and by this time the huge industrial grooves the band were creating were really cranking up the atmosphere.

Alas, there was only a short, intense encore then as the words "That's It!" were projected onto the backdrop, it was all over.


For my personal tastes the presentation lacked a bit of something tonight. There was neither much communication from the stage nor any huge gravitas to make you really get the weight of the material but that didn't seem to bother those around me. They had just come to see Mortiis do what they do and they certainly weren't disappointed.

I just would have liked the intensity of the last three or four songs to carry on for a bit longer.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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