April 2nd sees Mortiis heading out on an extensive European tour supporting Deathstars while the industrial outfit’s new album ‘Some kind of Heroin’ follows on the 16th.
Former Emperor member, Mortiis first broke onto the scene with his unique dark and mystical sound in 1996 with the release of a 7” vinyl entitled “Blood and Thunder”. Now a rare collectors item, this debut initially announced Mortiis to the world as a solo musician, bringing an eccentric, yet wholly creative sound to the world of music.
With a clear intent to inject a dose of originality into his art form, Mortiis projects forth uniqueness both visually and aurally, which he describes as being inspired by the world around him. There is a prominent notion which surrounds Mortiis’ art form, and that is a concept that is never stagnant and is experiencing a constant form of evolution.
This evolution materialised in 1999 into a 7-man band that formed Mortiis on a tour of the USA, following the release of the album “The Stargate”, which was recorded after Mortiis’ decision to sign to Earache records. The album was a vast departure from “Blood and Thunder”, delving deeper into the ‘battle’ genre of music that evolves, twisting with flutes and acoustic guitars combined with Mortiis’ trademark synthesisers to produce a more developed and professional sound. This professional sound featured an appearance from Cradle of Filth vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva and was a swift departure from the ‘Dark Dungeon Music’ previously generated by Mortiis, comprising entirely of synthesisers.
The avoidance of stagnancy for Mortiis has seen each album evolve and reach new territory, with every release striding further away from the last, taking on board wide ranging influences from artists such as Enigma, Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy. Towards the end of 1999 Mortiis released a further two albums on Earache, entitled “Crypt of the Wizard” and 'Født Til Å Herske', which both confirmed Mortiis’ eerie synthetic approach to music.
In 2001 Mortiis achieved the most poignant evolution of his sound, with the release of the album “The Smell of Rain”, which has been hailed as his most encompassing achievement. This is a record that has been acclaimed due to its more-rounded accessibility and bleak formulation that entwines with Mortiis’ utopian universe. “The Smell of Rain” was the first release that saw the formation of Mortiis as a true band, with guitarist Aismund Sveinnungard, bassist Levi Gawrond and Leo Troy on drums. With a full band in his grasp, Mortiis achieved a wholly ambient sound for the album, which used soundscapes to generate a more contemporary sound that was fused alongside his own unique and contemplative personality.
With a complete image that included the new members of the band, Mortiis embarked on a series of tours to promote “The Smell of Rain”, spreading the idea of wanting something so badly that you can smell it before you that the album promotes. In 2002 Mortiis completed a full scale American tour, before reaching the UK in September 2003 with the guest act Susperia. Following a year of delivering their music to the masses, Mortiis headed into Silverstone studios in Fredrickstad in November 2003 to record their next album, which would witness the band advancing even further into previously untouched domains.
“The Grudge” was released in 2004 and encompasses an amalgamation of twisted electronics, hostile guitars and fierce drumming, taking a heavy industrial turn that blended melody with noise. The achievement of this album attracted a fresh fan base to Mortiis and was followed up by the ‘Unlimited Grudge’ tour of the UK in September 2004. The deliverance of their eerie yet entirely brutal sound to a wide audience achieved positive results, as “The Grudge” single entered the UK singles charts at Number 42. As 2005 approached, with a new founded confidence behind them Mortiis released the DVD “Soul in a Hole”, which contained concert footage filmed at The Hackney Ocean in 2004. Mortiis himself also branched further afield and guested as a backing vocalist on the Scum collaboration of the album “Gospels for the Sick”.
Mortiis’ success in the mainstream arena continued into 2005, with the single “Decadent and Desperate” entering the UK charts at Number 41 in April.
‘Some kind of Heroin’ is scheduled for release on Earache on April 16th.
The current Mortiis line-up is the band’s namesake on vocals, Leo Troy on drums, Levi Gawron and Asmund Sveinunggard on guitars
Listen to new Mortiis tracks on his Myspace site.
Tour dates and venue info can be found below.
Mortiis (Performing Bodies\Bands (rock/pop/jazz etc.))
Earache UK & Europe (Record Companies\Outside Norway)