Mortiis
The Great Deceiver


3.5
great

Review

by Simon CONTRIBUTOR (232 Reviews)
February 26th, 2016 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Era 0 has begun.

The sudden silence of Mortiis in 2011 left fans to speculate what happened, many assuming he put the project on ice. After being interviewed recently, and asked where he's been since 2011, he responded the lack of activity came from the music industry, and the amount of changes its had over the years, as the main reason for the band's hiatus. But, after five years of silence, music's goblin nosed industrialist is back with a new album, and, as Mortiis is calling it, the beginning of Era 0.

It's common knowledge at this point that Håvard Ellefsen was once the bassist for black metal outfit: Emperor. Håvard eventually departed from the band to pursue a solo career, assuming the alias Mortiis; Mortiis originally started off as a dark ambient, black metal project, with albums consisting of two 20+ minute tracks that sent you on a vicarious, medieval journey. But when The Smell of Rain dropped, it abruptly shifted Mortiis' sound from dark, medieval ambience, to a heavier, electronic and industrial based affair. Having drastically changed styles, The Smell of Rain served as a bridging gap during the transitional shift; atmospheric undertones are reminiscent of previous works, but the overall sound is harsher and more mechanical -- basically a compromise to ease in fans of previous works, and secure Mortiis' urge to push the band forward. Shortly after Mortiis made the decision to make his one man operation a functional band. The Grudge onwards Mortiis moved his individual expressions into an arena of imitation and, in a lot of ways, plagiarization of the big boys in the industrial league; a feverish blend of NIN, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson are clear-cut inspirations for The Grudge and Perfectly Defect. Yet, despite any apathy for their lack of creativity, both albums have a charm that manage to nod at a past-time largely over-looked these days, and are solid entertainment.

The Great Deceiver is no different, and doesn't stray far away from what the last two records built. It's a giant slab of retro, industrial metal that constantly digs up ideas from the past; the difference this time is a tighter, more focused and accessible effort. Mortiis' main inspiration on this record is undoubtably Marilyn Manson, which sees constant nods to the man -- in some form -- on almost every song, with songs that siv through various eras of his career: "Doppleganger" fires out all the catchy hooks and song structures you'd have expected Manson to do in the early 00s, while "The Great Leap" sounds like the Antichrist years. But tracks do tap in to other inspirations: "Road to Ruin" and "Bleed Like You" sound like obvious Nine Inch Nails rip-offs, while "Feed the Greed" or "Scalding the Burnt" feel like a homage to Ministry.

The albums production is the heaviest incarnation to-date, and fans of Ministry, NIN, Skinny Puppy, right up to later waves of band's like Motionless In White and Dope will most certainly find something to enjoy here. The LP's songwriting and production, along with Mortiis' great vocal takes, ensure The Great Deceiver never becomes mundane. The acoustic guitar on "Hard to Believe" brings an added layer of variety to the album, while the electronic sections of "Bleed Like You" are genuinely great. Although the albums mainstay is mainstream industrial metal, it's still constantly dipping in and out of various eras of the industrial persuasion, and makes The Great Deceiver feel like a celebration to the genre. The only misfire here is "Sins of Mine" which tonally feels completely out of place from the rest of the album.

So, would it be fair to say The Great Deceiver rides the back of genius'" Yes, because that is exactly what it does. But there isn't a damn thing wrong with that. For any fan of the 90s-early 00s industrial scene, in particular, this is a welcoming album in 2016. It's ironic to see Mortiis taking aesthetics from artists such as Ministry and Manson, as most of the pioneers of the genre have long left it for dead. Industrial music of this kind doesn't come by a lot these days, and for that reason alone this is a breath of fresh air, even if it isn't all that innovative. In a time where industrial rock and metal isn't as prevalent as it once was, The Great Deceiver is nice to hear, and will definitely give you a healthy dose of what you've been craving. Just don't expect anything unique.

Excellent.

Editions: MP3, C̶D̶

Packaging: Standard Jewelcase

Special Edition: N/A



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
2.6
average


Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2016


15088 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Early stream of the album can be heard here:



http://metalhammer.teamrock.com/features/2016-02-26/mortiis-premieres-new-album-the-great-deceiver





I really, really enjoyed this, but it's about as unique as a lemming. It'll still appeal to fans of this sort of music though.

Digging: HEALTH - VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2016


15088 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

As always constructive criticism welcome guys.

DoofusWainwright
February 26th 2016


19992 Comments


Is Mortiis growing into his looks, always imagined his features would age well

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2016


15088 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

He actually looks alright these days haha. Goes with the industrial image.

Willie
Moderator
February 26th 2016


17623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

I only ever heard the first album with the extended cheesy keyboard dungeon music. It was bad. I guess I can check this out. It couldn't be worse than that early album.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2016


15088 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah, you're into industrial aren't you Willie? I'm confident you'll find something to like here. It's very different to his early stuff, that's for sure. Ha

Spado
February 26th 2016


489 Comments


holy shit had no idea he was releasing a new album. I thought they were on hiatus.

piroga84
February 26th 2016


361 Comments


now listening, its sounds somewhat dated, a bit 90's-ish
the review was extremely informative, pos'd doc

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2016


15088 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Cheers bud. Yeah, it won't win any awards for sounding innovative. Ha

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2016


14139 Comments


im only familiar with this guy for the horrendous Stargate cover

Digging: Paddy McAloon - I Trawl The Megahertz

Keyblade
February 27th 2016


26639 Comments


his first 2 albums are superb, some of the best dungeon synth. surprised he has a new album. sweet rev man

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2016


15088 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Cheers keyblade. Yeah I've listened to his debut and then the smell of rain onwards. But I've enjoyed everything he's done so far. But my love for industrial makes this is his best album so far.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2016


15088 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@mort what's that? Haha

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2016


11454 Comments


I enjoyed his first four albums but the industrial tag has kept me away from the rest of his discog. Same reason I probably won't check this one either.

Very good review though, pos.

Digging: King Diamond - Songs for the Dead Live

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2016


15088 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks a lot manosg. Yeah, it's pretty crazy to see how much he shifted genres overnight.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2016


14139 Comments


This Gonzo http://www.metal-archives.com/images/2/8/8/288.jpg

Willie
Moderator
February 27th 2016


17623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Yeah. It's probably a bit too conventional sounding for me, but I'll give it another chance.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2016


15088 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@Mort! For some reason I had in my head you were on about the TV show/film or something haha! Yeah, the cover for that is seriously bogging.



@Willie You gave it a go, man?

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2016


14139 Comments


Skull codpiece ftw

Willie
Moderator
February 27th 2016


17623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Yeah, I checked it out (we had a streaming promo). It really wasn't my thing, and I don't mind 90s sounding industrial. I'll give it another listen before rating.



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