Mortiis

Mortiis

The Star Gate

Earache

Mortiis is a Norwegian by birth but an elf by choice. Just look at him: that’s not human, what with the foot-long ears and nose, and the wings.

Though he’s got some pretty impressive credentials in the realm of death metal (Emperor’s bassist from way back), Mortiis isn’t by any means metal. It’s largely experimental “goth” percussion and otherworldly operatic soprano musings. The Star Gate is a concept album that spins a yarn about traveling from planet to planet via “star gates” (yes, like the movie, only this is different) like Stonehenge or the Egyptian pyramids. Though the reaction from some “critics” I (used to) respect is mostly a quite chuckle, this album is majestic in it’s presentation. For lack of a better description, The Star Gate is a work of s-f or fantasy that, rather than being read, has as its medium this strange recording. Sara Jezebel Diva, the amazing soprano from Therion, makes this album approach epic proportions. To really understand it, one needs time while listening, sit down, turn the lights off and look out the window at the night sky, don’t distract yourself from the music with anything. Crank up “Across the World of Wonders” and listen: “Harken! Warriors, for our creator now users us onwards! Again we shall travel/to conquer and kill!/By Sword, axe and hand/Into the gate of stars…”

Hey, were this death metal, it’d be nothing new, but since Mortiis is a heavy goth-Eno-esque sound, it’s more than worth the effort to seek this out for an adventure.

Earache America, 295 Lafayette St, Suite 915, New York, NY 10012-2700; http://www.earache.com

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