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Starting his career as bass player in Norwegian black metal band Emperor, Mortiis quit to pursue solo work. Abandoning metal music, he dedicated himself to compose eerie and melancholic dark ambient soundtracks. After a demo cassette released on his own label Dark Dungeon Music, he had his first LP issued by German label Malicious Records, then he entered the pantheon of notorious Swedish company Cold Meat Industry, boosting his career. Meanwhile, Mortiis also released a bunch of records through his own self-produced Dark Dungeon Music, particularly by his various side-projects Vond, Fata Morgana and Cintecele Diavolui (meaning 'The Devil's Songs' in Romanian) (see the relative Discogs entries). In 1999 Mortiis left Cold Meat Industry and signed a contract with British label Earache, which released "The Stargate", his final ambient orchestral opus.

With "The Smell Of Rain" (2001) Mortiis has turned away from ambient music to go back to a
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Crypt of the WizardCrypt of the Wizard
Earache Records 2006
Fodt Til a HerskeFodt Til a Herske
Earache Uk 2006
Earache Records 1999
$4.89 (used)
Perfectly DefectPerfectly Defect
Omnipresence Productions 2018
$17.93 (used)
Smell of Rain RemixesSmell of Rain Remixes
Limited Edition · Reissued
Earache Records 2003
$17.99 (used)
The Great DeceiverThe Great Deceiver
MRI 2016
Earache Records 2004
$1.99 (used)
Anden Som Gjorde OpprorAnden Som Gjorde Oppror
Projekt Records 2007
$9.83 (used)
Keiser Av en Dimensjon UkjentKeiser Av en Dimensjon Ukjent
Projekt Records 2007
$4.50 (used)
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MORTIIS Discography

MORTIIS albums / top albums

MORTIIS Født til å herske album cover 3.96 | 4 ratings
Født til å herske
Non-Metal 1993
MORTIIS Ånden som gjorde opprør album cover 4.08 | 4 ratings
Ånden som gjorde opprør
Non-Metal 1994
MORTIIS Keiser av en Dimension Ukjent album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Keiser av en Dimension Ukjent
Non-Metal 1995
MORTIIS Crypt of the Wizard album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Crypt of the Wizard
Non-Metal 1996
MORTIIS The Stargate album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
The Stargate
Non-Metal 1999
MORTIIS The Smell of Rain album cover 3.05 | 2 ratings
The Smell of Rain
Metal Related 2001
MORTIIS The Grudge album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Grudge
Industrial Metal 2004
MORTIIS Perfectly Defect album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Perfectly Defect
Metal Related 2010

MORTIIS EPs & splits

MORTIIS Blood and Thunder album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blood and Thunder
Non-Metal 1995

MORTIIS live albums

MORTIIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MORTIIS re-issues & compilations

MORTIIS singles (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Grudge
Non-Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Decadent & Desperate
Industrial Metal 2005

MORTIIS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Soul in a Hole
Non-Metal 2005


MORTIIS The Stargate

Album · 1999 · Non-Metal
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For the culmination of his first era of solo releases - and, indeed, his first album with the backing of an actual record label behind him - Mortiis pulled out all the stops, bringing in Sarah Jezebel Deva on vocals and spending actual money on actual synthesisers to shift his music away from the elderly Casios his previous solo albums had utilised in order to produce the most epic and sweeping of his fantasy concept albums yet. However, the overall result seems to be an unwelcome shift in his sound towards sounding like any other pseudo-Hollywood soundtrack, diminishing the unique sound developed on the album-length epics of his early career.

MORTIIS Crypt of the Wizard

Album · 1996 · Non-Metal
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A compilation put together from a string of 1996 single releases, Crypt of the Wizard represents Mortiis stepping away from the compositional approach he'd adhered to for his first few Era I solo albums, though not the general subject matter, atmosphere or production values. Backing away from the format of side-length or album-length tracks, Mortiis instead tightens his craft and refines his Casio noodling into actual songs. The end result makes this one of Mortiis' more successful Dungeons & Dragons soundtracks for his personal fantasy world, though not necessarily one which is enormously more accessible or less eccentric in its overall approach.

MORTIIS Keiser av en Dimension Ukjent

Album · 1995 · Non-Metal
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This one sticks to the formula established by Mortiis on Født til å Herske, though I don't consider it to be quite as successful as that album. In particular, the narration on both tracks is irritatingly prominent and distracting, whilst on Født til å Herske the sole narrative passage lurks in the background and can be mistaken for part of the music. Thus, whilst Keiser av en Dimension Ukjent is decent enough as background music, because of the narration it will occasionally become irritatingly prominent. (It's also kind of a shame that Mortiis hadn't gotten around to getting some more expensive keyboards and spreading his wings a bit so to speak.)

MORTIIS Ånden som gjorde opprør

Album · 1994 · Non-Metal
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Ånden Som Gjorde Opprør is yet another synthesiser-based Dungeons & Dragons fantasy world album from Mortiis' eccentric Era I period. Somewhat more accomplished and diverse than Født Til Å Herske, it otherwise sticks to the formula established by the previous album (long, lo-fi dark ambient pieces on cheap keyboards based around Mortiis' personal contemplation of his invented fantasy world) and so offers few surprises. If you've heard any of Mortiis' dungeon synth material you already know whether or not it's your cup of tea; if you haven't, this is no worse a place to start than any other Era I album.

MORTIIS Født til å herske

Album · 1993 · Non-Metal
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Era I Mortiis - to use the troll's own term for his early dungeon synth works - might just qualify as outsider art. Along with the lyrics Mortiis penned for Emperor, these albums (up to and including The Stargate) seem to take place in the same cosmos and tell the saga of one particular figure - the Emperor Mortiis' band took their name from, in fact. The general concept of this part is outlined on this first album, in mumbled narration buried deep towards the end of the second half of the composition (so deep, in fact, that unless you knew it was there you'd think it was just part of the atmospheric background voices): a loner realises that in a different life he was the dark lord of a fantasy world, and recreates that world in his imagination. The Era I Mortiis albums in general seem to revolve around that general concept, and you can see it in the older Emperor material if you read it with this in mind.

On top of the devotion to an eccentric thematic concept, the Era I albums like this one also have a decidedly unusual musical approach. Making a clean break from his black metal past, Mortiis goes for an entirely keyboard-based approach, going further even than the material on Burzum's Filosofem (which, bear in mind, wouldn't come out until some years after this one's release). The keyboards clearly aren't especially expensive or modern, but Mortiis shows a knack for getting the absolute best sound of them he can, and the compositions themselves have kicked off a little microgenre of dungeon synth works. The general idea seems to be to compose melancholy medieval-sounding works which act nicely as background music for D&D games, and as far as examples of that sort of thing goes this release is better than many.

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