Mortiis-The Great Deceiver

It’s been quite a long time since anyone heard anything related to Mortiis, but the fact that he has risen from the proverbial dead and suddenly announced a new record really seems to have surprised everyone who ever cared about his solo career. Of course, the days when Mortiis was more closely connected to the remnants of black metal’s second wave (I.e., the mid-90s) seem so far removed from existence it’s hard to imagine the man himself performing anything other than dark electro-industrial metal. One thing has changed however: the goblin face of Mortiis’ diabolical early 21st Century image. Those who remembered watching Mortiis spring into the mainstream success when music channels such as Kerrang! and Scuzz practically worshipped him for a brief albeit important period of time will undoubtedly recognise the musicianship behind latest effort “the Great Deceiver”, but few will recognise the newly adjusted human face which has turned the goblin image away in favour of a more honest, rawer perception.

That’s practically what Mortiis has sought to achieve with “The Great Deceiver”-a honest perception of his own faults, the ever-menacing people which he hates in life and the endless menace depression, suicidal thoughts and manic mental issues can bring to the majority of the world’s population. Such issues have always gone hand in hand with this particular style of music, but “The Great Deceiver” surely demonstrates more hidden rage and malevolence which now has certainly come to light. The album’s most aggressive cuts-opener ‘The Great Leap’, ‘Doppelganger’ and ‘Feed the Greed’-all produce some of the catchiest albeit grittiest sounds Mortiis has lent his hand to. The opener in particular practically screams bile into your face via an endless repetition of “No!”, and if that one word isn’t implanted into your brain by the end of the song, then you just aren’t wide-eyed enough to experience the aural assault. There are other songs which ignite similarly chaotic emotions. ‘Demons are Back’ is strongly developed via a sinister industrial beat backed by murmuring pianos, and despite its calmer nature in comparison to other songs, it brings forth aggression in different shapes and form to the album opener. ‘Feed the Greed’ is a slower, heavier beast than ‘The Great Leap’, but only with the former can you realize that Mortiis’ vocal delivery simply hasn’t stopped performing with the same exuberance of a singer half the man’s age.

“The Great Deceiver” does have several quieter moments, some of which unfortunately go on to cut the flow of an otherwise promising comeback record. ‘Bleed Like You’ certainly begins to spark an interest with its jarring industrial melody, but based on the repetitive instrumentation and Mortiis’ more average vocal leanings, it proves to be more filler than a memorable song. Countering the most average song of the record however is a bilious one-two strike in ‘Scalding the Burnt’ and ‘The Shining Lamp of God’, two tunes which severely impact the listener’s eardrums with arguably the heaviest guitar-led sounds of the record itself. And of course, the album gives its best highlights towards the end. ‘Sins of Mine’ explores a sound which is the closes to balladry Mortiis has ever come, yet through honest vocal/lyrical interplay and a juddering piano sound (almost as disturbing as the electro-industrial elements) it displays a near flawless sonic disturbance which, like ‘The Great Leap’, will prove memorable time and again after it has finished playing. Album closer ‘Too Little too Late’ is Mortiis’ fitting bow-out to the listener for the end of “The Great Deceiver”, and it serves as a tribute to what the man is looking forward to in the future, putting the past behind him. What accompanies this is a strict, controlled industrial rhythm which hammers in every lyric until the listener can recite the words back-to-back without difficulty.

Essentially, “The Great Deceiver” is the best comeback record from Mortiis anybody could have hoped for. It doesn’t particularly display any changes in the electro-industrial metal direction, but what it does offer is more to indulge in from a man who has now written inner pain and emotional turmoil onto paper, the aural result being his latest effort.


Released: March 4th, 2016.

  1. The Great Leap
  2. The Ugly Truth
  3. Doppelganger
  4. Demons are Back
  5. Hard to Believe
  6. Road to Ruin
  7. Bleed Like You
  8. Scalding the Burnt
  9. The Shining Lamp of God
  10. Sins of Mine
  11. Feed the Greed
  12. Too Little too Late


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