Monday, March 14, 2016

CD Review: MORTIIS The Great Deceiver

The Great Deceiver
Omnipresence Productions
I remember when Mortiis was a one-man dark ambient project birthed by Emperor’s former guitarist (also side projects including Vond which was like a darker version of Mortiis). Many changes have happened in the twenty years since I first listened to this project. The Great Deceiver is his ninth full length and a chronicle of sorts of the constant state of evolution he has undertaken in all that time. As I read the album’s accompanying bio I gather the intensive work of those two decades has taken a toll on him, in more ways than one. Having taken a sabbatical after releasing his last full length Perfectly Defect (He released it as a free download as a gift to the fans, a statement against the demands of the music industry. Proving yet again there are artists who believe more in integrity than money), Mortiis the artist was quoted as saying, “The Great Deceiver has come at a high price, financially and mentally. It kinda took my sanity away a little too. Some people write when they´re upset, angry, sad, anguished, and so on. I can´t do that. I always write in hindsight of events.” It’s unclear if this means The Great Deceiver is to be his final offering to extreme music. But either way it’s the culmination of years of innovative music that can’t be compared to anyone else’s creations. Like his past efforts, this album defies categorization and stands as testimony to complete creative freedom, despite the increased mediocrity we are exposed to day after day. Every song is radically different from the previous one; this diversity alone is worth purchasing a copy. The vibes I am getting from this collection is the ire and disillusionment the industry aroused in him, as suggested by the quotes he lent to the aforementioned bio. The range of emotions displayed are anger, contempt, disdain, personal darkness and something like schizophrenia. All this may sound negative but purging it all through these songs ultimately leads to a sense of reparation and a kind of healing from his firsthand experiences in the industry. Moreover, like many underground classics it’s all displayed in an honest fashion with no attempts made to sugarcoat any of it. I could relate to his honesty and it seems I am not alone in my thoughts. If The Great Deceiver represents a healing process for this long-experienced artist, perhaps the next full length will expand on the creative license that is firmly established by it. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
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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