Good goblin

If you ever wondered where the intersection of Broken-era NIN and black metal might be, here's your answer. And yes, it's as breathtaking as it sounds.

The Great Deceiver
I must admit, I was not expecting this. It's been a while since I've heard anything from Mortiis, but this is much heavier and more industrial than anything I'm familiar with. Gone are the tinny keyboards and crap drum machine sounds of Emperor. Gone are the overwhelmingly diffuse electronics of the earlier Mortiis albums I know. This album is all muscle. This is the sound of civilizations dying.

Okay, hyperbole. I know. In fact, this is a lot closer to Broken (or Psalm 69, to reference another great industrial album) than metal, but the insistence on speed remains. Perhaps the biggest change is an embracing of traditional songwriting craft. That is, these sound like songs, not thready-pulsed screeds.

I'm not trying to slog old Mortiis or Emperor, but I always thought something was missing. Maybe my ears are too conventional. Hard to say. In any case, this album is the real deal. It may have taken 20 years, but Mortiis has finally achieved greatness.

Without cheesing out, even. I know, this is a further shift toward the mainstream, but it sure works. I kinda doubt Havard Ellefsen will ditch the makeup and perform as himself, but performing this material live just might cause him to sweat enough for the fake face to fall off. As for the future, I imagine evolution and experimentation is inevitable. This is a fine whistle stop, no matter what comes next.

Jon Worley

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