MIC's Listen to Norway series continues with Mortiis' 'The Grudge'
Without prior acquaintance Mortiis is a very difficult artist to figure out; alien and uncanny. And that is presumably the point. The first thing that strikes you is the rather singular appearance of this creature Mortiis. The devilish outer seems at first to suggest a predictable musical content, but, as one soon discovers, predictable, conform and categorizable is the last thing this entity, both man and band, is.
The entity that is Mortiis has gone trough some very extensive transformations over the ten or so years it has been around, from a one man band indulging in ambient darkwave, to the full line-up band behind the Grudge.
According to Mortiis The Grudge is a twisted mixture of electronics, fierce guitars and hard-hitting drumming.
Upon pressing play one is taken aback at the richness and diversity of the music. Very far from the obvious ingredients in music that purports to be evil, Mortiis serves us a highly modern, industrial sound that at times can remind of super tuned machine pop a la Depeche Mode, but the next moment explodes into dark sneering and overwhelming aggression.
The Grudge is the most successful Mortiis album to date, entailing a fine performance on British charts as well as preparing the ground for some very extensive large scale touring in the US, notably the partaking in Danzig’s “Blackest of the black” tour, which meant playing for around a thousand people night after night.
For a band still fairly obscure in Norway this is quite remarkable, and it says something of the international following that this very unconventional artistic entity enjoys.