Mortiis at Ragnard Reborn festival in Kharkiv (2018)
|Origin||Notodden, Telemark, Norway|
|Labels||Malicious, Cold Meat Industry, Dark Dungeon Music, Earache, Projekt|
Mortiis is a band from Notodden, Norway fronted by Håvard Ellefsen, who is also known as the namesake of the band. The name is a misspelling of the word 'mortis', which is the pronunciation used by the band. Mortiis started as the solo project of Ellefsen as a means to convey a story. This aspect was lost over time and Mortiis slowly formed into a band.
Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.
Håvard Ellefsen, often referred to as Mortiis, is the only constant band member. He was born in Skien, Telemark. Mortiis began his musical career playing bass for the black metal act Emperor. He stayed with the band just over one year before going on to create his own solo project, though unlike his previous band the music would be dark ambient oriented. Ellefsen was experimenting greatly with music during his early solo career. He started four separate projects, though the focus was always on Mortiis.
The bass guitar is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric or an acoustic guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, and typically four to six strings or courses.
Ellefsen wrapped up work on the soundtrack to the movie Broken and The Devil's Chair (Renegade Films) in 2007. Both films were directed by Adam Mason who first worked with him on the Mortiis video for Decadent & Desperate. Having completed an album's worth of songs, Ellefsen commented at how they were "atmospheric and eerie" and also "very dark" while "some of it actually is semi-song structured, with some melody and sense to it." They were done under the Mortiis name. The collected music will eventually be released as a Mortiis album.
The Devil's Chair is a 2007 British horror film. It premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival.
Mortiis as a band was formed shortly after the release of The Smell of Rain .
The Smell of Rain is an album released by solo artist Mortiis in 2001.
Dark Dungeon Music was the personal record label of Mortiis. It operated between 1995 and 1999 while Mortiis resided in Halmstad, Sweden, and released mostly limited-edition vinyl. It was dissolved as Mortiis moved back to Norway in late 1999.
The lead vocalist in popular music is typically the member of a group or band whose voice is the most prominent in a performance where multiple voices may be heard. The lead singer either leads the vocal ensemble, or sets against the ensemble as the dominant sound. In vocal group performances, notably in soul and gospel music, and early rock and roll, the lead singer takes the main vocal part, with a chorus provided by other band members as backing vocalists.
Programming is a form of music production and performance using electronic devices and computer software, such as sequencers and workstations, to generate sounds of musical instruments. Programming is used in most electronic music and hip hop music since the 1990s. It is also frequently used in "modern" pop and rock music from various regions of the world, and sometimes in jazz and contemporary classical music.
In sound recording and reproduction, audio mixing is the process of combining multitrack recordings into a final mono, stereo or surround sound product. In the process of combining the separate tracks, their relative levels are adjusted and balanced and various processes such as equalization and compression are commonly applied to individual tracks, groups of tracks, and the overall mix. In stereo and surround sound mixing, the placement of the tracks within the stereo field are adjusted and balanced. Audio mixing techniques and approaches vary widely and have a significant influence on the final product.
Sarah Jane Ferridge, better known by her stage name Sarah Jezebel Deva, is an English vocalist. She was the female soprano vocalist in Cradle of Filth for 14 years and also fronts her own band, Angtoria. In 2009, Deva started her self-titled solo project. The debut album A Sign of Sublime was released in February 2010. Her second album, called The Corruption of Mercy, was released on 27 June 2011 under a new three album record deal with Listenable Records.
Joe Letz is an American drummer and DJ best known as the former drummer for the electro-industrial band Combichrist. Letz has also drummed for Amen, Mortiis, horror punk band Wednesday 13, Genitorturers, Hanzel und Gretyl, Imperative Reaction, Emigrate, and Aesthetic Perfection. Letz DJs in his downtime between tours and supported Rammstein as a DJ on their US Tour in 2012. He has also remixed the song Sinematic for the American gothic metalcore band Motionless in White.
The title of Era I was never intentional. It came about in 2001 when Mortiis was set to release The Smell of Rain , which was such a departure from his earlier records that he wanted to brand it in a way to signify this. All works previous to The Smell of Rain were thereafter referred to as Era I as a consequence. All of the Era I albums were composed entirely on synthesizers, creating a sound that Mortiis described as "dark dungeon music". The last album of this era, The Stargate, went a step further by introducing a wider range of instruments including acoustic guitars, flutes and dark vocals; mainly provided by Sarah Jezebel Deva.
Songs on The Smell of Rain were electropop, and frontman Ellefsen took to lead vocals for the first time. This would be the only release under the title of Era II. It was during this era that Ellefsen decided he needed to seek members to perform in a live setting, which later helped change how Mortiis as a band sounded.
With Era III came The Grudge , which took an even more drastic turn from previous eras and is said to have made the biggest impression of any of his albums. The Grudge took on a heavy industrial rock emphasis, combining grinding guitars and industrial programming. Some of the longtime fans were again not too happy with this turn, but it helped gain Mortiis more new fans. In 2005, the Norwegian Culture Council selected The Grudge to be freely available for listening to the public in libraries across the country.
On April 16, 2007 Mortiis released a remix album titled Some Kind of Heroin , reworking material from The Grudge, via Earache Records. "Some Kind of Heroin" offers diverse remix material including interpretations by a wide range of contemporaries, such as Zombie Girl, Gothminister, Implant, XP8, PIG, The Kovenant, Velvet Acid Christ, Girls Under Glass, David Wallace, Kubrick, Flesh Field, Victor Vortexx, Dope Stars Inc, In the Nursery among others.In late 2009 and early 2010 earlier music has been partly reprogrammed and re-arranged for future live use.
On 10 October 2010 Mortiis released Perfectly Defect as a free internet only download album. Regarding why the album was free, Mortiis stated, "The new model of the music business is important to keep in mind; there's a new mentality out there in terms of how people acquire their music now."During this time and the subsequent tours, the visual appearance and sound was similar to that of Era III, but with a more Industrial appearance closer to Combichrist and without any form of mask which had been a key characteristic of previous eras. Although this is marked as being part of Era III, this could be construed as a movement in Era IV.
Between 2011 and 2015, Mortiis (as a band or a solo musician) never stated that the project was on hiatus, although the last tour ended at P60 in Amstelveen (Netherlands) on July 8, 2011,with no performance, recording or releases since. However, during this time the mailing list, Instagram account and Facebook page was active, hinting at a return at some point.
The four-year hiatus was broken on 8 June 2015 when a message placed on the band's Facebook pagesuggested a new album was on its way in a new era, Era 0. This was confirmed on 5 October 2015 when the release of the single "Doppelgänger," off the forthcoming album The Great Deceiver. The artwork for "Doppelgänger" included the familiar Mortiis logo, but with the Era 0 subscript, confirming the new Era. The album (The Great Deceiver) was originally finished in 2008, and included mixes by Chris Vrenna (of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson). Additional material was also finished with enough material for another album during 2009. To mark the return, Mortiis announced a series of US tours starting on 7 October 2015 with "The Devils Be Damned Tour". Despite the Era being 0, this was not a return to the original sound of Era I, but a continuation of that within Era III, again with complete lack of prosthetics or mask, but keeping the gothic/industrial costuming and face paint.
For nearly the entirety of the band's existence, frontman Ellefsen has altered his facial appearance using several alternatives before using a prosthetic mask and ear set. The studio who made Mortiis' mask asked for a character reference for the moulding. The mask was always coupled with ears. During Era I the mask covered his whole face, though by Era III it had an appearance whereby it seemed to be falling off and was stitched in place. The mask was dropped after the release of Some Kind of Heroin. Having stated in an interview that the mask has been shelved "for better or worse", as part of the significance of Some Kind of Heroin.
Ellefsen's choice of dreadlocks (sometime after Era I), and various outfits helped produce the "Mortiis image". When asked as to what the mask represents he has answered, "I do not look upon myself as a goblin, or troll, or elf, or medieval. I am merely Mortiis." [ citation needed ] They often cover themselves in corn flour before going on stage.[ citation needed ]Mortiis has been known to repair his live clothes by using black tape to seal holes and tears.
When talking about the influence for the imagery that his band uses, Ellefsen has commented, "A lot of people do not get that you can do more than just look like you're waiting for a bus. I mean how dull is that? I grew up with Kiss, W.A.S.P. and Alice Cooper."
Mortiis has been credited for a number of remixes, though most are produced solely by Ellefsen. Mortiis’ most notable credited remixes are for artists signed to the Belgian industrial label Alfa Matrix, including Zombie Girl (on the album Blood, Brains and Rock 'N' Roll ) and I:Scintilla, another female fronted industrial metal act who released their album "Optics" featuring a bonus disc with remixes by Mortiis and other artists including Combichrist and Clan Of Xymox.Mortiis has also provided remixes for Italian Industrial Rock/Metal bands including Dope Stars Inc., T3CHN0PH0B1A, as well as the American Ethereal/Neoclassical act Melankolia.
|Era||Date of release||Title||Label|
|Era I||1993||The Song of a Long Forgotten Ghost||Pagan Records / Witching Hour Prod|
|1994||Født til å Herske||Malicious Records / Dark Dungeon Music / Earache Records|
|1994||Ånden som Gjorde Opprør||Cold Meat Industry / Earache Records|
|1995||Keiser Av En Dimensjon Ukjent||Dark Dungeon Music / Earache Records|
|1995||Blood and Thunder EP||Primitive Art Records|
|1996||Crypt of the Wizard||Dark Dungeon Music / Earache Records|
|1999||The Stargate||Earache Records|
|Era II||2001||The Smell of Rain||Earache Records|
|Era III||2004||The Grudge||Earache Records|
|2007||Some Kind of Heroin||Earache Records|
|Era 0||2016||The Great Deceiver||Omnipresence|
|2017||The Unraveling Mind||Omnipresence|
|Date of release||Title||Label|
|2010||"Mortiis (Live in London)"||Earache Records|
|Date of release||Title||Label||Chart position|
|2004||"The Grudge"||Earache Records|| UK Singles Chart: 51 |
UK Indie Singles: 7
|2005||"Decadent & Desperate"||Earache Records||UK Singles Chart: 49|
|2016||The Shining Lamp of God||Omnipresence|
|2016||Demons are Back||Omnipresence|
|2017||The Die Krupps & Leætherstrip Mixes||Omnipresence|
|2017||The Great Leap||Omnipresence|
|Date of release||Title||Label|
|200?||Parasite God||Earache Records|
|2003||Mental Maelstrom||Earache Records|
|2004||The Grudge||Earache Records|
|2004||Decadent & Desperate||Earache Records|
|2016||The Shining Lamp of God||Omnipresence|
|2016||Demons are Back||Omnipresence|
|1995||Necrose Evangelicum||Sinth||Brighter Death Now|
|2005||Muv Your Dolly (Swedish Erotica Mix)||Remix||XP8|
|2005||N.A.S.A. (Return of the Funky Dead Mix)||Remix||T3chnophob1a|
|2005||Self Destructive Corp. (Midnight Mass Remix)||Remix||Dope Stars Inc.|
|2005||Backstabbers Go to Heaven||Chorus||SCUM|
|2005||Touch Me (Cleanse & Corrupt)||Remix||Girls Under Glass|
|2006||Blitzkrieg (Driven On Mix)||Remix||Deathstars|
|2006||Havestar (La Malediction Mix)||Remix||I:Scintilla|
|2012||Bring Me Victory||Remix||Melankolia|
Mama Trash Family Artists Vol. 1 Track – 05 // "Zeitgeist" – Mortiis
Mama Trash Family Artists Vol. 2 Track – 15 // "The Ugly Truth" – Mortiis
"Fata Morgana is basically me wanting to express musical ideas through another medium – that had no real concept, that didn't deal with something special, or had any message within".
Clan of Xymox, also known as simply Xymox, are a Dutch rock band formed in 1981. Clan of Xymox featured a trio of songwriters — Ronny Moorings, Anka Wolbert, and Pieter Nooten — and gained success in the 1980s, releasing their first two albums on 4AD, before releasing their third and fourth albums on Wing Records and scoring a hit single in the United States. Their 1980s releases included synthpop/electronic dance music. Though the band is still active and continues to tour and release records, of the original songwriters, only Moorings remains in the band today.
Earache Records is an independent record label, music publisher and management company founded by Digby Pearson, based in Nottingham, England with offices in London and New York. It helped to pioneer extreme metal by releasing early grindcore and death metal records between 1988 and 1994. The label roster has since diversified into more mainstream guitar music, working with bands such as Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke and The White Buffalo. The company also hosted the 'Earache Express' stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017 and will be hosting 'The Earache Factory' at Boomtown Fair 2018.
Justin Karl Michael Broadrick is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer. He is best known as a founding member of the band Godflesh, one of the first bands to combine elements of extreme metal and industrial music. He was briefly in the English grindcore band Napalm Death when he was a teenager in the mid-1980s, writing and recording guitar for Side One of Napalm Death's debut album, Scum. Broadrick has also maintained a parallel career as a producer, producing records and remixes for groups such as Pantera, Isis, Mogwai and Hydra Head labelmates Pelican. Since 2012, he has been releasing hard techno music under the solo moniker JK Flesh. Broadrick has set up record labels such as HeadDirt, Avalanche Recordings, Post Mortem Productions, Lo Fibre and Heartache.
Painkiller is a band that formed in 1991, combining avant-garde jazz and grindcore. Later albums incorporated elements of ambient and dub.
The Berzerker was an extreme metal band from Melbourne, Australia and was formed in 1995. The band's music, heavily influenced by older death metal and grindcore, can be characterized as a fusion of these with speedcore, and gabber. The band's founding member Luke Kenny described the band's style as industrial death metal.
Misery Loves Co. are a recently reformed Swedish industrial metal duo, initially active in the 1990s and early 2000s. The band combine the hostility of thrash metal riffs with electronic samples usually associated with industrial music. Their lyrics generally focus on bleak sexual visions and pain over troubled relationships.
Crypt of the Wizard is a compilation album by Norwegian solo artist Mortiis, released in 1996.
"Decadent & Desperate" is the second single released by Norwegian industrial-rock solo artist Mortiis from the album The Grudge. It includes the previously unreleased track Underdog, along with various remixes and live songs not taken from the album. All versions were numbered limited editions. The music video shows Mortiis both with, and without his prosthetic make-up.
Vond was a side project of Håvard Ellefsen of Mortiis. Vond is the 'dark side' of Mortiis, so to speak. On the debut album, Selvmord, the musical styles of Vond were very similar to early Era 1 Mortiis, but on The Dark River album, it features samplers and a different melody structure than other Mortiis works. The final album. Green Eyed Demon, is almost only made up from samples from movies such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Deranged, accompanied by a dismal, droning music line.
Slavestate is an EP by industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released in July 1991 through Earache Records. The EP saw the band experimenting with more samples and electronic sounds than their predominantly industrial metal prior releases.
Medusa is the second studio album by Dutch dark wave band Clan of Xymox. It was released in 1 November 1986 by 4AD. Founding member Pieter Nooten re-recorded the songs "After the Call" and "Theme I" on Sleeps with the Fishes, his 1987 collaborative album with Michael Brook, following a brief split from the band.
Clan of Xymox is the debut studio album by Dutch dark wave band Clan of Xymox, released 1 July 1985 by 4AD.
Født til å Herske is Norwegian solo artist Mortiis's debut album, released on Malicious Records in 1994. It consists of one long song, split into two tracks. Due to misprints, several press runs of the CD state different labels.
Some Kind of Heroin is the first remix album by Norwegian solo artist Mortiis. The album is a collection of remixes of songs taken from Mortiis' previous album The Grudge.
Optics is the second album of the Illinois-based industrial band, I:Scintilla. It was released with two versions, a single disc version and a limited edition two disc version containing remixes.
OLD was an American heavy metal band from Bergenfield, New Jersey, formed in 1986 and signed to Earache Records. It featured Alan Dubin on vocals, and James Plotkin on guitars and programming, both of whom would later form the experimental doom metal band Khanate.
I:Scintilla is a post-industrial music band from Chicago, Illinois, currently consisting of Brittany Bindrim (vocals/lyrics), Jim Cookas (guitar/programming), Vincent Grech (drums), Dean Dunakin (bass) and Myles Arwine (guitar). They are currently signed to Belgian label Alfa Matrix.
Perfectly Defect is an album by Mortiis, released 10 October 2010 initially as a free internet download, although later available through digital music shops such as iTunes. Prior to being released, the official Mortiis website had a countdown clock. The album was released in various formats including FLAC, MP3 and AAC.