Mortiis The Grudge
By Marcus Pan
Mortiis mix up groove, funk
and guitars together to form an interesting mixture of EBM-laced industrial
with flair and style. From the opening Broken Skin you can already see
the well crafted nature of Mortiis' work with very well-laced rhythm, bass and
guitar stylings that are woven together as tightly as a straight cat's ass.
Then suddenly at just under two minutes in, the song goes south, breaking into
a nearly Sinatra-like lounge thing. Totally breaks up the heavy enjoyment of
what the track kicked off to be. But that's quick and over soon...only to
return into another during the chorus. Hopefully, Mortiis are just really good
musicians and composers (as shown in the inspired techno-industrial of
Broken Skin) playing a really bad joke on us. So let's move on and hope
they don't go into the Sinatra lounge singer thing too often.
Way Too Wicked opens very futuresque with strange
tinkers of electronica wrapping comfortably around a slightly metalicized vocal
track. It promptly gets heavier and rhythmic, reminding me of work by SMP(1)
and I find myself hoping it doesn't get loungey. This is a good track to
highlight Mortiis' capabilities there's enough musical changes in this
song that most bands of this over-worked ilk can't do in half their
albums length. And all blend together. I was complaining earlier about
albums where you can barely find the segues between songs Mortiis has
enough segues to make up for all of the shiny discs of crap I might have spun
this week and I'm only on the second track!
Think that wall-smashing riffage is all Mortiis is good for?
Witness the namesake of the release, The Grudge. A fine example of
Mortiis slowing it down and oozing evil like a post-natal witchs tit. It
keeps the low-down style going throughout and while they will use guitars (they
are an industrial band, no?) they'll do so with smoother style. However,
Decadent Desperate shreds right in and raises the bar back to breaking
They can smooth it out with The Worst in Me, or shred
it loud with Decadent Desperate. They can spit out lyrics like Way
Too Wicked and ooze it down like The Grudge. Either way, Mortiis are
one of the best industrial outfits to land on my desk in a world that seems
completely loaded with the same. I'll take this CD and put it on my shelf next
to the best Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Pigface, Front Line Assembly
if Mortiis doesn't achieve the same level of respect as those listed,
I'll eat my shorts because they should.
Unfortunately, Mortiis resembles what my old
reviewer-in-stasis friend Rat Bastard referred to as a elf-monster
thing, and, as we all know and RB pointed out to me, the ability to
dominate the industrial music scene is an uphill battle for elf-monster things.
But dont worry just because hes an elf-monster thing
doesnt mean he plays the flute or lyre or something. Pick this up and
help me from not eating my shorts!
(1) Legends reviewed one of my personal favorites of SMP,
Terminal, in issue #104.
Post: 43 W. 38th St., New York, NY, 10018, USA
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