CD Review

Mortiis – “The Smell of Rain”

By Marcus Pan

The Smell of RainThe Smell of Rain is a step towards The Grudge[1] era Mortiis. It seems to be about halfway between The Stargate and The Grudge – the industrial nature of Mortiis’ grudge work coming through, but the heavy orchestration, strings and symphonics are still there if a little more towards the background. Even some guitars are riffing through now as we near the end of the first track, Parasite God.

Mental Maelstrom gets more futuristic with fluxy sounds and loads of industrial percussive noise. Monolith is a highlight of The Smell of Rain, successfully taking the orchestration that Mortiis has done previously and adding in heavier modern elements of guitar and vocals to create an interesting arrangement. You Put a Hex on Me has a nice groove to it with brighter guitar melodies that clash against the deeper vocals of Mortiis himself.

Everyone Leaves is a slow moving ballad with backwinds and sad electronics. Everything is subdued here following the swifter Hex track and slices The Smell of Rain in half with a sadness that punctuates the reason behind its otherwise angry tones elsewhere on the album. Marshland is quite good too, and I can give or take Antimental – too noisy maybe.

The first nine tracks here are the actual album as planned. We have three additional remixes to top it off of what, luckily enough, were the three top highlights of The Smell of Rain in my eyes. Marshland, Monolothic and You Put a Hex on Me are revisited to bump us up to twelve tracks in all with the addition of a nice industrial & swirly-girl vocal track called Paranoid God Pt. 1 which I really dug.

One of his better works most assuredly. He’s done will with neo-classical orchestration on his 1999 releases Crypt of the Wizard and most importantly The Stargate and I liked his The Grudge quite a bit. With The Smell of Rain Mortiis takes his industrial side and his orchestral side and melds them into a cohesive and solid whole, creating an album that benefits from roots in more than a single musical era.

Contact Information:
Earache Records, Inc.
Post: 43 W. 38th St., New York, NY, 10018, USA
[1] Reviewed in Legends #146.

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