Mortiis

Ånden som gjorde Opprør

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Mortiis' second solo venture further set the tone for much of his work to come -- for better and for worse. In fact, arguably part of the attention focused on his legendary stage and press photo makeup is because it helps steer away detailed discussion of the music (not that he was the first person to have figured out that particular approach, of course). Anden Som Gjorde Oppror is certainly another strong personal touchstone for anyone following his work in detail -- there are only two tracks, both are near-instrumentals (occasional spoken word interjections aside), both took up the full side of an album in vinyl days, and both are, for all practical purposes, interchangeable. The Mortiis ethos is one of setting and maintaining mood, one created out of orchestrated synths and wordless choirs plus a bare hint of rhythm here and there. It's essentially Wagner on a budget, though less focused on leitmotifs than on dramatic swells, doomy, brooding howls, and a sense that the Valkyries aren't riding down from Valhalla slowly stalking the land. What Mortiis has nailed down in terms of strong atmosphere, though, he doesn't always succeed at with sheer memorability -- snippets of suddenly thrilling drama can be found over the course of both tracks, and the distorted vocals that do crop up from time to time have a calm-but-chilling air that works very well. But it's often a slog to get to those moments, and the fact that there's barely any variety throughout -- it's as if he's discovered one particular synth patch and felt like he needed no other -- adds to the exhausting feeling. Obsessed fans would need this, via its Projekt reissue in 2007 if nothing else, but this starting effort holds little appeal beyond that.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 21:09
2 18:27
blue highlight denotes track pick