Misere Mortem

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Mortemia is a one-man project, though the listener would be hard-pressed to notice. Morten Veland, of the German goth metal outfits Tristania and Sirenia, moves in an industrial-meets-classical direction on this CD, omitting the florid riffing and female co-lead vocals that have marked his previous projects. The result is something dominated by his Germanic baritone, crunching guitars, and synthesized drums and strings (plus a choir of male and female voices). Aside from the occasional higher-pitched, harsh shrieks and some arena-ready guitar solos, much of Misere Mortem sounds like Rammstein's Rosenrot or Laibach's Jesus Christ Superstars. When Veland begins to recite, rather than sing, the lyrics, the similarity becomes overwhelming. On other tracks, though, the music is gothic opera-metal that will appeal to fans of Veland's past projects or Therion or possibly even recent Dimmu Borgir releases. This is a prime example of the kind of metal that just doesn't play well in America, but taken on its own merits it's pretty solid, and the effort that must have gone into its creation can't be denied.

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