Mortiis

Image: Mortiis, Mazur PR

“The Great Deceiver killed the band,” says Mortiis, frontman and namesake of the Norwegian ensemble. “As important as is it to myself and who I have become, I haven’t been able to think about it in any way other than ‘I need to just get this thing out of my life and behind me before I lose my mind.’”

It’s not that the record – Mortiis’ ninth - is anything less than stellar. Mortiis’ conflicted feelings toward The Great Deceiver is a result of its torturous state of constant evolution, leading Mortiis – the man and the band - through the darkest of places and back.

Its themes of anger, greed, confusion, self-doubt and re-discovery saturate the album, resulting in Mortiis’ most labored yet honest record yet. The twisted journey weaves its way through feelings of anger and resentment on “Demons are Back,” through the Biblical metaphors of “The Ugly Truth,” then takes on a disdain for greed in “The Shining Lamp of God,” “Feed the Greed” and “Scalding the Burnt.” Self-doubt comes to the forefront on “Sins of Mine,” personal darkness permeates “Too Little Too Late” and “Road to Ruin” expresses a near-admission of defeat, while “Doppelganger” hits upon pure schizophrenia. The cycle of The Great Deceiver takes Mortiis down a path of reparation, with an attempt to exorcize demons on “Hard to Believe” and accepts the ghosts of the past on “Bleed Like You.” The lyrical journey concludes with “The Great Leap,” one of the most lyrically affirmative songs of Mortiis’ career, with an expression of embracing great change.

Musically, The Great Deceiver continues along the winding path that Mortiis’ two-decade career has taken. “There are so many layers and experiments on this record, especially with guitars,” he explains. “We ran a million tracks through all the effects, pedals, rack units and plugins we could find, with more failure than success most of the time.” In the end, it all came together cohesively, mixing together aggressive guitar-driven crossover metal with industrial-type electronics, for a record that could easily be considered the most accessible in Mortiis’ catalog. Yet Mortiis remains in an un-classifiable musical genre, one that encompasses too many elements to be summed up by a simple two-word description.

“It just is what it is - too metal for the electronic crowd, too electronic for the metal crowd. It´s a paradox we´ve dealt with before. If it can´t be stereotyped, then run like hell! We just never adhered to the rules, whatever those rules have been. I never stopped to check and I have no intention of ever finding out. If following the rules will make us more like the rest, then no thanks…the rest doesn´t look that great.”

Mortiis’ last release, Perfectly Defect, which was issued as a completely free download, came in response to his admitted resentment toward the record industry. “My cynicism of the industry had become like a monster,” he says. “We decided that instead of bowing to the ridiculous demands and greed of the music industry, we gave away a record to the fans. Why feed the monster that pretends to be your friend, when in real life they couldn´t care less?”

Following the release of Perfectly Defect, Mortiis retreated to a self-imposed music industry exile, disgusted with the lies and politics that surrounded him and began questioning his own drive to continue creating music after more than 20 years.

The Great Deceiver has come at a high price, financially and mentally. “It kinda took my sanity away a little too,” says Mortiis. But the fortune of having an outlet to express all these intense emotions has not been lost on Mortiis either.

“Some people write when they´re upset, angry, sad, anguished, and so on…I can´t do that. I always write in hindsight of events,” he explains. “I never forget. I carry baggage around and when I´m calm and inspired I will bring that crap back out and relive it, under controlled circumstances. It´s nothing unique, but I like that I can do that, and that I have the privilege of turning all that negativity into something productive. Not everyone has that privilege, though, and they carry that shit around until their dying day. I guess that´s why some people go postal.”

Since the beginning of his career as a solo artist before Mortiis morphed into becoming a full band, visuals have a played a nearly as important a part as the music in Mortiis’ vision. While having shed the image of the past, Mortiis continues to develop the visual end of his art through hypnotic film-like video clips that accentuate the songs.

“I'm all about imagery, visuals, and adding great elements to the music,” says Mortiis. “I have been proving that amidst a storm of ridicule for 20+ years. I am still here, even though every fiber, every cell of my body tells me I´m an idiot for doing it. Maybe that´s because I am meant for this after all, or because I have a stronger faith in our new album than I thought I did…I don´t really know yet.”

MORTIIS MAKES AMERICAN RETURN ON THE DEVILS BE DAMNED TOUR WITH MUSHROOMHEAD

Image: Mushroomhead, Mortiis, MazurPROSLO - Mortiis will make a long-awaited return to the United States this fall as the band joins Mushroomhead for a month-long warm up tour in preparation for the release of The Great Deceiver.

The idea of going back on the road fills me with a weird sense of excitement and dread," said frontman and namesake Mortiis. "The Great Deceiver is not far away - at long last - and we´re getting back out there, brushing off the dust and rust, to get ready for that, and whatever lies beyond."

The group, which hasn't toured the American shores since a 2006 trek with the Genitorturers and the 2005 Blackest of the Black tour, will preview material from the upcoming ninth album, as well as reaching back to favorites from the ensemble's ever-evolving catalog of music.

The Great Deceiver, which has remained in a torturous state of constant evolution until just recently, led the band through the darkest of places and back. The anger, frustration and disgust that permeate the record will be loud and clear in Mortiis' hostile live performance.

"It´s been one hell of a steep climb to where we´re at right now," Mortiis said, "and knowing me, I´ll step right off of that ledge, and plunge head first into the abyss."

This return stateside to present the new material live will be just a sign of things to come.

Image: Mushroomhead, Mortiis, Photo, MazurPR, Michael MazurDates are as follow:

October 7, 2015 Wed. Freebird Live, Jacksonville, FL
October 9, 2015 Fri. Venue 578, Orlando, FL
October 10, 2015 Sat. The Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
October 11, 2015 Sun. Club LA, Destin, FL
October 14, 2015 Wed. The Rail Club, Ft. Worth, TX
October 15, 2015 Thu. Dirty Dog Bar, Austin, TX
October 16, 2015 Fri. Jake's Backroom, Lubbock, TX
October 17, 2015 Sat. Venue 3405, Joplin, MO
October 19, 2015 Mon. The Granada, Lawrence, KS
October 20, 2015 Tue. POVS, Spring Lake Park, MN
October 21, 2015 Wed. Limelight, Peoria, IL
October 22, 2015 Thu. Austin's Libertyville, IL
October 23, 2015 Fri. Headliner's, Toledo, OH
October 24, 2015 Sat. Harpo's Concert Theatre, Detroit, MI
October 25, 2015 Sun. Diamond Pub & Billiards, Louisville, KY
October 26, 2015 Mon. Oddbody's Music Room, Dayton, OH
October 27, 2015 Tue. The Tree, Joliet, IL
October 28, 2015 Wed. The Metal Grill, Milwaukee, WI
October 29, 2015 Thu. The Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI
October 30, 2015 Fri. Alrosa Villa, Columbus, OH
October 31, 2015 Sat. Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, OH

www.mortiis.com
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