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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
02. Peter Bjärgö
- Animus Retinentia
03. Phallus Dei
- Black Dawn
04. Saille
- Gnosis
05. Black Anvil
- As Was
06. Heretoir
- The Circle
07. Last Leaf Down
- Bright Wide Colder
08. Bitterfeldt
- Götzen.Dämmerung
09. Elegi
- Bånsull
10. Isenordal
- Shores Of Mourning

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Mortiis - The Great Deceiver (2016) - Review

Band: Mortiis
Album title: The Great Deceiver
Release date: 4 March 2016
Label: Omnipresence Productions

01. The Great Leap
02. The Ugly Truth
03. Doppelganger
04. Demons Are Back
05. Hard To Believe
06. Bleed Like You
07. Road To Ruin
08. Scalding The Burnt
09. The Shining Lamp Of God
10. Sins Of Mine
11. Feed The Greed
12. Too Little Too Late

Once upon a time, a quarter of century ago if I'm more exact, in a land far away (called Norway) a black metal band Emperor was formed by three young lads, one of them being (artistically) named Mortiis. His task was to carry out the bass lines for the band; however, after only two years, Mortiis decided he wants to go on his own. So he left the back then not so safe haven of Emperor and started a journey of his own. His style was more dark ambient oriented and shifted through different genres with various projects, though the band, which carried and still does his name, was his primary pride and joy (and job). Years have passed though and Emperor became one of the most influential, fundamental and legendary black metal bands in the history of music (I believe no one will disagree with this statement), while Mortiis spent his time releasing well, a few average dark ambient records and later on average-ish industrial metal releases. The Great Deceiver came after six years of silence after Perfectly Defect and well, if you know Mortiis's music and style and thought maybe this time he took the time to work on something fresh and different, think again. It's all the same one more time.

On the past few releases Mortiis really stepped into the dark side of industrial metal: its sound is incredibly dense with electronic rhythms; it's tortuously obscure, edgy and also quite danceable to some extent. As industrial was developing through the years, it became a genre you can play with and develop new variations of it. Mix it with gothic metal or death rock and you get the more obscure and romantic side of it shining; it works perfectly if you spice and sex it up with a bit of a glitter and glamour or with black metal and open the doors to a realm of painful darkness. Then again, you can just stay loyal to steady bass lines, one-dimensional guitar riffs to add some heaviness and loads and loads of electronic features. That is what The Great Deceiver is. When you put on the record for the first or tenth time, everything sounds so familiar. There's a bit of Nine Inch Nails in there and often moments occur, when you think you’re listening to White Zombie or Ministry – basically, the USA-inspired, dirty kind of industrial metal vibe is present from the first to the last track. Firstly released single "Doppleganger" actually had me on toes a bit – it's gloomy, a bit trashy and catchy in its own, weird way and seemed like we can actually expect something worth of listening. But in the end it came out to be "Doppleganger", catchy "Bleed Like You" and semi-experimental "Sins Of Mine" are the only songs that are actually significant enough to remember. The songs just all sound so alike and my expectations turned to dust just after a few listens. What particularly bothers me on this album that is, that I find the fundamentals of the tracks to be actually have a strong potential and goof foundations, but then the more you progress with the listening, each song takes a twist and everything falls out of place.

I wish I could say more about this release, but none of the songs really spoke to me or stick to my brains at least. No matter how thoroughly I dedicated myself to the album, it was instantly forgotten as it was over. I'm sure Mortiis die hard fans will find delight in it and maybe even find its variety or depth, but for me the tracks from The Great Deceiver are more suitable for dark electro parties and industrial clubs, where you can move your body as the electro vibes pass you through and not really pay attention to what you're dancing to.

Review written by: Ines
Rating: 4/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Atrium Carceri
Album title: Archives I-II
Release date: 22 March 2016
Label: Cryo Chamber

The dark ambient powerhouse Atrium Carceri is back with something a little different this time around. Archives I-II looks back on the last ten years of the Atrium Carceri project. Simon Heath chose his favorite lost gems and gave them all a makeover by way of re-editing, mixing, and mastering into two long tracks totaling almost an hour and a half. Archives I-II is the first long form album by Atrium Carceri, Simon has used two long tracks, almost a full album length each. Archives I-II has everything that an Atrium Carceri fan could possibly hope to hear. Within these two tracks are many of the hallmarks of the dark ambient and specifically Atrium Carceri sound. While considering this for review I listened quietly with headphones, as well as on the metro, also with larger speakers while gaming, while going to sleep, and while reading. Archives I-II was the perfect companion in each instance. The production value and creative talents are pouring out of this release and I promise it will not get old any time soon.

Read a full review HERE