Mortiis (1993-present): a Black Metal band from Notodden, Telemark, Norway.
s an original and influential member of the infamous black metal band Emperor, Mortiis (Real Name: Haavard Elefsen) contributed both his bass playing and haunting synthesizer to that act's early recordings. In 1993 he struck out on his own with the solo demo The Song Of A Long Forgotten Ghost, a tape that featured only one 45 minute song cut into parts. His debut album Fodt Til A Herske (1994) followed on his own 'Dark Dungeon' imprint (that operated from 1995-1999). His deep, gothic keyboard atmospherics would become a trademark of the dark one's world even if his costume took the scene a bit far, once even upsetting the good citizens of New York in the late 1990s. Yes, in a city where the people had thought they'd seen everything, they had the opportunity to watch Mortiis forced to walk back to his hotel alone after failing to connect with his ride. A man walkling alone is not a scene until you realize he was wearing his tight PVC costume complete with paint, claws and mask outside of the concert venue in the public streets! The incident caused a lady to faint, cabbies to refuse him a ride and the police to be called!
Anden Som Gjorde Oppor (1994) and Selumord (1994) were released in quick succession the next year following the same musical pattern. With Keiser Av En Dimensjon Ukjent (1995), Blood And Thunder 7" EP (1995) he continued the trend. Up until this point his releases were only available in Sweden on an independent label but that changed in 1996 with the release of Crypt Of The Wizard, a compilation of his many singles and EPs. Now on 'Earache' he followed it up with The Stargate (1999) with fellow demonic purveyor Sarah Jezebel Deva (ex-Cradle of Filth) on vocals that same year along with tours, one of which saw him in the aforementioned New York incident. 2001's The Smell of Rain followed and represented the only album in the 'Era II'; Mortiis would separate his albums into 'Eras' (like chapters) for each time he experimented with style modifications. Mortiis's October 2004 release of The Grudge saw him back in form adopting an industrial feel to his music for 'Era III' and is often considered one of his most widely enjoyed albums; it would be followed by 2007's Some Kind of Heroin, a re-mix of material from The Grudge.
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On 10 October 2010 Mortiis released Perfectly Defect as an independently released free internet only download album. Regarding why the album was free, Mortiis stated, "The new model of the music business is important to keep in mind; there's a new mentality out there in terms of how people acquire their music now." 2010 would also see his only live album, Mortiis (Live in London).
After an unofficial several year break Mortiis would release The Great Deceiver in 2016 and The Unraveling Mind on 'Omnipresence' (2017) now in the 'Era 0' (yes, zero eventhough it doesn't follow III).
Footnote: In 1998 Mortiis attempted a second offshoot solo effort under the name Cintecele Diavolui titled The Devil's Songs. His first side attempt was as Vond in 1994 with Selvmord/slipp sorgen l¿s and a self-titled album in 1996. His most recent side attempt was as Fata Morgana with another self-titled release.
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Mortiis at The Charlotte, on April 21, 2005. Photo by: Morwen.
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