Norwegian electronic metal band MORTIIS played a headlining show at 1Rock club in Moscow, Russia on Thursday, March 5.
Check out photos from the concert:
Fan-filmed video footage of the MORTIIS performance can be viewed below.
MORTIIS' new album, "The Great Deceiver", will be released later in the year.
A refreshing blend of techno, industrial, metal, punk and progressive rock, this disc mesmerizes listeners from the first sounds of the opener, "Feed The Greed", to the fading notes of its closer, "Too Little, Too Late". More than the sum of its dozen tracks, it is a lush, layered opus that continues to deliver fresh new sounds after multiple listens.
"It's a 'headphones record,'" agrees Mortiis, the band's leader and chief songwriter. Although he and his band dedicated the last two years of their lives to create this musical marvel, he admits songwriting is a continual, never-ending process. In addition to his journal of lyrical ideas, the artist collects what he describes as "musical sketches" on a computer.
"We can't just sit down and bang out a complete song in two hours," he continues. "Our songs are pieced together during long stretches of time. 'Bleed Like You', which was composed entirely on a piano, is the only song that came together in a day."
"We're sound geeks who like to mess around with different effects in weird combinations to create cool, strange and mutated new sounds as building blocks in our music," says guitarist Levi Gawron. "We often spend days messing around with sounds and recording strange noises, but we always have a clear idea of what the song should like in the end."
Produced by Mortiis and Levi, and co-mixed by the duo and Chris Vrenna (MARILYN MANSON, NINE INCH NAILS),"The Great Deceiver"'s sound is decidedly 2009. Conceptually, however, it harkens back to the '70s, when albums were complete musical journeys; more than a mere collection of tracks surrounding the presumed "hit."
"It's not a traditional concept record," explains Mortiis, "but it underlying theme is about feeling emotionally scarred, frustrated and full of angst."
Although Mortiis no longer wears the latex mask that was the visual face of the band during its early live performances, the band's members realized it was still wearing figurative masks. The struggle to tear these masks away fueled "The Great Deceiver"'s creation process.
"'Doppelganger', for instance, is me screaming at myself," the artist explains. "While writing the lyrics, I was searching for my real identity. I wondered ‘Is this really me?' Do I hate myself again? Have the years of criticism I received for wearing a mask finally found its way into my head?"
Mortiis, however, have not abandoned their visual side. Music videos for "Doppelganger" and "Zeitgeist" were recently filmed by Robyn Von Swank, the renowned photographer whose bizarre, creepy and morbid, but hauntingly beautiful images are the perfect visual compliments to the band's music.
"We are always looking for new artistic people to collaborate with," says Mortiis. "We all love Robyn's art. Her photos have this great antique, decayed and worn out look. We got in touch with her through her MySpace page and, at first, she was going to do photography for us. Then she expressed interest in getting into music videos."
"She is a unique lady," adds Levi. "She understands what the artist wants and she is a great person to work with."
"We had faith in her," continues Mortiis. "She certainly came through."
Then, after two years of painstaking perfectionism, the band realized it had put the finishing touch on its creation.
"It was hard to believe that it was finally done," laughs Levi. "I spent a whole night in the studio control room, listening to the final mixes over and over again. Deep down inside, I guess I was hoping to hear some flaws. It was hard letting it go. Finally, we all felt proud of what we had accomplished. We were happy and we celebrated by getting drunk."
"The first few days after the record was complete felt weird," says Mortiis. "But there was no reason to go back to the studio."
Now it is time to share for Mortiis to share its latest musical creation with the world
"We've been polishing this turd long enough," chuckles Levi. "It's as smelly as it can ever be. All kidding aside, it is the best work that this band has ever done and we are all excited to put it out there for everyone to not just hear, but also experience."