Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Devil's Review: Mortemia


You might have heard the name Morten Veland before. He was a founding member of Tristania and is currently assaulting the metal community with his crunchy guitar riffs and melodic solos with Sirenia. He's always been a solid guitarist and composer and his solo project Mortemia is a sure sign of that. But how would I describe his solo release Misere Mortem in one word? Repetitive.

Within the notes of the first song, "The One I Once Was" the album starts off sounding strangely familiar. For the casual listener you might be thinking to yourself, hey I've heard this song before. For someone unfamiliar with these projects, or Morten himself it might be hard to distinguish this song from the Sirenia hit "The Path To Decay" where the chords, the cadence and even the guitar solo is almost pure plagiarism.

What's worse for me is that the elements that make Sirenia's "Decay" such a brilliant song is used over and over throughout this album. From the double bass fills to the cookie cutter riffs to the 'choir' parts in whatever language that is on just about every song on this record; it all sounds the same from song to song and just about every track follows that formula on Misere Mortem. I guess you can have too much of a good thing.

I really did enjoy this album though, and I'm always gonna love this style of music; I think my one major complaint is they you can listen to one song and have heard the whole album. If there was a bit more variety on Misere then I think it would have been a definite higher recommendation, instead I would suggest just giving a listen if you were really bored or had nothing new to listen to.

It's still not as bad as a lot of shit that gets made and played out there and I still think you should give it a listen. Just be prepared for some massive amounts of head-banging with some occasional bouts of Déjà vu.

5 sins out of 10

Just for kicks, here's Mortemia's song "The One I Once Was"

And here is Sirenia's "The Path to Decay"

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Rob Liz said...

I'm curious. Let's say hypothetically that the Mortemia album had female lead vocals as well as male would you have given this a better review? This album was made in between album cycles for Sirenia and I think an outlet for Mortem to get away from the increasing pop sound that Sirenia has evolved to. I mean lets face it, when was the last time that he had not had a woman singing on his projects? The recording equipment and instruments are all his so yeah its going to sound the same with heavy bass, the same keyboard sound, and guitar tone. But its more of a showcase of him solo as a vocalist then anything else.

Draeden said...

Honestly, that had nothing to do with it.. Just about every song on this album sounded VERY similar. I still enjoyed it, but if he would have thrown in some different stuff, I would have loved it more. The female vocals wouldnt have made a difference.. In the two videos, skip to the guitar solos and you'll see what I mean, they're like dead on the same... I actually like his vocals, btw. The choir shit on every song has to go too...

Rob Liz said...

I disagree. I think the choir enhances the songs. Oh well to each his own. It's still one of my favorite albums of last year.