Rating:
7.0
Mortemia - Misere Mortem
24 February 2010


01. The One I Once Was
02. The Pain Infernal And The Fall Eternal
03. The Eye Of The Storm
04. The Malice Of Life's Cruel Ways
05. The Wheel Of Fire
06. The Chains That Wield My Mind
07. The New Desire
08. The Vile Bringer Of Self Destructive Thoughts
09. The Candle At The Tunnel's End


Lately I was trying to find an excuse on Morten Veland creating an one-man project, Mortemia, since he's the mastermind of the successful gothic metal act Sirenia. The only excuses I could find were either his lust for ultimate expression in any aspect (even production/engineering/mixing) or being at the front of vocal expression, since Sirenia is fronted by female vocals and he just escalates the atmosphere with his grunting interpretation. Maybe a mixture of those two, ego (not necessarily in a bad manner) and more expressional views apart from the mainly composing role he has in Sirenia.

Apart from these reasons mentioned above, was it really necessary to endure in such an action? Misere Mortem could easily be an album composed for Sirenia or any band ending in -ia with Morten Veland in its ranks. It has symphonic passages and operatic vocal lines as well, it's definitely heavier and more bombastic, but still melodic! Morten could play a more important role in the interpreting part of the game (keeping Pilar "Ailyn" Giménez García as well on the female role), something like earlier Tristania for example. Yet he monopolizes the interest and in my humble opinion it requires a lot of inspiration to stand out alone and shout “here I am, all alone and I can do it just fine” in this kind of music. There are many releases in the atmospheric/gothic/melodic death metal scene that have a lot to say and when the offer is big the demand for quality becomes even bigger. The good part is that you can do anything you want being an one-man band, but all by yourself, unless you're a multipersonal genius or with an exceptional and innovative idea in mind, you can't offer the diversity you probably want. And Morten hasn't progressed in sound.

Morten Veland is an important persona for the gothic metal scene, no need to refer to his achievements, but this move seemed kind of obscure, it's not that Misere Mortem is a bad album, it's a good one and has its moments of delight, but after some spins it tends to tire a bit, despite consisting only of 9 songs (40 minutes). And an album that doesn't sound that fresh and doesn't stick in mind in 2010, remains a memory, something like "ah, yeah, Morten Veland did release an album then". The artwork is great though.

Well, fans of Morten Veland will probably run to own Misere Mortem, after all it's an album with flowing harmony, one could say as well it's kind of early Tristania, lyrical still but heavier, with only male vocals (apart from the operatic ones), non-accompanied by an as well leading female voice. I was expecting more, without condemning this release though, it has good songs inside, it just tires a bit. The decision still lies to thee.

PS.
I enjoyed the Vovin approach the operatic vocals had on “The Pain Infernal And The Fall Eternal”.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 9


Band profile: Mortemia
Album: Misere Mortem


 



Written on 10.09.2010 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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Fossegrimen - 11.09.2010 at 02:53  
As far as I know Morten made this album in memory of Kenneth Barkved from Elusive
DerRozzengarten - 11.09.2010 at 03:27  
An unxpected reply the least. Kenneth was a wonderful guy, i had the blessing to see him live with Elusive three times here in Greece, he enjoyed being here and he even had made some goth rock friends down here. "Locked doors, drinks and funerals", "the great silence", "destination zero", the titles have proven to be prophetic, from album 3 to album 1.
Susan - 11.09.2010 at 06:03  
"Misere Mortem could easily be an album composed for Sirenia"

I couldn't agree with this statement more, Rozz. Misere Mortem is beautifully generic, but beautiful nonetheless. Genre fans will find much to enjoy, and it definitely tramples on anything recent from Sirenia. Why not give them this music instead? Furthermore, what was the point of this solo project, especially since Sirenia is basically a solo project anyway?

Nice review - I'm in total agreement!
WorpeX - 11.09.2010 at 08:29  
For some reason the Choir bothers the heck out of me on this album, I feel like he over used them. I never really seemed to notice them so much in Sirenia, they blended in nicely. I find myself wishing they would shut up in Mortemia though.

Nice album though, there are some good tracks on it, although its a far-cry from At Sixes and Sevens. I feel like even 13th Floor blows this away. :/
Jon - 11.09.2010 at 17:19  
Not a whole lot of musical description DR, although I sympathise since I found it very hard to find any actual musical features on the album to describe when I reviewed it. (http://baileysmmcreamy.blogspot.com/2010/08/mortemia-misere-mortem.html)
Carlonn - 13.09.2010 at 19:07  
I've heard the album alot of times since I got it and I still love it. I don't agree that it tiers too quickly, at least I don't get tiered of it. I could listen to Mortemia a few times a day and then play something else but I could also play it the day after and enjoy it again. I love symphonic metal and I found Misere Morterm to be a very good album.
Lovecraft - 14.09.2010 at 17:48  
Written by Carlonn on 13.09.2010 at 19:07

I've heard the album alot of times since I got it and I still love it. I don't agree that it tiers too quickly, at least I don't get tiered of it. I could listen to Mortemia a few times a day and then play something else but I could also play it the day after and enjoy it again. I love symphonic metal and I found Misere Morterm to be a very good album.


Agreed.
dismaleuphony - 15.09.2010 at 07:37  
Yes I've found this album tiring, yet not necessarily a painful experience. It's the type of music I can put on and never be offended by, and let it play in the background. But I also agree with WorpeX above: the choirs are overdone. In fact I've been bored with his choirs in the past 2 Sirenia albums as well, even if I don't hate them in any way. This is quite a stale album, and while the lyrics are personal at times, I feel wholly uninterested. It's strange in that I find it hard to find specifically bad points, though.
Jeeers - 05.10.2010 at 14:10  
A decent album, but nothing of a great value can be found here. A monotounos one.

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