Just when we were getting used to the idea of ex-Emperor bassman and downhill slolam skier Mortiis as an extradimensional space goblin specializing in dark dungeon music, he flipped the game on us, showing some of those neat, sneaky moves that made him such a marvel on the slopes. Still sporting Tolkienesque makeup, the 27-year-old musician took a chance with industrial dance, riding tha darkwave on 2001's The Smell of Rain, and suddenly began selling albums (well, more albums). The novelty of hearing the formerly mute critter (don't call him a troll, or suggest that he has sex with wolves -- those are bad, false rumors!) let forth with a surprisingly soulful voice over club-ready beats and crunchy guitar samples soon faded before sheer elvish grooviness. Not just credible in his newest fromat, Mortiis busts the proverbial move, while CoF soprano Sarah Jezebel Deva makes with the angelic carnality.
The present disc incorporates the Rain album in toto -- my special faves include "Smell the Witch" and "scar trek/Parasite God" --and throws in amusing remixes by the likes of Lusmord, DJ Raven Fox and Tarmvred. If Crypt of the Wizard or even The Stargate did nothing to assuage yer blues, I strongly suggest spinning this one a few times. With the Tolkien revival still holding on the basis of Peter Jackson's magnificent films, Mortiis may find a wider audience yet, and not just as a freak show. The wry, acid lyrics, fresh and funky blips and snips make a refreshing break from the corporate drone circus that is mainstream rockinroll, and in the right circles, knowledge of this album might just get you some action. Play.