Mortemia Misere Mortem

Mortemia Misere Mortem
Morten Veland should be a name familiar to those in the gothic metal scene. Best known for his work in Tristania and Sirenia, Veland once again puts his talents to good use in the form of Mortemia. This one-man band is a remarkable exploration not only of the components of gothic metal, but simply of good writing. Even to those who aren't usually fans of gothic metal or rock the record should be appealing. Misere Mortem is listenable and accessible, yet this doesn't undermine or detract from its cleverness. Without losing touch with metal, the album has a strong classical/orchestral influence that, when combined with the guitar riffs, creates a rich, emotional texture. Veland's rasps are in the foreground, but are accompanied by fantastic choral arrangements. Standout tracks include "The One I Once was," "The Chains that Wield my Mind" and "The Pain Infernal and the Fall Eternal." (Napalm)