Mortiis – Ånden Som Gjorde Opprør

Free downloads often go together with young artists. Music is offered pro-bono to spread the name of the band or musician, or because of some ideological commitment to everything being available for nothing. It can be clever marketing, but it can also devalue the music somewhat. We pay for candy, so a couple of bucks for music we really like shouldn’t feel totally absurd. In some cases, though, distributing music for free is done by artists that are very experienced, with no obvious ideological point and – most importantly – without making the music feel cheap at all. These latter conditions all apply now, as Mortiis recently announced that he’s publishing the music from Ånden Som Gjorde Opprør for free download as high quality AIFF files.

The reason for this magnanimous decision is the upcoming Cold Meat Industry 30 year anniversary concert, which Mortiis will be headlining. He will perform a modern reinterpretation of Ånden… – “retaining the atmosphere of the original sound”, but excavated and dragged into the current world. In advance of this occasion, this digital download version has been put out there to remind those of us who were there, and perhaps enlighten those poor souls that were not, what this album was and is all about.

Ånden Som Gjorde Opprør has two songs, and when it comes to the first one this reviewer has absolutely no objective perspective. Back in ’95 a lengthy excerpt of “En Mørk Horisont” was included on the seminal Cold Meat Industries compilation CD …And Even Wolves Hid Their Teeth And Tongue Wherever Shelter Was Given, which to this day remains one of the coolest things ever to exist in any category. Fans of modern day dungeon synth will certainly recognize the elements here – epic but not all-too realistic synthesizers creating drama and atmosphere with very limited means. Deep vocals utter occasional dark, Norwegian poetry on the topic of dark horizons and futures past, timpani rumble over an inner landscape painted by Kittelsen or Bauer. There is some of Basil Poledouris, some black metal intro/outro music and 100% pixie dust strewn over advancing troll and orch armies.

The second song, “Visjoner av en Eldgammel Fremtid”, has spun considerably less around this reviewer’s various homesteads throughout the years, but even without the massive cloud of nostalgia it is thoroughly enjoyable. This was and still is an awesome album, and you can not possibly understand the history and essence of what has come to be known as dungeon synth without having heard and digested this classic. In particular the organic playing style and relentless, uncompromising creativity is second to none, and Ånden Som Gjorde Opprør still stands proudly next to, when not in front of, even the finest second gen DS acts.

This particular version is very minimalist, obviously, with only two massive AIFF files and a bunch of flyers for later Mortiis stuff in the download package. While it would be nice to have some extra artwork and what not included, the magnificent sound quality sort of compensates for that. You can proceed to get the download here.

For those who would like a physical copy, multiple versions of the album are still around at decent prices on the second hand market. Furthermore, a recently issued cassette version is, at least at the time of writing, available from Mortiis himself.

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