Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Back to Dungeon Synth Roots - 95%

Slater922, February 4th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Dead Seed Productions (Digipak)

In my previous review, I checked out Mortiis's "The Grudge", a painfully average album that begun the dark age of his music. Well after the release of even worse albums, Håvard went on a hiatus for a few years before he began performing live again in a new era called Era 0. However, there were hints during that time that Mortiis could be going back to making dungeon synth music, and those hints were confirmed just last year where "Spirit of Rebellion" was released. Not only is this a return to the Era I style, but Håvard shows that he still has the skills to provide a grand atmosphere for everyone.

This album was originally going to be a rework of his album "Ånden som gjorde opprør". However, he ended up adding in some new elements that he considers "a different record entirely". Listening to the album, there are still some melodies off of Ånden being played. However, I'd argue that this version of Ånden is better mainly due to the quality of the synths. Unlike the more amateur sound in the 1995 album, the synths here are more cleaner and polished, but still offer the signature dark sound that Mortiis is known for. The production is also similar, with a more grounded sound, but also still giving the synths more power in the sound. This makes the overall atmosphere of "Spirit of Rebellion" sound more epic and vast than the original, though I'd say the atmosphere in "A Dark Horizon" is slightly better than in "Visions of an Ancient Future", since the latter has a couple of inconsistencies.

As for the more original melodies being played, they are just as good as the remakes. Håvard adds some backing vocals in certain parts of the songs, which sound angelic and smooth. The backing vocals reminded me of Sarah's vocals off of "The Stargate". Not only that, but extra instruments are added in, which further enhance the track's themes. There are more trumpets being played in some parts in "Visions of an Ancient Future", which play more impactful melodies. "A Dark Horizon" also includes a more complex drum pattern and around the 9:30 mark, a droning sound can be heard, which gives this part of the song a more dreamy atmosphere. These new instruments add more enchantful elements in the atmosphere, and they sound great.

Overall, "Spirit of Rebellion" is an excellent album to start off the comeback in the dungeon synth genre. Not only are the remakes of the Ånden parts improved, but the extra instruments and backing vocals give the tracks a more epic atmosphere that gives the listener a more enthusiastic feeling compared to the original. This concludes my Mortiis album review series, and it's been an interesting journey to see Mortiis evolve his craft in different genres and styles.