Category: Industrial / Metal
Album: The Great Corrupter
Blurb: With nearly two-and-a-half hours of remixes from some of the scene’s most accomplished acts sprawled out across two discs, this remix companion offers some excellent variations to Mortiis’ artistic vision.
Having already started off the band’s Era 0 with the industrial/metal juggernaut that was The Great Deceiver, Mortiis now delivers a remix companion as monstrous as the goblin visage front man Håvard Ellefsen is known for. Spanning two discs and nearly 30 tracks offering up the crème de la crème of the current electro/industrial scene offering their own unique takes on Mortiis’ singularly aggressive style, while by their very nature most remix albums are an often chaotic affair, The Great Corrupter proves to be a worthy companion to Mortiis most compelling audio/visual presentation yet.
There is a general conception of remix albums being little more than danceable interpretations to provide DJs material better suited for their set lists, and that element is certainly present on The Great Corrupter. Tracks like Je$us Loves Amerika’s take on “The Ugly Truth,” Die Krupps throbbing rocking version of “Doppelganger,” the grating and gyrating version of “Scalding the Burnt” by FLESH, and Cease2Xist’s stinging remix of “Feed the Greed” are instant dance floor stompers, along with John Fryer’s darkly pulsating “The Seed of Greed,” while tracks like the Le Prince Harry version of “The Great Leap” and the rendition of “Demons Are Back” by Technomancer and Angst Pop take on a retro new wave quality that contrasts quite well with Mortiis’ usual rocking industrial sound. With a slowly menacing, mechanical rhythm, deep warbles of bass, and disconcerting glitch effects, the PIG mix of “Too Little Too Late” is one of the album’s high points, as well as the sludgy, pummeling remix of “The Great Leap” by Godflesh. The processional “Sins of Mine” also presents some of the album’s most experimental moments, with Apoptygma Berzerk giving the song an epic electro-pop treatment, while Katscan and Raison D’Etre both opt for a more ambient, mostly instrumental approach that seem to ironically emphasize the song’s darkly lyrical qualities.
Besides the usual assortment of remixes, The Great Corrupter presents some insight into the creative process that culminates in an album’s outcome with a series of studio mixes originally performed by the illustrious Chris Vrenna, created during the recording sessions. It’s rare that audiences are given a glimpse into the alternate history of an album’s sound, a taste of what might’ve been before the final version, and to hear Vrenna’s rambunctious and monolithic versions of songs like “Demons Are Back,” “The Ugly Truth,” and “Doppelganger,” one can imagine how difficult such decisions ultimately are. Vrenna’s touch can be heard as the drums possess a steelier, more pronounced bite, the instrumentation bearing a strangely scratchy quality that neither diminishes nor enhances – it’s different, and while up to the listener’s preference, one can’t fault Mortiis for opting for the smoother feel that The Great Deceiver finally possessed.
As is usually the case with such immense remix collections, one could easily become fatigued by so many different interpretations. The Great Corrupter is no exception given the intensity of Mortiis’ music, both sonically and thematically, and two discs containing nearly two-and-a-half hours worth of remixes. Of course, moderation has rarely been part of the band’s modus operandi, and if one is willing to withstand the onslaught, The Great Corrupter will yield some excellent variations to Mortiis’ artistic vision on The Great Deceiver.