The Smell Of Rain
Review by Jack on October 30, 2001.
Mortiis. What can you say? Mr. Troll returns without his medieval swagger and thrusts all us willing puppies into his techno/dance hall of obscurity. I’m going to attempt to classify Mortiis’ “The Smell of Rain” to a genre (for the sake of definition and I love to genreise everything), okay here goes; Gothical synthetically industrialised synthesized regressed rock. Hopefully that will help classify a portion of what Mortiis attempts on “The Smell of Rain” and a small part of what actually succeeds.
Mortiis left arguably the greatest black band (Emperor) to concentrate on synthesized meandering in the dark, castle metal genre. No real instruments were regularly present on any of his past records (by that I mean guitars, drums and the like) and “The Smell of Rain” is no exception.
‘Scar Trek/Parasite God’ starts off with some wierdo dance beat and then proceeds to go on with some alternate sort of music that would be suited to a techno-martial arts film. There are some quality licks on here though; ‘Marshland’ features some catchy chorus work and a solid beat, whilst ‘Everyone Leaves’ is so heartfelt it belongs on a Michael Bolton album (that is the best comparison I could make, sorry I didn’t mean to turn anyone off “The Smell of Rain”).
“The Smell of Rain” really does belong in the Goth/rock/industrial section of a CD retailer or the techno/dance segment rather than the metal part. I do not see that as happening however; as one look at the troll-lad on the cover and the Earache record label (notoriously heavy metal label) will see him lumped in with the death belters, which is unfortunate as Mortiis really has broken his semi-metal shackles and should be allowed to propel himself to fame in other music.
“The Smell of Rain” is not a bad record, it is just taking a while to comprehend where Mortiis wanted to undertake musically on “The Smell of Rain”, so many disjointed thoughts and ideas come out as being slightly odd. Good but odd.
The stupid thing is I initially started with a 5 out of 10 for this record, but as kept listening it kept on appealing more and more to me (and now I can’t stop shaking my head to “The Smell of Rain”). I applaud Mortiis for his ability to create catchy tunes.
Bottom Line: I have a very fine line when it comes to the appreciation of dance/techno music; I either do not listen or can slightly acknowledge the smallest smatterings of it. Fortunately for me (and other metalheads) Mortiis is that smallest smattering, and “The Smell of Rain” is not too bad.
Rating: 7 out of 10