Mortiis | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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It's hard to believe listening to his records now that this Norwegian visionary--or crackpot, depending on your point of view--was a founding member of Emperor. The Grudge (Earache), Mortiis's 2004 release, is more black patent leather than black metal; the music and even the lyrics ("You must be an emotional heretic / Your words become like shit on a stick") are terribly Reznoriffic. But Mortiis's heathen heart has led him down stranger roads than this: his mid-to-late-90s dark-ambient albums, even with their Wagnerian feel, were a far bigger departure from the church-burning scene than The Grudge, much as I might prefer them. And P.S.--snide remarks about his fondness for Nosferatu prosthetics are out of line coming from anyone who's willing to give, say, early Peter Gabriel a pass. It's worth noting that the name Mortiis now applies to a complete band instead of one hermetic dude; said dude is on his first U.S. tour in six years, promoting the forthcoming live DVD Soul in a Hole, due out in November. Danzig headlines, Himsa plays third, Mortiis plays second, and Agony Scene opens. Mon 10/10, 6 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212, $30 in advance, $31.50 at the door, 18+.

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