Music / Mortiis
Mortiis, in his natural habitat.

Mortiis is a band from Notodden, Norway fronted by Håvard Ellefsen (former member of the Black Metal band Emperor), who is also known as the namesake of the band. The name is a misspelling of the word 'mortis', which is the pronunciation used by the band. However, Mortiis started as the solo project of Ellefsen as a means to convey a story. This aspect was lost over time and Mortiis slowly formed into a band. Between 1993 and 1999 the solo project focused on dark ambient music, until 2001's electronic influenced The Smell of Rain, which featured more lyrics and style-wise ranged from Industrial to Synth Pop. With the release of The Grudge Mortiis became an official band rather than a solo project, and the music shifted toward Industrial Metal.

Until 2007, Mortiis was never seen without his mask; a troll-like face with a large nose and pointed ears. The mask changed over time as well; by the release of The Grudge it began to look like it had been stitched and stapled in place. Finally after 2007's Some Kind of Heroin, Mortiis removed the mask permanently; or so it seemed, as Ellefsen has been reappearing in the mask since 2016, perhaps due to fans requesting it.


Era I
  • The Song of a Long Forgotten Ghost (1993)
  • Født til å Herske (1993)
  • Ånden som Gjorde Opprør (1994)
  • Keiser Av En Dimensjon Ukjent (1995)
  • Blood and Thunder (1995)
  • Crypt of the Wizard (1996)
  • The Stargate (1999)
Era II
  • The Smell of Rain (2001)
  • The Grudge (2004)
  • Some Kind of Heroin (2007)
  • Perfectly Defect (2010)
Era 0
  • The Great Deceiver (2016)


  • A God I Am Not: "Monolith", from The Smell of Rain seems to be about this.
  • All Trolls Are Different: According to Ellefsen, "I do not look upon myself as a goblin, or troll, or elf, or medieval. I am merely Mortiis."
  • Break-Up Song: "The Grudge" is a particularly angry one.
  • B.S.O.D. Song: "Everyone Leaves", a song about how everyone you know will eventually leave you or die no matter how hard you hold on.
  • Concept Album: Pretty much anything from Era I.
  • Cool Mask: Ellefsen's prosthetic rubber mask was loved by fans. Although the mask was dropped after The Grudge Ellefsen has worn it again since "Era 0" in 2016.
  • Era-Specific Personality: Ellefsen, and the music itself.
  • Genre Shift: Mortiis is a fairly drastic example of this, having gone through at least three different genres.
  • Grief Song: "Everyone Leaves"
  • Kayfabe Music: The troll gimmick, which has now been dropped for better or for worse.
  • New Sound Album: Practically every album since The Smell of Rain. The changes in his style are divided into "Eras" by fans.
  • Pointy Ears: Part of the mask Ellefsen wears.
  • Religion Rant Song: "Underdog"
  • Wicked Witch: Subject of the song "Smell the Witch"