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MORTIIS, Tir, DJ Schkeuditzer Kreuz, Reverend Kriss Hayes: Sydney Boat Cruise 21/03/24

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Photos and words by Jenna Flood

Mortiis returned to Australia last week, shadowing our shores with his signature brand of Dark Dungeon Music. Being close to 6 years since he was last here, this time Mortiis returns to perform – for the first time ever live – his debut album Fodt til a Herske (Born To Rule – 1994) in its entirety. This tour celebrates 30 years since the release of this album, which consists of just one song, split into two tracks – Part 1 and Part 2.

Performing on Simo’s Dive on the Water, we have jagged a great night for the cruise. The weather is clear with just a bit of a breeze, as we set off from Darling Harbour to pass Luna Park and sail under the Harbour Bridge. It was quite the intimate setting onboard, not overcrowded with two areas to watch the acts, and there was also plenty of merch to choose from.

Tir (Sydney) opened the night with his dungeon synth style. Originally from Turkey, he now resides in Australia and has 5 albums to date. Tonight was Tir’s debut live performance, and he sure captured the attention of the crowd with his songs structured with dark melodies and atmosphere.

DJ Schkeuditzer Kreuz (Blue Mountains) followed on the upper deck in chaotic style. The one-man industrial project of this multi-talented performer reflects the world’s unrest through the pandemic period.

Next up was Reverend Kriss Hades (Sydney). The veteran of the Australian metal scene never disappoints with his live shows full of mayhem and destruction. Enter a hooded Reverend, who commences his ritual on the guitar laid before him. Noticing the white tape on the back of it with written DO NOT BREAK, there’s a hint this isn’t the Reverend’s guitar but when stage crew interrupts to pry the guitar from his fingers, we are then certain of it. The show continues, though, with an instrument that has seen many better days yet takes a new battering for tonight’s performance.

Mortiis was mesmerizing. The song that is the whole album is a journey that builds and introduces many different elements before fading out to silence. Adding to the aesthetic appeal is Mortiis’s emotionless prosthetic mask. Having him catch your eye for a few seconds at times really draws you in and you are unable to look away. The show was very atmospheric, dark and smoky with only the red lights to add to the ambience, but it was a very mesmerizing and intriguing experience. It really was a treat to catch Mortiis live.

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